As the pace of technology in brain-imaging software increases, we are finally able to look deep into the brain and see what happens when someone meditates. Many other peer-reviewed, scientific studies are validating the findings of the UMass/Mass General study and revealing the healing power of meditation at the cellular level and the influence it has on our chromosomes.
Sara Lazar, PhD, of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, the study’s senior author concluded “Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day.
“This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.”
Amishi Jha, PhD, a University of Miami neuroscientist who investigates mindfulness-training’s effects on individuals in high-stress situations, reinforced this groundbreaking science when he commented, “These results shed light on the mechanisms of action of mindfulness-based training. They demonstrate that the first-person experience of stress can not only be reduced with an 8-week mindfulness training program but that this experiential change corresponds with structural changes in the amygdala, a finding that opens doors to many possibilities for further research on MBSR’s potential to protect against stress-related disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.”
MBSR stands for Mind Body Stress Reduction and mindfulness meditation is simply following your breath in and out as we do when we practice 16seconds.