There’s now proof that even a short daily meditation can make a significant impact. Here’s what science has found about meditation benefits for brain and body.
Scientists out of National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, studied brain activity of individuals who practiced Zen meditation for 40 minutes. They compared the results to test subjects who were taking a rest for the same amount of time. The scientists used an electroencephalogram (EEG). This is a test that uses electrodes to detect the level of activity of your brain cells. They reported:
“Significant increase in frontal alpha-1 (8–10 Hz) and occipital beta power was found during meditation as compared with the EEG under the rest, whereas an average increase of theta power was observed in the controls.”
The study concluded that long-term training in Zen meditation can induce changes in electrocortical brain activity. Similarly, other researchers have identified such increased activity in the brain after exercise, which they believe is indicative of relaxation.
Another research study out of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences also used EEG technology to identify and characterize brain regions triggered by meditation. These researchers found that meditation increased activity in the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain. In addition, they found improved long-distant connectivity between prefrontal and posterior association cortex. Furthermore, these biological changes correlated to study participants’ self-reported experience of mental silence.
What does this mean? Basically, meditation increases activity in nearly all regions of the brain. Additionally, it helps establish stronger connections between all the areas of the brain. As a result, meditation benefits for brain and body include the ability to focus better and an increased sense of well-being. This leads to improved physical health. A study, published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, specifies:
“…those participants who had been through [mindfulness-based] intervention had better outcomes, in terms of heart rhythm coherence, a measure of autonomic balance linked to better functioning.”
The same study also found that intervention with mindfulness meditation or therapeutic yoga equally decreased stress levels and improved sleep quality. Consequently, science now confirms the many meditation benefits for brain and body.
Let’s face it. We can all benefit from a daily meditation practice. Here’s a short 5 minute Sahaja Kundalini guided meditation to get you started:
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