The Neuroscience Behind Meditation

Who would have thought a common ingredient in most remedies today would involve doing nothing? Well… not exactly nothing… Just sitting and observing.

That is clearly becoming the case as meditation gains more credibility in the medical field. This is largely because there is now science to prove its efficacy. In many studies, research has consistently reported that mediation improves memory, decreases pain sensation, reduces stress, reduces anxiety, and mitigates the symptoms of mood disorders. Meditation is now tackling the heavy hitters in the mental health field. as doctors are even including meditation in their prescription for disorders such as Bipolar and Schizophrenia.

So how is science doing this? Neuroscientists are noticing mapping changes in the brain after regular meditation and mindfulness sessions. Brain scans and MRIs are showing very different activity levels in select parts of the brain such as the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. The researchers watch brain activity while the mind is ‘wandering’ and while the mind is meditation. Watch this video to see these changes.

The ability to shift attention to the present, and away from problems and negativity can literally strengthen the connection of neurons in the brain. The crazy part is that these results can flourish very quickly. Trials indicate that as little as 12 minutes of meditation for 2 months will actually show visible differences in brain activity. But look at a Buddhist monk’s brain scan and realize that years of practice can pay even higher dividends.

With the support of the science field, meditation is sure to gain momentum as a part of many mental health interventions. Even if you don’t have a diagnosis, think about how meditation can help you. Watch this video to learn more about the power of meditation.

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Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor

Dr. Mike Klaybor brings thirty years of experience in practicing counseling psychology with individuals and couples. His approach is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Specific specialties include; anxiety and stress management, chronic pain & chronic illness management, depression, substance abuse evaluations, employee assistance and executive coaching for workplace performance and leadership.