Meditation Is Good For The Brain
have found evidence that meditation has a biological effect on the
body, according to the results of a study that suggests it could boost
parts of the brain and immune system.
at the University of Wisconsin at Madison enrolled 41 people in a trial
of "mindfulness meditation,"a technique developed by stress reduction
specialist Jon Kabat-Zinn to help hospital patients deal with pain and
discomfort. Twenty-five of the subjects attended a weekly class and one
seven-hour retreat during the course of the study; they also were given
exercises to perform at home, according to the research team.
weeks, the team measured electrical activity in the frontal part of the
brain. Team members found that this region was more active on the left
side in individuals who meditated, and was associated with lower
anxiety and a more positive emotional state.
also received flu shots at the beginning of the study; those who
meditated had higher antibody levels, according to Dr. Richard
Davidson, research team leader.
study is preliminary and more research is clearly warranted, we are
very encouraged by these results," Davidson said.
researchers acknowledged that "there is increasing evidence that
meditation is a useful, and, for some people, a powerful therapy."
However, more information is needed to determine who is helped by the meditation and its exact benefits, team members said.
(Editor’s Note: Additional information on mindfulness-based stress reduction is available in the May 2002 edition of Wellness Program Management Advisor).