Meditators have known the benefits of meditation for thousands of years, and modern neuroscience is finally catching up. In case you missed it, The New York Times Well Blog reported last month that a new study “brings scientific thoroughness to meditation and for the first time shows that it can change the brains of ordinary people and potentially improve their health.”
The study taught half a group of 35 people mindfulness meditation (Ziva teaches a different kind), and then had the whole group do different exercises, like stretching. All participants reported feeling better afterward, but those who had learned a meditation practice showed differences in their follow-up brain scans. “There was more activity, or communication, among the portions of their brains that process stress-related reactions and other areas related to focus and calm. Four months later, those who had practiced mindfulness showed much lower levels in their blood of a marker of unhealthy inflammation than the relaxation group, even though few were still meditating.”
To veteran meditators, these are exciting but unsurprising results, as many have experienced additional benefits including lower stress, better sex, improved immune function, better performance at work, and more.
Read the full NYT Well Blog post here.