new study links meditation to changes in brain’s gray matter

An amazing new study documented for the first time how meditation produced significant changes inside the brain’s gray matter, as shown by MRI scans in an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness.  “Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” says study senior author Sara Lazar, a Harvard Medical School instructor in psychology. “This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.”  The accompanying press release quotes Britta Hölzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University:  “It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life”

 

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