8 weeks Mon, Jun 08, 2015
In Success Through Stillness, Russell Simmons mentions a few different studies that indicate how meditating can positively impact one's life. Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School recently did an interview with the Washington Post discussing studies she's performed that also establish benefits of mediation. She shared the findings of 2 different studies. In 1 study, long term meditators had more grey matter in their pre-fontal cortex, which impacts memory and problem solving. The study group of 50 year olds essentially had the same amount of grey matter as most 25 year olds.
However, aware that these 50 year olds might have had more grey matter to begin with before they started meditating, she performed a second study. This 2nd study, took a group of people that had never mediated before and placed them in a 8-week long course. The results are interesting as after 8 weeks, this group had "thickening in four regions" of their brains. Here are the 4 specific areas:
1. Posterior cingulate - "...which is involved in mind wandering, and self relevance."
2. The left hippocampus - "...which assists in learning, cognition, memory and emotional regulation."
3. The temporo parietal junction or TPJ - "...which is associated with perspective taking, empathy and compassion."
4. An area of the brain stem called the Pons - "...where a lot of regulatory neurotransmitters are produced."
To recap, after 8 weeks of meditating on average for 27 minutes per day, these people all saw benefits to their brain and their overall health. Be healthy and enjoy your Tuesday!