Millions of people practice meditation. The techniques of meditating may vary but the purpose remains same- peace, love, joy, healing, tranquillity, spiritual growth. Because of its popularity a lot of research is being conducted to study the impact of meditation on our bodies, specifically our brain. Sara Lazar is a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She researched how meditation impacts our brain. The results of her study surprised her along with other researchers.
They did a comparative study on long term meditators and people who don’t meditate and compared their brains scans.
First thing noticeable was that the grey matter in the insula, sensory regions and frontal cortex was higher in meditators which means their senses were very sharp, memory and decision making skills better compared to non-meditators.in fact the size of cortex and its grey matter in 50 year old meditators was equivalent to as much as a 25 year old would have whereas we all know that our cortex shrinks and grey matter reduces with age as well. Overall the research identified significant brain regions to be more active, less stressed, calm, better memory and executive functions and aging to be slower. It also showed dense grey matter in regions of hippocampus, an area of brain associated with learning and memory, as well as in other areas associated with self-awareness, compassion, and reflection.
There are many other researches being conducted on the impact of
meditation on physical body.
Article Contributed By: Nazish Khan on behalf of Illuminations Well-Being Centre
Nazish is a clinical psychologist with a post-graduation certificate in psychodynamic approaches to counseling from Bangor University, Wales, and UK. She combines her professional expertise with holistic healing approaches in order achieve fascinating and breakthrough results for her clients.