Goldie Hawn Promotes the Benefits of Meditation

Goldie Hawn wikimedia commons

Goldie Hawn promotes the benefits of meditation, which is a part of the MindUP™ curriculum. Meditation is integral and foundational to this program, a program which at its core philosophy seeks to transform and help children transform their lives by creating opportunities to develop necessary social and emotional skills.

The MindUP™ consists of fifteen lessons for three developmental levels including Pre-K through second grade; third through fifth grade; and, sixth through eighth grade.

The program is organized into four units, in which mindfulness meditation as a role.  “Let’s Get Focused,” the first unit, features “understanding mindful attention and focusing our awareness.” The second unit, “Paying Attention to Our Senses” includes;Mindful Listening; Mindful Seeing; Mindful Smelling; Mindful Tasting;  Mindful Movement I; Mindful Movement II.” In unit three, “It’s All About Attitude” includes the mindful practice of ‘perspective.’ The last unit is all mindfulness, “Taking Action Mindfully,” including; “Acting with Gratitude; Performing Acts of Kindness; Taking Mindful Action in Our Community.”

It’s easy to see how Goldie Hawn’s vision to bring mindfulness to the classroom has evolved. An article by Ingrid Wickelgren, on the Scientific American blog reviewed Hawn’s address at the Second Annual Aspen Brain Forum speaks directly to the programs evolution. Here’s Ingrid’s take on it…

“Hawn spoke without notes, claiming to be a born communicator, a claim she backed up by her performance. As she talked, it occurred to me that vivaciousness and beauty did not alone propel her to stardom. Unlike most people who wing it, Hawn strung together rhythmic sentences that made sense. If the neuroscience community was going to be delivered an advocate, they could have done a lot worse.

She answered the obvious question first: Why is Goldie Hawn speaking at a brain conference? I already partly knew the answer. Just as any 7-year-old can now do, I had looked it up on the web. Six years ago Hawn established a nonprofit group called The Hawn Foundation “to promote children’s academic success in school and in life through social and emotional learning.” It is based on the notion that kids’ intellects do not exist in isolation from their emotions, their connections to others or the rest of their bodies. The MindUp program, the Foundation’s signature educational initiative, is designed to address these oft-neglected components of learning. It was a perfect fit for the forum, which this year addressed “The Cognitive Neuroscience of Learning: Implications for Education.” But more on that in a bit.

Hawn’s version was more personal. Decades ago (in 1972 she said), when she became famous, she felt newly anxious and something hard to imagine happened: she lost her signature smile. The change was foreign to Hawn—and not welcome. “When I was 11 years old, I decided that what I wanted to be in life was happy,” she said. “I thought, `All I want to do is hold onto this joy, this tickle I had when I was little.’” Having lost that tickle Hawn went spelunking, in her own psyche. She saw psychologists and began meditating, embarking on a nine-year psychological journey. Such an adventure might make lesser folks crazy or depressed in itself, but Hawn became surprisingly analytical about it. It led, she said, to her first understanding of the brain, “what it can do, how it can change.” She was particularly interested in neuroscience and spirituality, fancying questions such as “What is that God part of the brain?”

Hawn moved to rainy Vancouver, because her son, Wyatt, wanted to play hockey. While watching the rain outside her meditation room sometime in 2002, Hawn’s quest turned outward—in particular, to children. “I was a happy child,” she recalled. “I signed all my 4th grade papers, “Love, Goldie.” But in the wake of 9/11, she perceived U.S. children as being profoundly unhappy. “And I thought why can’t we do something that gets kids to understand their potential? Why don’t we teach our kids about the brain?”

Hawn was no brain expert, but she reasoned that teaching kids about the brain might make them more aware of their own thoughts and emotions. It might help them to develop the ability to think about thinking, or metacognition. That awareness would then give them better control over their own mind—directing their attention more appropriately or calming themselves down—in ways that could improve learning. Hawn seems to give kids lots of credit. I doubt most grownups would be similarly confident that kids could ably control their minds if shown how. Hawn saw this mission as urgent, though. She particularly wanted to prevent stress from shutting down executive function, the self-control of thought, action and emotion that is essential for learning.

So Hawn asked a team of educators, neurologists, psychologists and social scientists to develop a new curriculum built, in part, around lessons about how the brain works. Nowadays teachers in about 65 U.S. schools, nearly 150 in Canada, seven in the UK and one in Venezuela are using MindUp. Some of its young students now weave brain anatomy into casual conversation. One six-year-old girl, Hawn says, explained that it was her aunt’s amygdala that saved her life when the aunt pulled her out of the way of an oncoming car. Another kid reportedly said, “Oh, that lights up my prefrontal cortex, I know how to do this.”

Not all scientists think explicit knowledge of brain anatomy is necessary for prepping kids for study. But it is kind of cool. And why not? “I don’t think kids need to know about the amygdala,” says Adele Diamond, a developmental cognitive neuroscientist at the University of British Columbia. “But kids enjoy learning about the brain. I don’t think it hurts.”

Another component of MindUp, also apparently aimed at metacognition, is meditation. For three minutes, students concentrate on their breathing. The activity not only promotes calm but also sharpens attention. “It is very hard to stay focused on something for three minutes,” Diamond says. “This is training the mind.”

An equally important objective of MindUp is social and emotional development. Kids are taught, for example, that random acts of kindness matter. They know about mirror neurons, Hawn says, and they learn that you become happy when you give to someone else, a lesson in line with the teachings of the Dalai Lama​. Similarly, in “gratitude journals,” children regularly jot down what they are grateful for. I think this is also designed to make them feel good (Hawn invoked dopamine, the brain chemical for reward, in her talk), and to build better relationships. My kids are told to do this at Thanksgiving, and every November I have the passing thought that we really should be counting our blessings more often.

Preliminary data suggest the program works. Kim Schonert-Riechl, an applied developmental psychologist at the University of British Columbia and her colleagues tested the effectiveness of MindUp in 75 schools in her area. So far, the program seems to have had “incredibly positive effects,” says Diamond, who helped parse the data. It not only boosted kids’ self-reported feelings of happiness, liking of school, and sense of belonging, but also moderated kids’ cortisol levels, suggesting it lowered stress in the classroom. Perhaps most strikingly, it improved children’s executive function.

Scientists I spoke to about MindUp were enthusiastic about its potential to benefit children, particularly those at risk of being unhappy and failing in school. A lot of it did make scientific sense. After all, meditation exercises of the type used in MindUp can help adults better orient their attention, according to work presented by psychologist Amishi P. Jha of the University of Miami. And stress can shut down the ability to think—so reducing it should do the opposite. Some studies exist on the effects of gratitude as well: expressing your appreciation for a romantic partner, for example, seems to solidify those important bonds. (See “The Happy Couple: Secrets to a Long Marriage,” By Suzann Pileggi, Scientific American Mind, January/February 2010.) MindUp is reportedly gaining the support of teachers as well. “Teachers love it,” Diamond claims. “That’s why it’s spreading.”

…Hawn’s program is unique, if for no other reason, because she’s behind it. I couldn’t help admiring this scientific novice for doggedly following up on the instincts she had a decade ago, far-fetched as they might seem, and molding them into something undeniably real and data-driven. Hawn’s determination obviously cuts across disparate fields.”Read original article…

Meditation is a journey into self-awareness and neuroscience is allowing us to explore the landscape of the mind itself. In today’s world our children face so many challenges that have created unprecedented stress which compromise our children’s chance of academic success and wellbeing. Goldie Hawn’s program promotes the benefits of meditation and as she said, “We are going to change education as we know it,” I believe her!

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Music and Meditation and Alzheimer’s Disease

Music and meditation and Alzheimer’s disease are coming together in a forth coming book to be penned by, esteemed researcher, Rudolph Tanzi and renowned author and Doctor, Deepak Chopra.

Music and Meditation and Alzheimer’s Disease

Music and Meditation and Alzheimer’s Disease

The two meet at a TEDMED conference and were attracted to each other research and have agreed to collaborate on a book, that according to Tanzi will be about, “how to optimize the use of your brain to elevate both your levels of consciousness and cognition.”

I can say that as a member of the baby boomer generation this subject holds more than a passing interest for me, and really no matter what age group you’re in, ultimately, it should for you too. I have long been aware of the benefits of meditation as a means of stress reduction.

It is the connection between meditation, consciousness and Alzheimer’s that would, also be of interest to Dr. Chopra.

The benefits of a regular meditation practice are one of the most scientifically proven ways to elicit the relaxation response and reduce stress. It is the eliciting of the relaxation response that is one of the most powerful ways to delay memory loss and possibly even the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. This is believed to be as the result of anti-stress response and the lower production of cortisol a dangerous stress hormone.

Tanzi’s interest in music and Alzheimer’s disease, sparked by his own love of playing music, as prompted him to begin working on a book about music therapy for Alzheimer’s disease (as yet unfinished). He leads the Alzheimer’s Genome project and in article, published at KTVU.com, is working on…

“…a groundbreaking initiative in collaboration with the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund that is dedicated to finding genes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Once scientists identify what’s going wrong with those genes in people who have the condition, they can work toward developing drugs that may repair the damage. “The idea is fix what’s broken,” Tanzi said.

Beginning with an accordion at age 9, Tanzi has always loved playing music, and that passion isn’t entirely separate from the work that he does on neurological conditions. In fact, right now he’s working on a book about music therapy for Alzheimer’s disease – more details will follow when it’s further along.

Tanzi is composing and practicing music all the time, which he says helps his research. It keeps his mind clear and free to come up with new ideas that can be tested in the lab later.

“For me, music is just an integral part of keeping my mind in the right state for doing science that’s hopefully novel and creative and out of the box and not simply derivative,” he said.

One focus of Tanzi’s group is examining genes associated with the brain’s immune system. This system is designed to help you in the event of trauma (such as concussion or stroke) or infection, but too much activity in the brain’s immune system can damage neurons, too. It seems that this system’s activity influences the buildup of beta-amyloid, the main ingredient of plaques seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The current goal is to develop drugs that could prevent this accumulation of beta-amyloid. Like cholesterol, beta-amyloid serves a purpose, but too much buildup is bad. The drugs in development “could be the statins of Alzheimer’s,” Tanzi explains.

A drug with a different mechanism that Tanzi’s group influenced is now in clinical trials. That one is designed to prevent the copper and zinc from binding to beta-amyloid, which would redistribute these metals in the brain and therefore reduce the brain plaque buildup associated with Alzheimer’s. The drug is being tested by Prana Biotechnology, an Australian company that began in Tanzi’s lab; evidence from phase II clinical trials suggests it may help cognitive function in patients, but further study is needed to say for sure.

Tanzi is also exploring a possible association between a commonly used anesthetic called isoflurane and Alzheimer’s. In mice, experiments have found that this chemical increases the production of beta-amyloid; whether this is also the case in humans is the subject of further exploration.

Having read other research that carnivores in the animal kingdom appear more likely to show Alzheimer’s pathology than herbivores, Tanzi is a vegetarian. There’s no new study on the subject, but existing evidence suggests there may be a connection, at least among animals. And in humans, the Mediterranean diet, which is low in red meat and high in vegetable content, has been associated with lower Alzheimer’s risk in several studies.” Read more…

This collaboration could be an important one, because medical studies indicate that by delaying the onset of memory loss by as little as five years that we can reduce a person’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease up to fifty percent. And if the memory is kept strong for ten years longer than expected that there is almost no risk of Alzheimer’s.

Music and meditation and Alzheimer’s disease are going to be linked together in a powerful way, and I believe for the benefit of us all.

Genes, Time & Immortality…Rudolph Tanzi, PH. D . & Deepak Chopra Part #1

Genes, Time & Immortality…Rudolph Tanzi, PH. D . & Deepak Chopra Part #1

Genes, Time & Immortality…Rudolph Tanzi, PH. D . & Deepak Chopra Part # 2

Genes, Time & Immortality…Rudolph Tanzi, PH. D . & Deepak Chopra Part # 2

Henry McCance and Rudolph Tanzi at TEDMED 2010

Rudolph Tanzi describes the cause of Alzheimer’s disease and how a venture capital-style funding model backed by Henry McCance has helped lead to progress in fighting this disease.

Related Books:

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The Benefits of Meditation for College Students

 

The Benefit of Meditation for College Students

The Benefit of Meditation for College Students

You can hardly get through a day without hearing something about the negative effects of stress. And college students must find a way to deal with multiple stressors, such as finance problems, balancing work with study and simply trying to find their way in a time in their lives of intense personal and academic growth; all in addition to the everyday stresses of the modern world.

 

The good news is that benefit of meditation for college students is that it’s an antidote to all that stress, and even better it can help prevent the health problems caused by chronic stress.

 

In a study, published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Psychophysiology, a number of encouraging results were found. This study on a group of students practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) for 20 minutes, twice a day, for a period of ten weeks (as opposed to a control group), showed a number of positive benefits.

 

The “Brain Integration Scale” scores of the meditating students was higher than the non-meditators, this means that there was more alpha activity in the brain, better match of brain activation and task demands and greater frontal coherence in the brain. As Fred Travis, director of the MUM brain research center, put it, “From pretest to posttest, Brain Integration Scale scores increased significantly, indicating greater breadth of planning, thinking and perception of the environment”

 

Less sleepiness, even during the last week before final exams, was reported by students practicing Transcendental Meditation. One student reported that she could feel, “my whole body releasing the stress of the day.”

 

This study also found that meditating students recovered faster from loud tones, which was measured by galvanic skin response (GSR). The sympathetic nervous system will respond to loud new tones, and the study found the meditators sympathetic nervous system stopped responding quickly as compared to the non-meditators, whose system and a prolonged response.

 

In an article by Mario Orsatti on college students, stress and “perfectionistic thinking,” the benefits of Transcendental Meditation are discussed, so I’ll let Mario take over for a while…

“College students are trying to deal with unprecedented levels of stress,” said lead researcher, Dr. Jaimie Burns, Assistant Director of the Trinity Counseling Center. “They are going through a transitional time in life and are trying to navigate through intense academic and personal growth challenges. The lack of sleep students get is astounding and alarming. More students are graduating without jobs or are getting jobs that they don’t really want, and they know that they are going to go out into a world of rapid change and upheaval.”

“We are always evaluating tools to find out what works and how well they work. Our question was, will a tool like Transcendental Meditation really work? Our goal was to carefully, objectively, assess how effective TM would be, and we were impressed with the results, especially in the areas of trait anxiety and perfectionistic thinking,” she said.

Anxiety can be either a short term “state” or a long term “trait.” Trait anxiety reflects a stable tendency to respond with state anxiety in the anticipation of threatening situations. It is closely related to the personality trait of neuroticism.

“Mental health professionals often have difficulty helping people with this kind of dispositional anxiety,” said Dr. Burns. “To find something that helps these people is a significant problem because it’s entrenched in them. Therapy generally does not help. This is why the effect of TM practice in this study was impressive.”

Another important variable studied by the researchers at Trinity was a specific anxiety-related disorder referred to by the term “perfectionistic thinking.”

“Perfectionistic thinking refers to the extreme end of the striving spectrum,” said Dr. Burns. “When people exhibit a high degree of perfectionistic thinking, it puts them at risk for a variety of problems. Striving toward achievement is obviously good and a motivator, but when people get into what we call perfectionistic thinking, they feel that they have to be perfect all the time and it puts them at risk for developing a variety of psychological problems.”

“Perfectionism,” as it is often referred to by modern psychology, makes people set unrealistically high standards for themselves. Such individuals can feel that their self-worth depends on a consistently spotless performance. Researchers are finding that perfectionism can be a factor in those suffering from depression, eating disorders, social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

“Seeing the significant, positive impact that TM practice had on this variable was also quite impressive,” Dr. Burns concluded. “What made the findings even more impressive was that our post-testing took place at the end of a semester around the time of the students’ final exams when one would expect stress levels to be heightened. Further research is needed, but we are clearly enthusiastic about the potential of this tool for student health and well-being.”Click here to visit the original source of this post

In another study showing the benefit of meditation for college students is one conducted by American University, and published in the “American Journal of Hypertension,” showed that students that practiced meditation improved their mental health and lowered their blood pressure.

 

Stress is an inevitable in our culture, and as a student they best way to handle it is to prepare your mind and body to handle it. Of course the right diet and exercise are important and key to reducing the effects of stress, but with so many mental stressors in our lives that to maintain balance meditation has become crucial, for all of us but especially for students.

 

To preview this study you can check out the “Journal of College Student psychotherapy at:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/87568225.2011.556947

 

A Benefit of Meditation is Survival in the 21st Century

 

The Benefits of Meditation in a Fast Paced World

The Benefits of Meditation in a Fast Paced World

Of the many benefits of meditation, you would think that survival in today’s world might be at or near the top of the list. And how, you may ask, can meditation help me survive in the 21st century? Because meditation is an antidote to stress, the kind of stress that comes as the result of isolation, loneliness, alienation and creates related illnesses and depression.

Meditation provides a way of transforming stress and anxiety into balance and ease. During meditation the body shifts into a state of restful awareness, which is a counterbalance to all the negative effects on the body-mind cause by chronic stress.

But in order to enjoy the benefits of meditation you will first need to carve out a few minutes a day, and it’s right at this point that you may discover your first “resistance” to meditation, in the form of thoughts, all of which are giving you good reasons not to meditate or why you just don’t have time to do it.

The real difference in getting past the resistance come in how you approach meditation to begin with. If you approach meditation as an obligation, something you need or should do, the chances are, you will meet with a great deal of push back, if on the other hand, your approach is one of curiosity and joy, you will get to taste the richness of the meditative experience and enjoy the commiserate benefits,

In the post I’m sharing with you here, the author informs us about “the benefits of meditation in a fast paced world” from his perspective. So here it is…

“In today’s world, very few of us have the time to stop and properly rest and relax. Most of us spend our time going from one activity to the other as if we’re nothing more than a busy bee in a giant hive. The problem with this lifestyle is that we’re all slowly wearing ourselves down to nothing. Our bodies need the rest that we deny them so often in order to properly recharge and heal. There are, however, quick forms of rest that can help to rejuvenate us and give us some much needed energy. One form of this is meditation.

Many people view meditation as only a spiritual and religious activity. While it is used by many religious and spiritual people, anybody else can gain the benefits of meditating. Meditation itself is only the act of using controlled breathing techniques to relax the body and clear the mind. Anything that would make meditation spiritual or religious is the individual, not the practice. In order to properly meditate, you need to be breathing properly. If you chest rises when you breath in, then you are breathing shallowly and improperly. If your abdomen rises when you are breathing, then you are filling your lungs completely and breathing properly.

Take a deep breath, inhale slowly and fill your lungs to capacity. When you lungs are full, hold the breath for a second, then exhale slowly. During meditation, you are focused on your breathing. Keep breathing like this until you feel relaxed. In order to focus yourself more on your breathing; inhale, hold, and exhale to a count. For example: Inhale for a count of 5, hold for a count of 2, exhale for a count of 5, hold for another count of 2 and repeat. If a count of 5 is not long enough to fill your lungs, make the count longer (but don’t hold the breath for longer than a count of 4). Keeping a count during deep breathing helps to focus you more on just that activity while clearing everything else out of your mind.

While you can use the breathing exercise at just about anytime in any place, it’s better to have a quiet place to relax in order to reap the full benefits of meditation. Any place that offers you at least a few minutes of privacy is ideal. Whether it be at home, in your car, in the break room at work or even in the bathroom, a few private minutes during the aforementioned breathing exercise will help you to relax. Sit, stand or lay in a comfortable position and initiate the breathing exercise. Relax with every inhale and let tension leave your body with every exhale. Even if you only have the time to do this for a minute, you should feel more relaxed and ready to face the challenge(s) that lie ahead of you.

One of the major upsides to meditation is that you can take as little or as much time as you want with it. Obviously the longer you meditate, the better you’ll feel, but you can still relax yourself even if you only have a minute or two. Another upside is that meditation can help you take your mind off of stress, or even pain (like getting a shot, piercing, tattoo, etc.) or can just help you to bring your mind to focus on a task that you deem to be important (like homework, housework, or a business project).

If you want to meditate to focus, just bring the task to the front of your mind after you use the breathing exercise to clear everything else out. Keep breathing and think about the task at hand. Tell yourself that you want to get the task done in a specific time frame, that you will keep your focus on the task and block out distractions until it is done. Keep this up until you feel ready, then get started with your task. This may be hard at first, but the longer you do it, the shorter the time it takes to keep your focus until you don’t even have to meditate to focus on a task.

Remember that you can meditate just about anywhere at any time and you can use the breathing exercises to simply relax yourself when you need to.”

Meditation is surrounded by paradox and developing a practice is one of them. Because, first of all, the ‘act’ of meditating is not an ‘act,’ it’s a state of being, and secondly, we tend to think of freedom as escape from routine and discipline, and yet, in meditation, it’s the creation of a regular practice that liberates us by creating space within as we discover our true nature.

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Reducing the Risk of Heart Attack a Transcendental Meditation Benefit

 

Transcendental Meditation Benefits and the Beatles

Transcendental Meditation Benefits and the Beatles

The Transcendental meditation benefit is that the body shifts into a state of restful awareness, which is important because it counterbalances the fight-or-flight response.

We know from our own experience that if we are awake then our minds are rarely at rest, in fact very often it’s in the fight-or-flight mode. Fight-or-flight is the body-minds natural stress response that occurs when we feel threatened in any way, which can be as simple as not getting what we want.

The stress response creates physiological damage when it is chronic. This occurs because some of these changes, that accompany the response, are a rise in blood pressure, increase in heart rate, breathing becomes shallower and faster, the release of stress hormones, a lower immune response and it goes on.

The research on the benefit of meditation on the stress response have been ongoing for many years and the more we learn about this relationship the more we discover how powerful a tool meditation is in reducing heart attack and stroke. In this article in the “Daily Mail Reporter,” introduces us to, “…the strongest documented effects yet produced by mind-body intervention on cardiovascular disease.” Here’s some of what was reported…

Transcendental Meditation, made popular by the Beatles during the flower power era of the 1960s, could cut heart attack rates by half, researchers claim.

The mantra meditation, which involves repeating a sound repeatedly twice daily for up to 20 minutes, lowers death rates from heart attack and strokes.

The relaxation technique was used by patients with heart disease during a nine year £2.25million trial at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Professor of Medicine Theodore Kotchen said: ‘These findings are the strongest documented effects yet produced by a mind-body intervention on cardiovascular disease.

‘The effect is as large or larger than major categories of drug treatment for cardiovascular disease.

‘However, subjects were already taking standard medications and this effect was on top of that.’

It followed 201 African-American men and women with an average age of 59 who suffered from the narrowing of arteries in their hearts.

They were selected to do the Transcendental Meditation technique or to participate in a control group which received health education classes in traditional risk factors, including dietary modification and exercise.

Professor Kotchen said: ‘In African American men and women with heart disease, Transcendental Meditation, a technique for stress reduction, decreased the likelihood of mortality, non-fatal myocardial infarction, and non-fatal stroke by 47 per cent.

‘At the same time, study participants remained on their usual medications for cardiovascular disease risk factors, including anti-hypertensive agents and lipid-lowering medications.

‘Consequently, meditation should be considered an adjunct, not a substitute, for usual medical care. Although provocative, these observations should be confirmed in other patient populations.’

The researchers did further analysis of two subgroups, those participants who had high compliance with the meditation program, and a high stress group, and found even greater reductions in death, infarction and stroke in those groups.

The high compliance subgroup showed a 66 per cent reduction, while the high stress subgroup showed a 64 per cent reduction.

Co-author Dr Robert Schneider claimed the results are the strongest documented effects yet produced by a mind-body intervention on cardiovascular disease.

The findings were published in the American Medical Association’s Archives of Internal Medicine.

At a press conference two years ago before a concert to promote Transcendental Meditation, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney recalled their 1968 trip to India to learn meditation from the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

‘Over 40 years ago, we ended up in Rishikesh,’ Starr said. ‘That is where we hung out with Maharishi. We had met him a few months before in Wales. Since then, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, I have meditated. It’s a gift he gave me.’

McCartney added: ‘It’s one of the few things anyone has ever given to me that means so much to me. For us, it came at a time when we were looking for something to stabilize us at the end of the crazy Sixties.’

The Transcendental meditation benefit is that the physiological changes are almost the exact opposite of the flight-or-fight response. The fascinating thing about the physiological changes is that even as the body is resting in meditation the mind is awake.

Studies show that the changes that take place in the brain are different during meditation that those that take place during sleep. In transcendental meditation and in “Primordial Sound Meditation,” there’s improved brain wave coherence.

One last thing to keep in mind, studies have shown that the longer a person has been meditating the younger they score on tests of biological age. Click here to visit the original source of this post

SAD Meditation Benefits

Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, which is when a person has an unreasonable or excessive fear of social situations and symptom relief, according to researchers at Stanford University, may be a meditation benefit. ᅠᅠ

For those suffering with SAD’s intense nervousness or anxiety can potentially lead to panic attacks. Additionally, there is anticipatory anxiety, which is a fear of a social situation before it happens. Meditation is being shown to have beneficial effects in helping with anticipatory anxiety as well.

But let me have Arlin Cuncic tell you in her own words about the benefits of meditation and SAD’S…

Meditation is a practice that dates back thousands of years and draws on Buddhist principles. During meditation you learn to focus your breathing, reduce negative thinking and live in the present. The practice of meditation has been shown to have a positive impact on many medical and mental health conditions, including social anxiety disorder (SAD).

How does meditation help? In a study at Manchester University, Chris Brown and colleagues found that people who practiced meditation had less negative reactions to pain. As part of the study, participants were administered pin pricks on their arms with a laser; brain scans showed that areas involved in anticipation were much less active in those who meditated.

Anticipatory anxiety plays a large role in SAD; worry about upcoming social or performance situations can cause significant impairment in daily functioning. If meditation helps to reduce anticipation of pain, it follows that it would also help to reduce anticipation of feared events.

Indeed, when researchers at Stanford University looked at brain scans of participants with SAD during meditation, they found changes in brain activity that suggested the potential for a reduction in social anxiety symptoms and reactions to negative self-beliefs.

Finally, meditation is believed to have some direct impact on the body’s nervous system. Breathing, heart rate, and other physiological mechanisms respond to this form of relaxation. Given the role of the fight-or-flight response in SAD, it is easy to see how meditation may also have a direct posit

Social anxiety disorder is, according to research, the most common anxiety disorder and the third most common mental disorder in the U.S. and it’s estimated that 19.2 million Americans suffer from it. Is it any wonder, given the meditation benefits regarding the fight-flight response, which researchers are seriously looking at meditation for relief in dealing with SAD’s. ᅠClick here to visit the original source of this post

Helping Women Cope with Hot Flashes a Meditation Benefit?

Mindfulness meditation provides a plethora of benefits many of which can reduce the reaction, if not the intensity, of menopausal symptoms. Here are some of the ways in which meditation could benefit those who are distressed by hot flashes.

Helping Women Cope with Hot Flashes a Meditation Benefit

Helping Women Cope with Hot Flashes a Meditation Benefit

 

Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation does change the brain, and the more regular the practice the greater the changes in the brain. And those practicing loving kindness meditations report feeling greater love for themselves, reducing stress and anxiety. ᅠ

Numerous studies show that relationships tend to improve as people begin to practice mindfulness meditation. The benefit here is that you become more understanding, less reactive and judgmental and experience higher levels of compassion and empathy. Again this reduces stress and increases a tolerant attitude, not only of others but towards yourself.

Here’s some highlighted information from a blog on just this topic.

“The University of Massachusetts research showed that mindfulness training, based on a Buddhist meditation concept, reduced the distress associated with hot flashes and improved physical, psychosocial and sexual functioning.

“The findings are important because hormone replacement therapy, used to treat menopause symptoms in the past, has been associated with health risks,” said study author James Carmody, an associate professor of medicine in the division of preventive and behavioral medicine.

Mindfulness therapy helps focus on the present. Practitioners avoid making judgments and simply accept whatever is passing through their mind while focusing on each breath. The technique is not difficult to learn, but requires some discipline in the beginning, experts noted.

The researchers aimed to influence women’s reaction to their symptoms, “including psychological distress, social embarrassment and anxiety.”

“We wanted to see if we could affect women’s resilience in response to these symptoms,” Carmody explained. “We were not trying to affect the symptoms themselves, although there was some effect on those as well.”

About 40 percent of menopausal women suffer from hot flashes and night sweats, which undermine their quality of life, the researchers noted. But since hormone replacement therapy has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer and stroke, Carmody observed that “not only are women looking for alternative treatments, it is an NIH (National Institutes of Health) priority to find behavioral treatments.”

No other treatment has been found to substitute for hormone therapy, according to the study, but mindfulness training appears to allow women to be “less reactive” to menopausal symptoms.

ᅠAnother expert praised the study for using the “mind-body connection” to help women with serious menopause symptoms with “no side effects.”

“We’ve known about the mind-body connection,” said Dr. Jill M. Rabin. “We’re just beginning to unlock the power of the mind to have an impact on our physiological selves.”

The study authors were “self-critical regarding the limitations of the study,” said Rabin, chief of the division of ambulatory care and head of urogynecology at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Among other things, the study lacked an active control group program, they wrote.

Noting that the women were mostly white and had a high level of education, Rabin said more study was needed to see if the results apply to the general population.

It’s not that the results don’t apply, or will be different for a different population,” she said. “We just don’t know.” ᅠᅠ

Mindfulness meditation can actually reduce chronic pain. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) studies have shown the benefits of meditation for those dealing with chronic pain. These benefits may be partially due to the way that mindfulness meditation trains you to accept, and not resist, challenging bodily sensations, which of course, holds true for the chronic symptoms of menopause.

There are a number of other meditation benefits that can have a positive effect on menopausal symptoms, like helping to regulate eating habits, reducing anxiety and stress and generally increasing your set point for happiness.

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Could a Meditation Benefit be helping Vets Suffering with PTSD?

In this study, conducted by Dr. Norman Rosenthal, and will appear in the June 1st issue of “Military Medicine,” a great deal of promise in treating the symptoms of PTSD using Transcendental Meditation.

Meditation is known to lower blood pressure, reduce the heart rate in other words reduce the stress response. It’s the ‘fight-or-flight’ response that is hyper-active in those suffering with PTSD.ᅠ

If even a small percentage of people with PTSD were to obtain the kind of benefits Joe reports, then teaching our wounded warriors to meditate promises an abundant return on our investment. Norman E. Rosenthal, MD is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at

Being able to even provide treatment programs for all those suffering from PTSD, based on the standard of treatment, has been sorely lacking, because the facilities that can provide aversive deconditioning are limited.

If, as the preliminary studies suggest, meditation can help control or alleviate the symptoms of PTSD, then a very accessible and inexpensive treatment will be available to all those who suffer from the syndrome, including earthquake, tornado or any other victims of devastating natural disasters.

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Can Depression Be Treated with Meditation?

There’s a big caveat when talking about depression and meditation. Yes, I believe that meditation can be a powerful and useful tool that can be successfully used to help alleviate the symptoms of depression. However, in cases of clinical depression, meditation should be used as a complementary tool and under professional supervision.

Basically there are two approaches to treatment, psychiatric and psychological; in the psychiatry the focus is primarily on medication to treat chemical imbalances, while in psychology the modality preferred now is cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s in psychotherapy that meditation is most often used as a tool during treatment.

The way I work with my clients is with imagery and meditation or simple breathing exercises. In eastern parts of the world, the symptoms of depression are more physical than psychological. A person may not be able to express themselves verbally because

For those who are not suffering from clinical depression, but who are suffering from the kind of depression that life inevitably presents us with, meditation can help us by creating the space to hold and express our emotions.

The benefit of meditation is, by becoming aware we can let go of, and stop recycling, the negative emotions at are associated with mild depression.

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