Meditation for a longer life

A UCLA study has found that meditation appeared to help preserve our brain’s grey matter, the tissue that contains neurons.

WHY DO WE CARE?

Most of us are living longer, more than ten years longer. Yet our brains begin to wither in volume, weight decreases and unfortunately loses some functional abilities.

Degenerative disease and mental illness afflicts many.

Meditation is something accessible to us all, it doesn’t have to cost a thing and can be dipped in and out of throughout life.

THE SCIENCE:

Scientists compared 50 people who had meditated for years and 50 people who didn’t .

Participants in each group showed a loss of grey matter as the years passed.

However, those who had a little “om” action (the meditators) didn’t have as big a decline.

Dr Florian Kurth, said even the researchers were surprised by the magnitude of the difference.

“We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some of the regions that had previously been associated with meditating,” he said. “Instead, what we actually observed was a widespread effect of meditation that encompassed regions throughout the entire brain.”

 

 FANCY BRAIN SCAN:

Areas of the brain affected by ageing are in red. The people who meditate are in the bottom row.

Four different images of brain scans are shown.

Brain scans of meditators and non-meditators. Areas of the brain affected by aging (in red) are fewer and less widespread in people who meditate, bottom row, than in people who don’t meditate. Negative correlations between local gray matter and age. Displayed are maximum intensity projections superimposed onto the SPM standard glass brain (sagittal, coronal, axial). Shown, in red, are significant negative age-related correlations within controls (top) and meditators (bottom). Significance profiles are corrected for multiple comparisons via controlling the family-wise error (FWE) rate at p ≤ 0.05. Note the less extended clusters in meditators compared to controls. Credit: Frontiers in Psychology.

WHO THEY STUDIED:

28 men

22 women

AGES:

24 to 77

Meditating groups : had been doing so for 4 to 46 years, with an average of 20 years.

 

Brains were scanned using high-res magnetic resonance imaging.

 

Obviously, you could argue meditators had healthy lifestyles etc, etc, but this research is definitely food for thought.

transcendental-meditation.jpg

HAVE SOME SIMPLE MEDITATION TECHNIQUES OVER  here.
READER TIP: A gorgeous girlfriend and reader (thanks Laura Coleman) recently shared details of an APP she has downloaded on her iPhone and used when she first started out. She had always resisted meditation but found this one worked really well for her. IGIANTMIND.
Thank you very much to UCLA Brain Mapping Centre for permission share their research. Sign up here for more of this.

 The original research article can be found here: 

About Martine Harte

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Posted in Self care.


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