Meditation studies show brain changes

Meditation studies show positive neurochemical brain changes.

The Paramus Post reported that "Thanks to cutting-edge technologies like functional MRI scans, neuroscientists can look inside the brain to see if meditation actually produces physical change. Although they're still not sure how meditation works, research is beginning to show that, in fact, it does."

Apparently, meditation 'fools the brain' into thinking that things are much less stressful than they are. And why not? Visualize and manifest, the old self-fulfilling prophesy.

According to the article, here is some of the "the science that's validating meditation's health claims:"

- Might increase happiness and strengthen the immune system.

- Might enhance memory and attention. A study at Massachusetts General Hospital found that parts of the brain's cerebral cortex were thicker in people who had practiced meditation daily for just 40 minutes for several years. The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain that deals with attention and processing sensory input and tends to thin with age.

- Lowers blood pressure. A 2004 study published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed meditation can lower blood pressure and mortality rates in older people with hypertension.

- Might help alleviate mild to moderate anxiety and depression. Researchers at the University of Louisville found that mindfulness meditation alleviates depression in women with fibromyalgia.

- Increases alertness. University of Kentucky researchers found that sleepy people who meditated for 40 minutes did better on a test of mental quickness than people who had taken a 40-minute nap.

- Might help control binge eating. A study at Indiana State University found that obese women who practiced mindfulness meditation had an average of four fewer binge-eating episodes a week than before they took up the practice. Mindfulness can help bingers recognize when they want to overeat and lower the odds that they will.

- Might help lower blood sugar: Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles showed that patients were able to lower their blood pressure, blood sugar and insulin by practicing transcendental meditation.

For the empirically minded, trying to meditate might be a useful trial. It is probably more calming than reading journal articles about it.
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Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society), a forum for exploration of legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. The most recent published book by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine and related fields is Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion. This is the fourth book in a series, following Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).

Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has also been admitted to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing), adding to Bar membership in four U.S. states.
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