IN A RECENT New York Times Magazine article, "My pain, my brain," a writer who had suffered chronic pain for years described taking part in a study to find out if getting a better understanding of how her brain worked might help her manage pain or even end it (May 13).

The woman could see that her thought had a great effect on her experience. But she noted that reducing pain wasn't merely a matter of thinking "nice" thoughts, and that it was very difficult to conjure up the right sort of thoughts that would bring healing.

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