7 Fascinating Facts about Meditation

By Lisa Franchi on January 24, 2013

Take a deep breath and relax – this is a simple, yet powerful piece of advice that has been given by yogis for centuries! Meditation is indeed one of the healthiest mind and body exercises that you should incorporate in your daily life. Both anecdotal and scientific evidences can attest to its amazing health effects. If you’re lacking reasons to spare just several minutes of your time to meditate, here are the fascinating facts that will sure get you learning more about this ancient practice:

It Changes Your Brain (for the better!)

For centuries, scientists believed that our brain stops evolving once we reached adulthood. Well, meditation disproves this! Using fMRI scanners, researchers found that people who regularly meditate develop neuroplasticity – a condition wherein the brain literally changes and develops its structure and functions!

It Sharpens Your Mind!

Have problems concentrating? Then this is the time that you consider meditating. A study conducted in 2006 found that people who meditate are more alert than those who took a nap and watched TV.

It Lengthens Your Life

You may not know when you are going to die. But, you can definitely do something to live a longer life! Research shows that meditating helps protect our telomeres – the protective caps at the end of our chromosomes. According to experts, longer and stronger telomeres are linked to longer life as they help counter the negative consequences of ageing.

It Takes Your ‘Pain’ Away

Whether it’s a headache, migraine, or back pain you are having – meditation can give you comfort more than pharmaceutical drugs could give you! That’s what the researchers from Wake Forest Baptist University discovered in their study. They found that meditation reduces pain intensity by 40% and unpleasantness by 57%, whereas morphine only reduces pain by 25%. And take note – meditation doesn’t have side effects!

It Lowers Your Blood Pressure

In his study, Dr Randy Zusman from Massachusetts General Hospital found that three months of regular meditation could result to significant reduction in blood pressure. According to Dr Zusman, relaxation stimulates the production of nitric oxide – a compound that opens up our blood vessels.

It Slows Down the Progression of HIV

The development of HIV drugs has been quite slow for the past years, which resulted to the increase in the number of people suffering from HIV-related diseases. However, scientists found that an ancient therapy, which is no other than meditation, could slow down the progression of HIV in the human body. In a 2008 study, researchers found that patients who meditated for eight weeks did not reduce their lymphocyte levels for such period of time as compared to those who did not meditate. Lymphocytes are crucial to maintaining a strong immune system.

It Increases Your Gray Matter

The gray matter is the area in the brain that is responsible for most of our major cognitive functions such as our intellect and decision-making skills. In a study carried out in 2005, scientists found that people who meditated for 40 minutes a day had thicker cortical walls than those who didn’t. Thick Cortical walls are linked to better memory, attention and intelligence.

 

Dear Readers,

Mediation has many other benefits. Can you cite some more?

Share your comments below.

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