New Evidence Confirms Beliefs of Experienced Meditation Practitioners
| From the Harvard Gazette:
Eight weeks to a better brain
Although the Harvard study was completed in 2011, the study is now getting a second look.
As more individuals and corporations are beginning to practice mindfulness meditation – the question meditation effectiveness is important.
‘Mindfulness meditation … appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress’.
This article, written by Kenneth Chance, originally appeared on https://www.arrowheadlodgerecovery.com/baby-boomers-prescription-opioid-painkiller-addiction. Kenneth Chance is the founder and CEO/President of Arrowhead Lodge Recovery.
The Harvard University study did MRI scans on two groups of people. Then over the course of the next eight weeks, one group practiced a series of mindfulness exercises an average of 27 minutes per day; the other group did not meditate.
Meditation-produced Changes in the Brain’s Gray Matter Over Time Proven
In the Harvard study, after eight weeks the subjects from both groups were scanned again. The results revealed structural change to brains from the group that meditated. These changes included increased density of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is associated with memory, feelings and self awareness.
Some patients scans also revealed a decrease in the density of the amygdala*. This change was observed in patients who said they experienced stress relief.
Mindfulness Meditation Health Benefits and Anxiety Relief
Mindfulness seems to improve nearly every aspect of health — but how? While mounting research has revealed many of the numerous physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness, little is known of the mechanisms underlying these positive changes.
* Amygdala: Shown to play a key role in the processing of emotions, the amygdala forms part of the limbic system. In humans and other animals, this subcortical brain structure is linked to both fear responses and pleasure. Its size is positively correlated with aggressive behavior across species. Conditions such as anxiety, autism, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias are suspected of being linked to abnormal functioning of the amygdala, owing to damage, developmental problems, or neurotransmitter imbalance.Share ...
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