NHS Choices: Meditation changes the brain

Meditation changes the brain? Hard to believe perhaps, but a recent meditation study has shown that deep relaxation can indeed change cells in our brain. Here’s the story below, first reported by NHS Choices.

Date: August 17th, 2010
Source:NHS Choices/Daily Mail

meditation changes the brain“Meditation is proven to be the serene way to get smarter,” reported the Daily Mail. It said scientists found that even a short course of meditation “strengthens connections between the regions of the brain that regulate our emotional responses.”

The study in question compared the brains scans of people who received 11 hours of meditative sessions over a period of a month to those of people who were shown basic relaxation techniques. People who received meditation sessions were found to have more changes in the white matter of the brain in an area called the corona radiata.

The study was relatively small (45 people), and only included healthy young adults. It did not look at whether these brain changes were linked to changes in behaviour, intelligence or emotions. Overall, this study may further our understanding of the effects meditation can have on the cells of the brain, but it does not further our understanding of any mental health benefits.

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