Neurochemical Pathways Effected By Meditation

Brandon Dayton, modified 1 Year ago.

Neurochemical Pathways Effected By Meditation

Posts: 474 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
I was following a wikipedia rabbithole on Naloxone this morning and ended up reading about how Naloxone inhibits the analgesic effects of placebo (which suggests that Naloxone inhibits the analgesic effects of endogenous opiods). 

It got me thinking about an interview with Leigh Braisington on Deconstructing Yourself where he speculates on the neurochemical pathways activated in Jhana practice. I started wondering if Naloxone couldn't be used to determine if endogenous opiods were involved in the effects of certain meditation practices. 

A quick google search revealed that research has already been done with Naloxone and meditation, although in this particular study it looked at the effects of meditation analgesia with naloxone, and in this case the meditators were doing what sounds like a choiceless awareness practice.

It turns out that meditation analgesia actually improves with Naloxone which at least eliminates the possibility of endogenous opiods as a neurochemical explanation for meditation analgesia. It also suggest Naloxone as a complimentary intervention for any advanced meditators working with pain. I'd be very curious to see this same research done with the more specific effects of Jhanas.

Is anyone esle is aware of any research having to do specifically with isolating neurochemical pathways involved with meditation? I've seen a lot about the EEG and fMRI studies, but not much that looks at the neurochemical mechanisms that might be at work.