Friday, July 15, 2011

7 Fascinating Facts About Meditation

The Huffington Post   |  Riddhi Shah



Over the last decade, interest in the science of meditation has skyrocketed. We now know more than ever before about just how meditation affects our minds and bodies. Increased research has led to a plethora of fascinating discoveries: Take, for instance, the fact that meditation can prevent heart disease. Or that it reduces stressOr that it can significantly lessen ADHD symptoms, and in many cases, beats medication.
Still, much is left to be discovered. We know more but we definitely don't know everything. While we wait for science to catch up with ancient wisdom, check out this slideshow on the complex effects of the simple act of focused breathing.

Quite literally, sustained meditation leads to something called neuroplasticity, which is defined as the brain's ability to change, structurally and functionally, on the basis of environmental input. 

For much of the last century, scientists believed that the brain essentially stopped changing after adulthood. 

But research by University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson has shown that experienced meditators exhibit high levels of gamma ray activity and display an ability -- continuing after the meditation session has attended -- to not get stuck on a particular stimulus. That is, they're automatically able to control their thoughts and reactiveness.



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