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Pain relief to believe in

Religious faith may prompt the brain to put a hurt on pain

3:59pm, September 17, 2008

Brain researchers have begun to explore what might be called faith-based analgesia.

Stimulating a religious state of mind in devout Catholics triggers brain processes associated with substantial relief from physical pain, report neuroscientist Katja Wiech of the University of Oxford, England, and her colleagues in an upcoming issue of Pain.

“Our data suggest that religious belief alters the brain in a way that changes how a person responds to pain,” says Oxford neu

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