Just two months of conscious and proper practice of regular meditation seem to completely rebuild the human brain.
This sensational conclusion was made by a team of scientists at Harvard Medical School. The results of the study were published in a special edition of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.
The experiment was conducted on 16 volunteers who participated in the 8-week program aimed to reduce stress through mindfulness, developed by the Centre for Mindfulness (University of Massachusetts Medical School).
In weekly sessions, participants were trained to focus on the awareness of their body’s senses, feelings, and states of mind. Moreover, they had to meditate at home in their spare time.
All participants underwent MRI brain scanning before and after the training program. A comparison of the results showed an increase in gray matter in the hippocampus, a brain structure involved in-memory processing, and in some other areas of the brain associated with self-awareness and introspection.
Two years earlier, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles with the help of high-resolution scanning of the brain, found that in people who practice regular meditation, brain areas associated with the expression of emotions were significantly greater in size than in the control group.
All the 22 participants of the experiment had been practicing meditation for a long time: from 5 to 46 years, the average duration was 24 years. Most of them devoted to meditation from 10 to 90 minutes a day.
“We know that people who practice regular meditation often express positive emotions, have the ability to maintain peace of mind and manifest a caring attitude towards others.
Our results may shed some light as to why these people have similar qualities“, noted the lead author of the study Eileen Luders.
I’m excited about the results of this study – it provides solid evidence that meditation results in tangible changes in the human brain. All this gives more weight to the idea that the power of your mind is real and can affect your physical state.
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