The American Psychological Association journal Emotion published a study conducted at the Université de Montréal explaining that Zen meditation can help reduce pain sensitivity. The study compared the areas of the brain associated with chronic pain, neurological, or psychological illnesses in long-term Zen meditators and non-meditators. Researchers found that the regions of the brain associated with emotion and pain regulation were much thicker in practitioners of Zen meditation, resulting in lower perceived pain sensitivity among those participants. Meditators’ thermal pain sensitivity was significantly lower than that of non-meditators, demonstrating a stronger ability to self-regulate pain. Researchers posit that the often uncomfortable posture adopted by Zen meditators may contribute to their lowered pain sensitivity.