More Meditation……Part 4
The findings ”prove that changes in brain structure are caused by meditation,” said Sara Lazar, of Harvard University.
In other Harvard researchers reported that by using a device that can analyze every breath a person exhales, they could objectively measure the depth of relaxation a person had achieved. People who reached deeper states of relaxation exhaled more nitric oxide, a gas known to relax the smooth muscles in arteries, and aid blood flow.
”Our results provide evidence of how meditation and other mind/body approaches might lower blood pressure,” said Jeffery A. Dusek, the study’s lead author. ”In the near future, it may even be possible to use our new technique to determine an effective ‘dose’ of meditation for a given person, or to identify how individuals can get the most benefits from meditation.”
Another new study, from the University of Kentucky, found that meditation could offset the effects of sleep deprivation better than a nap. Researchers tested volunteers on a button-pressing speed task, and found that even new meditators improved their performance more after 40 minutes of meditation than after a 40-minute nap. Meditation helped even after a full night of sleep deprivation, the study found.
And Buddhist monks have demonstrated yet again that meditation can give them extraordinary powers of mind, according to work by Olivia Carter, also of Harvard.
Her team tested the powers of concentration of 76 Tibetan monks, by showing them different images in each eye. Normally, people’s brains flip between the two images every 2.5 seconds. But the monks averaged about four seconds per eye, and one monk reported focusing on one of the images for 723 seconds
Scientists want to understand the experiences of Philip Hresko, a 63-year-old Boston architect who began meditating six weeks ago at the Mind/Body Medical Institute out of concern for his heart health. Along with more prolonged techniques, he said, he has been learning to meditate when he gets any spare time.
”When I’m stuck in traffic, instead of gripping the steering wheel and getting upset, I might look through the skylight of my little car and count clouds or watch the birds flying,” he said. Already, Hresko said, his high blood pressure has fallen, and he has more energy. And does he feel mentally and emotionally better?
”Oh, my God, yes,” he said.
More soon about easy, simple basic exercises that you, just like Philip Hresko (see above) can do to get some of these benefits.
Love, Peace and Happiness.