Meditating each day can take the pain away. A recent University of California, Irvine, study shows that Transcendental Meditation (TM), a discipline that uses repeated words and sounds to ward off distracting thoughts, reduces the brain's response to discomfort (NeuroReport, 2006, vol. 17, no. 12). Researchers used neuroimaging to monitor 12 healthy people who had practiced TM for 30 years, and 12 others who had not. After undergoing three rounds of topical heat tests, the meditators showed a 40 percent to 50 percent lower brain response to pain than the others. The nonmeditators went on to practice TM twice a day for the next five months before repeating the tests. The second round of brain scans for this group also showed a 40 percent to 50 percent decrease in pain response.