It is common for people who meditate regularly declare that they do so because it makes them feel better, not only more relaxed, but that they feel that helps them to carry on their daily activities. In recent decades, the neurosciences have been interested by this study, that is to say, by looking at the behaviors related to spirituality and meditation, issues that typically were considered to be opposed to science. More and more scientists are devoting their efforts to understand how it is that our brain enables you to engage with behaviors linked to concepts as abstract.
At the end of the decade of 1970, was founded at the Medical Center of the University of Massachusetts Clinic of Relaxation, then become in the Clinic of Stress Reduction based on mindfulness. What is mindfulness? It is a practice that is defined by many as a form of meditation but is also considered a complementary practice to traditional therapies. At present, the so-called “mindfulness” (“mindfulness” or “presence of mind”, according to some translations) and other techniques are used as an aid in the management of interdisciplinary of different clinical conditions, medical and psychological, such as chronic pain, anxiety and stress. Some studies recognize that during a meditation practice, there is evidence of a predominance tone parasympathetic, that is to say, the structures of our autonomic nervous system that generate the physiological changes associated with relaxation, such as decreasing the heart rate and the respiratory.
Meditation can produce changes in our central nervous system. It has been seen, for example, that areas associated with emotions and social functions are intensively stimulated with meditation, while the areas of the brain typically associated with processing of negative emotions, decrease your activity. But perhaps the most unexpected findings performed in volunteers who reported high levels of spirituality are those that show changes even beyond the nervous system. It has seen an increase in the circulating levels of antibodies, suggesting that some practices of meditation serve, even, to improve the immune function.
These investigations allow us to think in the complex interaction between the brain and certain social practices that, although not look, also depend on it. And, fundamentally, contribute to that we know what is good for us and can help us to live better.