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|Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012|
Fascinating New Research on Meditation and Brain Health
Posted by Isaac Eliaz of Amitabha Medical Clinic & Healing CenterThe Power of “Cortical Folding” aka “Gyrification”
In terms of brain health, what exactly is “cortical folding” or “gyrification” and how does it increase your mental capacity? These questions may seem to address complex issues best left to neuroscience, except for one simple practice that directly relates to them: meditation. Researchers have been studying the effects of meditation on the brain for decades, and have come to some important conclusions that may offer further motivation and inspiration for regular—and certainly for aspiring—practitioners of this time-honored healing art.
Published Studies Prove Numerous Benefits of Meditation
UCLA Researchers Uncover New Benefits of Meditation for the Brain
The neuroscientists at UCLA compared meditators of different experience levels to people who never meditated. In those who meditated, they found significant increases in cortical folding across a wide area of the brain responsible for numerous functions beyond rapid information processing and retrieval. Additional areas of the brain markedly affected by meditation involve emotional and mental health capacities, influencing processes of emotional control, heightened awareness, and introspection. This falls directly in line with some of the more noticeable results of regular meditation, which often include increased compassion for one’s self and others, enhanced self awareness and introspection, and greater emotional stability.
Researchers also found significant increases in cortical gyrification among more experienced practitioners. In other words, the longer a person had been practicing regular meditation, the greater the beneficial changes in their brain.
Promotes Long Term Health
As regular meditation practice becomes better understood and more widely practiced, more and more doctors and health practitioners are recommending these ancient disciplines to their patients. If you are a health provider, meditation can help you become a better healer and clinician, increasing your diagnostic and therapeutic skills significantly, and allowing you to connect in more meaningful ways with your patients and community. If you are looking for some extra healing energy to improve your own health, regular meditation can provide just the solution.
As demonstrated in the UCLA study, meditation is more effective when practiced regularly. Even just ten minutes a day can offer significant and noticeable benefits over a short period of time. Below, I’ve outlined some tips on basic meditation practice for beginners to get started.
Tips for Getting Started
Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit, and pick a small object such as a rock to place on the ground in front of you. Focus your eyes and your breathing on the rock, and as thoughts inevitably arise, simply acknowledge and then release them, letting them slip away with each out-breath. When your mind wanders off, gently bring your attention back to your breathing and the rock, visualizing each inhalation and exhalation going to and from the rock.
To me, one of the most beautiful and profound aspects of meditation is that this process of growth and unfolding (as well as cortical folding) can continue throughout our lives. After all, we can never have too much love, compassion, and clarity. For more information about the powerful benefits of mindful meditation and the opportunity to join me for a meditation retreat, visit www.betterhealthpublishing.com.Click Here for Provider's Detail Page
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