Researchers from MIT, Harvard, and Massachusetts General Hospital have found that people trained to meditate over an eight-week period were better able to control a specific type of brain waves, called alpha rhythms. The data shows they were therefore able to focus more easily, screen out distractions, and better at regulating the impact of stimuli on them.
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Subjects in this study did not suffer from chronic pain, but the findings suggest pain sufferers who meditated would benefit from the ability to essentially turn down the volume on pain signals. The subjects trained in meditation also reported that they felt less stress than the non-meditators.