Thursday, November 27, 2008

Meditation May Protect Your Brain

by Michael Haederle. Posted Nov. 22, 2008, on www.alternet.org

Research is confirming the medicinal effects that advocates have long claimed for meditation.

For thousands of years, Buddhist meditators have claimed that the simple act of sitting down and following their breath while letting go of intrusive thoughts can free one from the entanglements of neurotic suffering.

Now, scientists are using cutting-edge scanning technology to watch the meditating mind at work. They are finding that regular meditation has a measurable effect on a variety of brain structures related to attention -- an example of what is known as neuroplasticity, where the brain physically changes in response to an intentional exercise....

"There are a lot of potential applications for this," said Milos Cekic, a member of the Emory research team and himself a longtime meditator. He suspects the simple practice of focusing attention on the breath could help patients suffering from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and other conditions characterized by excessive rumination.

Meanwhile, a meditation-derived program developed at the University of Massachusetts called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is gaining popularity for treatment of anxiety and chronic illnesses at medical centers around the U.S....(continued)

Click here to read the entire article and learn about other scientifically researched benefits of meditation practice. Thanks to Jan Gipple, Des Moines, IA, for sending this reference.

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