Panoramas-Reflection – Journal the Martinense

Panoramas-Reflection - Journal the Martinense 1

Luis Humberto


“Meditation can lead to considerable changes in the structures of the brain. Not so says a group «new age», nor a few lovers of pseudoscience or false spirituality, but a team of psychiatrists led by Massachusetts General Hospital, who has conducted the first study to document, how to exercise meditation can affect the brain. According to their findings, published in Psvchiatry Research the practice of a meditation program for eight weeks can lead to considerable changes in brain regions associated with memory, self-awareness, empathy and stress. That is to say, something considered spiritual, transforms us physically and can improve our wellbeing and our health.

«Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, doctors have claimed for a long time that meditation also provides cognitive benefits and psychological effects that persist throughout the day», explains the psychiatrist Sara Lazar, lead author of the study. «The new research shows that changes in the structure of the brain may be behind these proven benefits, v that the people do not feel better only because we have relaxed,» he says. Lazar had already been carried out previous studies that had found structural differences between the brains of practitioners of meditation, with experience in this type of practice, and individuals without a history, as, for example, a greater thickness of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration. But then the researcher could not confirm if this process had been the result of simply having spent a few moments of reflection. Awareness without bias. For the current study, the scientists took magnetic resonance imaging of the brain structure of 16 volunteers two weeks before and after a meditation course of eight weeks, a program to reduce stress coordinated by the University of Massachusetts. In addition to weekly meetings that included practice of mindfulness meditation, which focuses on nonjudgmental awareness of sensations and feelings, the volunteers received some audio recordings to follow with his musings on home. The participants in the meditation group spent 27 minutes each day practicing these exercises. Your answers to a medical questionnaire indicated significant improvements compared with responses prior to the course. The analysis of the magnetic resonance imaging found an increase in grey matter density in the hippocampus, a brain area important for learning and memory, v in structures associated with self awareness, compassion and introspection. In addition, it was found a decrease of gray matter in the brain’s amygdala, a set of nuclei of neurons located in the depth of the temporal lobes, which is related to a decrease of the stress. None of these changes was observed in the control group of other volunteers, which shows they were not the result only of the passage of time. «It is fascinating to see the plasticity of the brain and how, through the practice of meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life,» says Britta Hölzel, lead author of the study. The finding opens the door to new therapies for patients suffering from serious problems of stress, such as those that support an acute post-traumatic stress after a bad experience.”

The meditation consists of applying with deep attention the thought to the consideration of something, or to discourse on the means of discovering it or get it. It is the practice of a state of concentrated attention on an external object, thought, own conscience, or the own state of concentration. It implies a kind of intellectual exercise, with a interior recollection. Meditation doesn’t have to have a religious background, but is simply a tool. The practice of meditation has helped me my for me to recover psychologically from the side-effects of an accident that I suffered for more than 17 years, but it can also help you all to overcome the strong and the various problems, both physical and emotional. I hope and will serve much also to you. Have a good day.


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