Meditation or health education classes found that those who meditated had lower blood pressure and a 47% reducation in strokes, deaths and heart attacks, which they calculated together as one result.
Meditation can have greater pain relieving effects than morphine, a study earlier this year found. Researchers found that just one hour of meditation training could reduce pain by nearly half.
Study participants’ brain activity was examined as they were subjected to a painful heat-emitting device applied to one of their legs. They were monitored both before and after meditation training and pain ratings were reduced by between 11 and 93 per cent while meditating.
Meditation had the effect of reducing activity in an area of the brain that processes pain stimuli, while increasing activity in areas where the brain stores its experience of pain and comes up with coping mechanisms.
Meditation has always been touted as a way to relax, but a study least year found evidence to show that it really does work. Increased neuron connectivity was found in parts of the brain that were important for regulating emotional behaviour and dealing with conflict.