Mindfulness Changes Brain
New research from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health shows that mindfulness changes the brain and pain sensitivity. Also interesting was the study’s finding that people have varying degrees of innate mindfulness. Those who are more mindful innately will “pay attention to the present moment without reacting to it”. This seems to include reactions to pain as well but there is still much research to do.
People who are naturally more mindful report less pain and show lower activation of a specific region of the brain in response to an unpleasant heat stimulus, according to a new study supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). The study, conducted by researchers from Wake Forest University and collaborating institutions, was published in the journal Pain.
The innate ability to be mindful—that is, to pay attention to the present moment without reacting to it—differs among individuals. There’s evidence that people who are naturally more mindful tend to have less pain, perhaps because they accept pain more easily and don’t spend as much time thinking and worrying about it. However, the brain mechanisms underlying the relationship between innate mindfulness and pain have not been identified.
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