The study itself involved 15 healthy individuals who had never meditated before, participating in four 20 minute classes during which they learned a technique known as focus attention.
The technique was aimed at helping the participants to concentrate on their breathing as well as helping them to let go of distracting thoughts and emotions.
After 80 minutes worth of meditation training the participants underwent various brain scans whilst a heated probe reaching up to 32C was placed against their leg.
The scans taken after the meditation revealed that the areas of the brain which were involving in creating feelings of how intense painful stimulus are were calmed, and the pain-processing region was switched off.
Dr Fadel Zeidan who was a researcher on the project said: ‘We found a big effect – about a 40 per cent reduction in pain intensity and a 57 per cent reduction in pain unpleasantness.