London: Researchers are working on a project that "teaches" patients to control pain with their minds.
Scientists from Stanford University in California placed volunteers suffering from chronic pain in a scanner that allowed them to see activity in an area called the ACC.
ACC is in the middle of the brain just centimetres from the forehead.
When the ACC gets more active pain gets fiercer, but when activity drops pain subsides.
Researchers asked the volunteers to focus on a small, handheld screen , which shows a flame representing their pain.
Through generating thoughts and emotions to reduce the flame, researchers believe it is possible to control it.
Sean Mackey, Redlich Professor of pain medicine at Stanford said that though some people calm themselves with a sandy beach and a cool breeze, shifting focus from the pain is also a good technique.