Why is Meditation so important?
Meditation is being recommended by medical researchers from Harvard Medical School, Mass General Hospital, the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation and even the US Department of Health and Human Services to name a few….
Why is Meditation so important to our health?
- New research shows that meditation can physically change and strengthen the brain significantly helping those with memory loss and Alzheimer’s.
- Findings of a study confirmed that daily meditation can improve cognitive function were conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and have been sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (www.alzheimersprevention.org).
- Studies show that 12 minutes per day for 8 weeks results in significant improvements to brain function.
- Physicians have increasingly started prescribing meditation instead of pills to benefit their patients. A Harvard Medical School report released in May found that more than 6 million Americans had been recommended meditation and other mind-body therapies by conventional health care providers.
- Several studies suggest changes through meditation can make you happier and less stressed.
- Meditation can help you control your eating habits and even reduce chronic pain, all the while without taking prescription medication.
- Some scientists believe that in a generation, Americans will see meditation as being as essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle as diet and exercise.
Meditation is an intimate and intense exercise that can be done solo or in a group, and one study showed that 20 million Americans say they practice. In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants' brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.”
The Dalai Lama cautions that meditation takes patience, so new mediators should not expect immediate results. He says, "It depends on practice."
(Excerpts from a report published on 7/28/11 by ABC News' Dan Harris, Erin Brady, Maggy Patrick and Lauren Effron)
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Director at the Behavioral Medicine Clinic at Saint Anne's Hospital-Steward