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transcendental meditation and mindfulness meditation

Mind-Body-Mood Advisor: Rewire Your Brain for Health and Happiness

Research shows that meditating not only stills your mind, it changes your brain and improves your well-being.

By Jeffrey Rossman, PhD


Mind-Body-Mood Advisor: Rewire Your Brain for Health and Happiness

Studies show daily meditation can lower blood pressure, ease anxiety, and more.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—When I first started meditating 34 years ago, I was more than a little bit skeptical. How could sitting with your eyes closed for 20 minutes change your brain function, strengthen your immune system, increase your intelligence, and make you dramatically happier? I was wary of devoting 40 minutes (20 minutes twice a day) to practice a technique that was apparently developed by a little man from India in a white robe with a long beard and a strange laugh. So I read everything I could about the science behind transcendental meditation, and finally was convinced that it was a technique worth learning.

Thirty-four years later, meditation has transformed me, and it is in the process of transforming health care in America. Mind-body medicine has become an important dimension of health care as we have gained a greater understanding of the powerful effects of thoughts, emotions, and stress on physical health. Increasingly, mind-body stress reduction techniques, such as meditation, are used to help people cope with and reverse physical and emotional conditions ranging from high blood pressure and anxiety to chronic pain and depression. Meditation has been used for thousands of years in cultures around the world as a spiritual practice. Today, it is a powerful technique used by millions of Americans to improve their health and enhance their well-being. I encourage most of my clients to learn meditation. Those that do progress faster, develop greater calmness and mental clarity, and make positive changes in their lives more easily.

The two types of meditation that have been researched most extensively are transcendental meditation and mindfulness meditation. While the practices have slight differences, they both involve:

• Focusing attention on one thing, such as the breath, an image, or a word or sound, called a mantra

• Focusing attention on the present moment

• Cultivating a compassionate, nonjudgmental attitude

• Letting go of our usual preoccupation with daily problems, goals, and concerns.

Early research on the effects of transcendental meditation by R. Keith Wallace, PhD, in the 1960’s showed that it lowers blood pressure, slows down brain waves, and leads to significant reductions in anxiety and stress-related illness.

Filed Under: MIND-BODY-MOOD ADVISOR, MINDFULNESS, STRESS

Published on: June 15, 2009



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The benefits of imagery

From another, unrelated but sympatico Dr. Rossman, author of The Worry Solution blog (http://www.worrysolution.com): Mindfulness meditation is a tremendously useful mind/body practice with a growing body of research to back it, and I recommend it whole-heartedly. In medical practice I often find that it is too abstract for many people and too closely associated with religious practices (though clearly it does not have to be) for others. It can also take a period of repetitive practice before providing tangible benefits. An easy alternative for most western patients is guided imagery, beginning with daydreaming yourself to a beautiful, safe place that you love to be in. fMRI shows that when we pay attention to the details, the sights, sounds, smells and feelings that we imagine there, the corresponding brain areas that serve those functions become active, and send messages of "all clear" to the hypothalamus and autonomic nervous system, replacing the "Alarm" signals that so often go with habitual worrying. Imagery is sometimes thought of in the meditative world as a distraction, but it can also be used as a bridge to mindfulness. It often provides a tangible sense of relaxation from the very first experience, and because it uses sensory elements is easier for many people to attend to at first.

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First at all i want to know what is the main structure of the brain including the amigdala a the cortex what exaclty happens when you meditate and focus in the objective do you cover your head in a meditatio situatio.

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