Meditation & Health #13-Meditation and Brain, Behavior and Immunity
Meditation & Science:
Meditation and Brain, Behavior and Immunity
By Xing-lin, Sheng-bl, Fan-yin
Thirty Minutes for Good Heath
A JAMA Infernal Medicine mogazine research report published online on June 1, 2014 claims that 30 minutes of meditation every day could improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and reduce pain and stress.
“A lot of people use meditation, but it’s not a practice considered part of mainstream medical therapy for anything,” says Modhav Goyal, M.D., MPH., an assistant professor In the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leader of the study.
He did research on 3,515 participants who suffered from various illnesses, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and chronic pain. It was noted that eight weeks of meditation practice improved these Problems. They followed up with the participants for six months and further proved there was continuous improvement and, most importantly, the meditation practice did not ham the body.
Many of the participants thought meditation was boring and accomplished nothing. But Dr. Goyle denied this, saying if we practiced meditation 30 to 40 minutes daily, not only would it help us relax and attain peacefulness, but It would train the mind to be more aware.
Evolve Your Brain
University of Oregon psychologist Michael I Posner’s research paper Proceedings of the Notional Academy of Sciences, published online on June 6, 2010, disclosed that 11 hours of meditation practice resulted in positive structural changes in brain connectivity and regulation of behavior, thus helping reduce stress and anxiety and enhancing the ability to self-regulate.
A team of researchers used the meditation technique of Integrative body-mind training (IBMT) on a group of 22 participants while 23 participants received the some amount of relaxation training. Researchers used a magnetic type of resonance brain-imaging equipment in the experiments to examine fibers connecting brain regions before and after training.
After II hours of practice, researchers found the connections involving the anterior cingulate, an area in the brain that helps control emotions and behavior, had the strongest changes — changes that were only found in the group which practiced IBMT.
A lack of activation of the anterior cingu’ate cortex has been associated with attention deficit disorder, dementia, depression, schizophrenia and many other mental disorders.
Mindfulness Meditation Relieves Loneliness
Loneliness Is one of the major factors affecting the health of seniors. A recent research article in the online journal Brain, Behavior & Immunity notes that mindfulness meditation could help seniors reduce their sense of loneness and improve their health conditions.
Forty people between the ages of 55 and 85 attended an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program conducted by the University of Massachusetts Medical School. After practicing two and a half hours a week for two months, there was significant Improvement in their depression, stress and immunity, hence, an Improved quality of life.
Today, the popularity of mindfulness meditation Is growing and people are practicing to help reduce physical and mental problems caused by busy, stressful lives. Some corporations make mindfulness meditation available to their employees by allocating office rooms for meditation practice.