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Mindful meditation may strengthen certain brain regions

New research suggests meditation may improve certain brain regions and help them with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress.

The Massachusetts General Hospital researchers said in a statement that changes in brain structure in people who practiced eight weeks of mindful meditation suggest the practice goes beyond simply making people feel better because they are spending time relaxing.

Meditation has long been recommended by practitioners as a way to achieve peacefulness, physical relaxation and cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day.

The researchers studied 16 participants two weeks before and after they took part in an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program. In addition to questionnaires, the participants were also analyzed by MRI images to observe changes in certain regions of the brain.

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Compared with a control group, images of the brains of participants who reported spending an average of 27 minutes each day meditating showed increased gray matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self awareness, compassion and introspection.

The researchers said their findings show how malleable the brain is and that meditation can go a long way in improving personal well being.

A report on the study will be published in the Jan. 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.

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We comb the internet, looking for news stories related to all forms of meditation, whether Buddhist or not. To date we have posted thousands of news stories that cover everything from meditation and health to meditating celebrities. When we publish a story that's favorable to or critical of one form of meditation, this does not imply that we agree with the stance of the original news story. Read more articles by .

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Pingback from Being mindful might just be the new years resolution which changes your life! –
Time: January 4, 2012, 7:46 pm

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Pingback from Are you making a commitment to make changes in 2012? Why not a mindful life? –
Time: January 4, 2012, 11:26 pm

[...] Mindfulness meditation may strengthen certain brain regions (wildmind) [...]

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Pingback from Are you making a commitment to make changes in 2012? Why not a mindful life? | Peter L King
Time: February 2, 2012, 4:46 pm

[...] “female Viagra” is all in your head – mindfulness and its impact on sex drive (Gay City News) Mindfulness meditation may strengthen certain brain regions (wildmind) Jon Kabat Zinn and others discuss mindfulness (BBC World Service) Mindfulness therapy [...]

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