Ongoing Research Touts Unlimited Benefits of a Daily Meditation Practice - davidji

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Ongoing Research Touts Unlimited Benefits of a Daily Meditation Practice

If the definition of stress is how we respond when our needs are not met, then meditation can be viewed as the antidote to stress. After many years of speculation and skepticism, meditation has now been scientifically proven to lower our heart rate; slow and deepen our breathing; increase our growth and sex hormones; suppress cortisol, glucagon, and adrenaline; boost our immune system; help us manage pain; expand our sense of well-being; and slow the fluctuations of our mind, easing the nonstop swirl of thoughts. Read more below about the newest scientific news on meditation organized by date published.

Illustration by Celia Jacobs

11/20/18; Breathing Through the Nose May Offer Unique Benefits to the Brain; The New York Times

A growing number of experiments have been looking at the influence that breathing has on our cognition. In October, a study in The Journal of Neuroscience considered the relationship between memory and how we breathe… READ MORE > >

Telomere is the end of a chromosome.

8/2/18; Markers of Cellular Aging Improve During Insight Meditation Retreat; UC Davis

A recent study by researchers at the University of California Davis, Center for Mind and Brain, measured changes in telomere length, telomerase (the enzyme which replenishes telomeres), and telomere-regulating genes in a group of individuals who participated in a month-long Insight meditation retreat… READ MORE > >

8/1/18; How Meditation Helps with Depression; Harvard Medical School

Depression continues to be a major health issue for older adults. It affects about 20% of adults ages 65 and older, and regular depression can lead to higher risks for heart disease and death from illnesses. It also affects people’s daily lives by making them more socially isolated and affecting cognitive function,
especially memory… READ MORE > > 

7/31/18; Meditation App Benefits Hospice and Palliative Care Clinicians; Oncology Nursing

Meditation can relieve stress, cultivate self-regulation skills, and modify risk and symptoms of compassion fatigue and work-related burnout.7 Workplace training typically offers mindfulness-based stress reduction, a composite group of practices that obscure the source of potential benefits… READ MORE > >

7/31/18; Changing Your Thought Pattern is Key to Overcoming Insomnia; PsyPost

Mindfulness-based therapy and cognitive therapy are equally effective at combating insomnia, according to new research from Australia. The study, published in the scientific journal Behaviour Change, also highlights the underlying cognitive mechanisms that lead to recovery from sleepless nights… READ MORE > >

7/19/18; 4 Ways Mindfulness Meditation Can Help You at Work; US News

It can improve employee focus and behavior, while helping manage stress… READ MORE > > 

7/10/18; Existential Spirituality Can Foster Happiness; Medical Press

Existential spirituality may improve health-related quality of life among adults who suffer from neurological illness, according to a new study published in the journal Geriatrics. The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine researchers who led the study say the results can inform best practices for healthy aging…

6/13/18; Mindfulness Meditation and Relaxation Response Have Different Effects on Brain Function; EurekAlert!: The Global Source for Science News

The relaxation response program is working more through deliberate control mechanisms, while the mindfulness program is working more through sensory awareness mechanisms. It is somewhat analogous to weight training vs. aerobic exercise – both are beneficial, but each has its unique mechanism and contribution… READ MORE > >

5/17/18; 100 Million Americans Have Chronic Pain. Very Few Use One of the Best Tools to Treat It; Vox News

Chronic pain often has no physical cause. Psychotherapy can reduce the suffering…

3/28/18; Cognitive Aging and Long-Term Maintenance of Attentional Improvements Following Meditation Training; Journal of Cognitive Enhancement

Sustained attention is effortful, demanding, and subject to limitations associated with age-related cognitive decline. Researchers have sought to examine whether attentional capacities can be enhanced through directed mental training, with a number of studies now offering evidence that meditation practice may facilitate generalized improvements in this domain… READ MORE > >

3/6/18; More and More Research Points to Mindfulness -Not Certain Foods- For Weight Loss; The Washington Post

Mindfulness may work, the papers propose, because it strengthens the weakest link in most diets: the adherence or compliance problem. Many people can lose roughly 5 percent of their weight by strictly following a weight-loss program for three to six months. But then the tide inevitably turns, and the pounds return. It’s maintaining weight-loss that presents the biggest obstacle…. READ MORE > > 

1/14/18; Meditating Twice a Day for 20 Minutes Cut PTSD Symptoms in Older Adults; ANI

According to researchers from Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, veterans of the war in Vietnam, the Gulf War, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) found significant relief from their symptoms as a result of practicing the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique… READ MORE > >

1/13/18; Mind Fitness: How Meditation Boosts Your Focus, Resilience & Brain (video); big think

Meditation is like a gym for your brain. If you follow through and exercise (in this case, your brain) every single day… pretty soon you’ll see results. Psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman posits that meditation truly leads you to an “altered state” similar to psychotropic drugs… WATCH THE VIDEO > >

1/10/18; If Meditation Apps Don’t Appeal to You, These Brain Reading Sunglasses; Slate

the meditation tech I encountered at this year’s CES—the largest consumer electronics show in the world—really surprised me. These weren’t your typical apps, which have a supposedly soothing voice whisper in your ear to encourage you to chill out. Rather, I found a pair of brain-reading sunglasses, the Lowdown Focus Glasses by Smith Optics… READ MORE > > 

1/9/18; Meditation as Medication for Stress; Deccan Chronicle

Spending regular, accurate time in meditation has been shown to reduce stress. One meditation study, by Dr. John L. Craven published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, states: “Controlled studies have found consistent reductions in anxiety in meditators…Several stress-related conditions have demonstrated improvement during clinical trials of meditation including: hypertension, insomnia, asthma, chronic pain, cardiac tachyarrhythmias, phobic anxiety.”… READ MORE > > 

12/19/17;Cambridge University study finds mindfulness improves mental health during exams; The Cambridge Student

Recent research by the University of Cambridge has revealed that mindfulness training can help prevent mental illness and improve mental health in university students. Through a study involving just over 600 Cambridge students, it was found that eight-week mindfulness courses in UK universities could help strengthen resilience… READ MORE > >

10/5/17; Different Types of Meditation Changes Different Areas of the Brain, Study Finds; Forbes

Meditation and mindfulness training have accumulated some impressive evidence, suggesting that the practices can change not only the structure and function of the brain, but also our behavior and moment-to-moment experience… READ MORE > >

9/13/17; Another Reason to Start Meditating: It’ll Help You Drink Less Alcohol; Sporteluxe

According to a new study published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, being more mindful can make you more aware of the amount of alcohol you are consuming and will make you more intentional in your drinking… READ MORE > >

9/7/17; Meditation: In Depth; NCCIH

Many studies have been conducted to look at how meditation may be helpful for a variety of conditions, such as high blood pressure, certain psychological disorders, and pain. A number of studies also have helped researchers learn how meditation might work and how it affects the brain… READ MORE > >

8/28/17; Yoga and Meditation Improve the Stress Resilience and Bring Positive Impacts on the Immune & Central Nervous System; The Science Times

A recent study has unveiled that yoga and meditation have positive impacts on the body’s central nervous system. They even improve the immune system of an individual…

8/19/17; Top UCSD researchers pitch yoga, massage, and integrative medicine for healing; The San Diego Union Tribune

The debut of UC San Diego’s Centers for Integrative Health, an initiative throughout the university and health network to unify current research, education and clinical programs ranging from nutrition to meditation…READ MORE > > 

8/14/17; How Meditation Can Help Your Career; New York Post

According to a study from Yale, mindfulness meditation decreases brain activity responsible for mind-wandering thoughts typically associated with being unhappy and worried. Meditation and other calming therapies simmer down the brain’s default mode network and dial up new connections that wipe out meandering… READ MORE > > 

8/8/17; Cognitive Enhancement: With Yoga (VIDEO); Psychiatric Times

Patients assigned to yoga practice for 12 weeks with daily meditation for 12 minutes in weekly one hour classes did better than those who participated in memory training classes in verbal and visual memory, executive function, mood resilience, anxiety, and connectivity of the brain…READ MORE > > 

8/8/17; Research Shows Our Genes are Affected by Thoughts & Perceptions: More So Than We Realize; Collective Evolution

Dr. Lipton’s research is life changing for all of us, because his research enunciates that we have the power to choose our destiny at any given point. From victims we can become masters of our lives, as we can determine how we respond to the environment. Of course the genetic patterns are there, but they are not as fixed as we once believed… READ MORE > > 

7/20/17; Meditation Helps to Aid Resilience & Performance; Guardian

Over the past decade, a technique called mindfulness has been showing significant promise in helping to sharpen skills like attention, memory, listening, emotional resilience, leadership and job performance. Just as the body needs exercise to stay in optimal physical condition, the mind also needs exercise to be at its peak performance… READ MORE > > 

7/20/17; As Budget Shrinks, Baltimore Schools Invest in Meditation; Fox News

“A lot of our kids deal with a lot of trauma in their lives,” says Liberty Elementary Principal Joseph Manko. “To have the school be a place where they can be mindful and meditate, calm themselves and relax, I think will be really helpful.”… READ MORE > > 

7/19/17; Using Mindfulness Technique Can Help People Avoid Relapse; Thompson Citizen

Using mindfulness as a technique to help people being treated for addictions or mental health issues avoid relapsing is the topic of a book by Thompson psychotherapist Dr. Nuwan Fonseka, who recently updated the text to incorporate more recent research after selling all of the original edition… READ MORE > > 

7/17/17; This is How Your Brain Works When You Are On Meditation; Newsgram

Nondirective and Concentrative are the two main groups of meditation techniques. The concentrative meditation, as the name suggests, is when you suppress all other thoughts by focusing intensely on one specific thought. For many, that one specific thought is breathing… READ MORE > > 

6/15/17; Meditation & Yoga Can Reverse DNA Reactions Which Cause Stress, A New Study Suggests; Science Daily

Mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi don’t simply relax us; they can ‘reverse’ the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression, according to a study… READ MORE > > 

6/9/17; 5 Reasons You Should Meditate Every Morning; Huff Post

Whether you’re looking for ways to de-stress and find balance in your life or simply searching for clarity and direction, meditation, or the act of focusing and training the mind, can help you achieve your goals. See how you can potentially benefit from this mental and physical exercise… READ MORE > > 

3/30/17; Meditation’s Calming Effects Pinpointed in the Brain; Scientific America

During yoga pranayama exercises, people practice controlling the breath, or prana, to induce a state of calm and focus. Paying attention to breathing and slowing down respiration constitute a core component of many mindfulness practices. Research suggests the practice has multiple benefits—it induces an overall sense of well-being while reducing anxiety and improving sleep…

12/7/16; Rhythm of Breathing Affects Memory & Fear; Northwestern University (Reported by Neuroscience News)
A new study reports the rhythm of your breathing can influence neural activity that enhances memory recall and emotional judgement…. READ MORE > > 

10/18/16; Science Shows Meditation Benefits Children’s Brains and Behavior; Forbes

The research on mediation and the developing brain (i.e., kids) is not quite as robust as it is in adults, but it’s starting to take off. Here are some of the benefits that research tells us mediation and mindfulness can offer kids…

8/30/16; Systems Biology Research Study Reveals Benefits of Vacation and Meditation; Mount Sinai Hospital

Scientists used a rigorous study design to assess the biological impact of meditation compared to vacation. They examined the effect of meditation on gene expression patterns in both novice and regular meditators. The researchers found that a resort vacation provides a strong and immediate impact on molecular networks associated with stress and immune pathways, in addition to short- term improvements in well-being, as measured by feelings of vitality and distress. A meditation retreat, for those who already used meditation regularly, was associated with molecular networks characterized by antiviral activity…

8/22/16; Let Go of Pain in 5 Healthy Steps; Huff Post by davidji

We don’t often think about the word “rumination” or its difference from “reflection,” but there IS a big difference! And how we choose to view, process, and move beyond emotional challenges (or not) that cross our path sets the tone for how we handle future challenges and decision making… READ MORE > >

8/12/16; Treating Depression with Meditation; University of California Television

Dr. Rick Hecht shows the statistical evidence that seems to demonstrate those who suffer from depression may be less likely to relapse into a depressed state when practicing mindfulness based cognitive therapy as compared to those using medication… WATCH THE VIDEO > >

7/12/16; Here’s How You Can Meditate Anytime, Anywhere; Huff Post

You have the ability to engage in the practice anytime, anywhere. The key is focusing on what’s happening inside your head. Instead of trying to block your thoughts and emotions as you’re meditating, Rinpoche said that you should lean into what he calls your “monkey mind,” or the constant chattering in your head… READ MORE > >

6/9/16; The Science of Meditation; Psychology Today

There are many traditions and countless ways to practice meditation, and perhaps because of its polymorphous nature new meditators wonder whether they are doing it correctly. According to Roger Thomson, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice in Chicago and a Zen meditator, there is one way to know for sure: “If you’re feeling better at the end, you are probably doing it right.”…

5/23/16; 3 Research-Based Reasons to Start Meditating; Psychology Today

It seems like mindfulness is the new cultural buzzword. In our fast-paced, iPhone-obsessed society, being busy is often seen as a badge of honor. Therefore, it makes sense that people are turning to time-tested practices in an effort to become more present in their everyday lives… READ MORE > > 

3/28/16; Why Should You Meditate?; Huff Post

Meditation has been gaining incredible momentum in recent years. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to try meditation but feel hesitant. This is understandable considering the fact that we place so much emphasis on producing more, and working more. We often hear from people comments such as, “I’d love to try meditation but I just can’t find the time.” You are the only one who knows whether meditation is right for you or why you are interested in trying it. Still, it’s interesting to hear why someone might begin a meditation practice… READ MORE > > 

12/18/15; The Busier You Are, The More You Need Mindfulness; Harvard Business Review

Too often, the most ambitious leaders assume that if you are running around, you are achieving much. If you want to be a forward-thinking professional, stop thinking about the future for a moment. If you want to do more today, sit down and practice being aware of your breath and the fact that you have access to meaning right now…READ MORE > >

7/22/15; Neuroscience & The True Purpose of Yoga; Uplift

“If we can accept that [our] awareness of my body is not a fixed thing, it can change, it can change hugely… and I can change it, and the what I have inherited from my culture is not necessarily the best way it could be then I take that on, and I can use any practice from any tradition or I can make up my own, anything that will involve stimulating, whether through movement or awareness, every single little part of my body – maybe starting with the spine.”
– Simon Thakur READ MORE > >

5/26/15; Havard neuroscientist: Meditation not only reduces stress, here’s how it changes your brain; The Washington Post

Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and test them in brain scans. What she found surprised her — that meditating can literally change your brain… READ MORE > >

2/9/15; 7 Ways Meditation Can Actually Change the Brain; Forbes

The meditation-and-the-brain research has been rolling in steadily for a number of years now, with new studies coming out just about every week to illustrate some new benefit of meditation. Or, rather, some ancient benefit that is just now being confirmed with fMRI or EEG. The practice appears to have an amazing variety of neurological benefits – from changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the “me” centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions. Below are some of the most exciting studies to come out in the last few years and show that meditation really does produce measurable changes in our most important organ… READ MORE > > 

1/18/15; The Scientific Power of Meditation; AsapSCIENCE (youtube)

6/12/14; What Does Mindfulness Meditation Do to Your Brain?; Scientific America

As you read this, wiggle your toes. Feel the way they push against your shoes, and the weight of your feet on the floor. Really think about what your feet feel like right now – their heaviness. If you’ve never heard of mindfulness meditation, congratulations, you’ve just done a few moments of it. More people than ever are doing some form of this stress-busting meditation, and researchers are discovering it has some quite extraordinary effects on the brains of those who do it regularly… READ MORE > > 

5/1/14; Is Meditation Overrated?; Scientific America

Many people who meditate believe that the practice makes them healthier and happier, and a growing number of studies suggest the same. Yet some scientists have argued that much of this research has been poorly designed. To address this issue, Johns Hopkins University researchers carefully reviewed published clinical trials and found that although meditation seems to provide modest relief for anxiety, depression and pain, more high-quality work is needed before the effect of meditation on other ailments can be judged… READ MORE > >

1/8/14; Mindfulness Meditation May Ease Anxiety, Mental Stress; Harvard Health

Some people find that learning mindfulness techniques and practicing them with a group is especially helpful, says Dr. Hoge. Mindfulness-based stress reduction training, developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA, is now widely available in cities throughout the United States… READ MORE > > 

10/30/13; How Does Meditation Change the Brain?; Scientific America

Click here to watch the video on how meditation changes your brain.

10/15/13; Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime; Scientific America

Research on naps, meditation, nature walks and the habits of exceptional artists and athletes reveals how mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and encourage creativity… READ MORE > > 

9/11/13; 20 Scientific Reasons to Start Meditating Today; Psychology Today

I realized I had no control over my external environment. But the one place I did have a say over was my mind, through meditation. When I started meditating, I did not realize it would also make me healthier, happier, and more successful. Having witnessed the benefits, I devoted my PhD research at Stanford to studying the impact of meditation. I saw people from diverse backgrounds from college students to combat veterans benefit. In the last 10 years, hundreds of studies have been released. Here are 20 scientifically-validated reasons you might want to get on the bandwagon today…READ MORE > >

5/22/13; This is Your Brain on Meditation; Psychology Today

For those of you who are curious as to how meditation changes the brain, this is for you. Although this may be slightly technical, bear with me because it’s really interesting. The brain, and how we are able to mold it, is fascinating and nothing short of amazing. Here are the brain areas you need to know…READ MORE > >

11/13/12; Meditation’s Positive Residual Effects: Imaging Finds Different Forms of Meditation May Affect Brain Structure; The Harvard Gazette

A new study has found that participating in an eight-week meditation training program can have measurable effects on how the brain functions even when someone is not actively meditating. In their report in the November issue of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, investigators at Harvard Medical School-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston University(BU), and several other research centers also found differences in those effects based on the specific type of meditation practiced… READ MORE > >

4/22/11; Turn Down the Volume: Meditation May Help the Brain Reduce Distractions; The Harvard Gazette

The positive effects of mindfulness meditation on pain and working memory may result from an improved ability to regulate a crucial brain wave called the alpha rhythm. This rhythm is thought to “turn down the volume” on distracting information, which suggests that a key value of meditation may be helping the brain deal with an often overstimulating world… READ MORE > > 

1/21/11; Eight Weeks to a Better Brain; The Harvard Gazette

Meditation group participants reported spending an average of 27 minutes each day practicing mindfulness exercises, and their responses to a mindfulness questionnaire indicated significant improvements compared with pre-participation responses. The analysis of MR images, which focused on areas where meditation-associated differences were seen in earlier studies, found increased gray-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection… READ MORE > > 

8/3/10; Health Benefits of Meditation: What the Newest Research Shows; Alternative and Complimentary Therapies

This article presents a review of recent research on the efficacy of the major types of meditation that have been studied for treating a wide range of conditions as well as promoting stress production and overall wellness… READ MORE > > 

1/19/10; How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation; Psychology Today

In the Buddhist tradition and in Contemplative Psychotherapy training, we nurture mindfulness through the practice of sitting meditation. There are many different kinds of meditation. For example, some are designed to help us relax; others are meant to produce altered states of consciousness… READ MORE > >

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