Oliver Ubeda, Synapse: During my first year of pharmacy school, I attended an alternative medicine Saturday elective where Dr. Dean Ornish spoke about the benefits of meditation and the effect it has on lengthening our chromosomal telomeres.
Telomeres are portions of repetitive DNA at the ends of our chromosomes that protect our chromosomes from deteriorating.
Meditation was the focus of research at UC Davis and UCSF by Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, and others as part of the Shamatha project.
The 2011 study found that meditation increased activity of telomerase — enzymes that can rebuild and lengthen our chromosomal telomeres…
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Mary MacVean, Los Angeles Times: Every Thursday at lunchtime at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, several dozen people turn off their cellphones and take seats in the bright pink chairs of the Billy Wilder Theater.
They come to spend half an hour with Diana Winston, a former Buddhist nun and one of the nation’s best-known teachers of mindfulness meditation. The lights go down, and Winston takes a seat in an office chair and speaks quietly into a microphone.
Occasionally she is accompanied by a guest playing about 20 Tibetan bells, the haunting, wave-like sounds enhancing her voice, which is so soothing it’s as if …
UCLA study helps caregivers of people with dementia
Six months ago, researchers at UCLA published a study that showed using a specific type of yoga to engage in a brief, simple daily meditation reduced the stress levels of people who care for those stricken by Alzheimer’s and dementia. Now they know why.
As previously reported, practicing a certain form of chanting yogic meditation for just 12 minutes daily for eight weeks led to a reduction in the biological mechanisms responsible for an increase in the immune system’s inflammation response. Inflammation, if constantly activated, can contribute to a multitude of chronic health problems.
Reporting in the current online edition of the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, Dr. Helen Lavretsky, … Read more »
John Hanc, New York Times: In 1969, Katherine Splain, then a student at the College of New Rochelle, saw the dark side of drug use among her peers. So she sought a different — and legal — path on her inward journey.
“I had read that meditation was actually another way of achieving the kind of ‘high’ that you might experience if you did drugs,” said Ms. Splain, who is now 63.
She heard about a class in meditation being offered near the school, decided to visit and was impressed with the students she met. “There wasn’t a lot of peace in the world in 1969 …
Saturday, Apr 7 10:30 am to 12:00 noon, at West Valley College, Saratoga, CA.
Phone: (408) 702-2319
Join UCLA behavioral research scientist, Dara Ghahremani & National Director of the Art of Meditation, Rajshree Patel as they explore how we can tune back into ourselves despite the daily demands in a stressful environment.
Rajshree Patel, known for her intellect, humor and dynamism, will share insights on how to handle mental chatter through meditation. As a former Los Angeles district attorney she accidentally walked into a meditation workshop. After she started her meditation practice, she discovered that she could handle twice the number of cases as compared to her peers in lesser amount of time … Read more »
Denise Dador, KABC: Over the years, numerous studies have shown how meditation can be a great way to manage and alleviate stress. Now local researchers say there appears to be physical proof that shows years of meditation may change the brain.
Meditation trainer Julianna Raye of Hollywood is guiding a mindfulness exercise. She’s been practicing for 17 years and says it’s made her mind stronger.
“It’s like training at the gym,” said Raye. “You’re training your mind. You’re improving your concentration. And that’s a skill that you need to develop.”
Raye may be using building muscles …
Earlier evidence out of UCLA suggested that meditating for years thickens the brain (in a good way) and strengthens the connections between brain cells.
Now a further report by UCLA researchers suggests yet another benefit.
Eileen Luders, an assistant professor at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, and colleagues, have found that long-term meditators have larger amounts of gyrification (“folding” of the cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster) than people who do not meditate.
Further, a direct correlation was found between the amount of gyrification and the number of meditation years, possibly providing further proof of the brain’s neuroplasticity, or ability to adapt to environmental changes.
The article appears in the … Read more »
Sarah Fay: Patients and staff at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center will be the first on the west coast to receive training in a blend of Eastern and Western therapies designed by yoga instructors and fashion designer Donna Karan.
Urban Zen Foundation, started by Karan, is taking up residency at UCLA to ease the minds and bodies of cancer patients and their caretakers. It is the first hospital on the west coast to adopt the program, which involves training in yoga, Reiki, meditation, aromatherapy and other practices. Karan was at UCLA Thursday to visit with patients and staff.
“People think yoga is kind of …
Study shows practice may have potential to change brain’s physical structure
Two years ago, researchers at UCLA found that specific regions in the brains of long-term meditators were larger and had more gray matter than the brains of individuals in a control group. This suggested that meditation may indeed be good for all of us since, alas, our brains shrink naturally with age.
Now, a follow-up study suggests that people who meditate also have stronger connections between brain regions and show less age-related brain atrophy. Having stronger connections influences the ability to rapidly relay electrical signals in the brain. And significantly, these effects are evident throughout the entire brain, not just in specific areas.
Eileen … Read more »
About 40 people sat calmly with their eyes closed, letting their thoughts drift and their minds settle on the present moment.
In a quiet, steady voice, Diana Winston guided the group into a mode of relaxation.
“Try to soften your stomach,” Winston, director of mindfulness education at the Mindful Awareness Research Center, gently instructed them.
The communal meditation initiated an event about the relationship between creativity, the brain and mental awareness in the Neuroscience Research Building auditorium on Saturday.
“Mindfulness, Neuroscience and Creativity: An Interactive Exploration” was the first workshop of the summer and cost $50 to participate. In addition to classes and daylong programs, a full mindfulness course is also being offered through the … Read more »