Meditation Meets Metaphysics

Meditation a "Fountain of Youth"?

The Fountain of Youth use to be a very sought after place. Having the thoughts of staying forever young with a cute, baby face was enough to send people, worldwide, in search of some magical potion. Instead of chasing imaginary places to receive an imaginary youth filled serum, science has proven that your own brain can be the catalyst for slow aging and a renounced feel of bliss. People refer to this 'Fountain of Youth' as Mediation.

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years all around the world. It seems only now with technology catching up with this ancient practice we are actual able to see the tangible effects meditation can produce.

"Each of the three meditation modalities that have been most widely studied-transcendental meditation, Buddhist meditation, and mindfulness-based meditation-is critically examined in terms of its background, techniques, mechanisms of action, and evidence-based clinical applications, with special attention given to its emerging role in the treatment of substance use disorders. The unique methodological difficulties that beset the study of meditation are also considered. A brief discussion then integrates the research that has been completed thus far, elucidates the specific ways that meditation may be helpful for substance use disorders, and suggests new avenues for research." (Division of Substance Abuse, New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA. dakware@pi.cpmc.columbia.edu)

"Several cortical regions are reported to vary in meditation practitioners. However, prior analyses have focused primarily on examining gray matter or cortical thickness. Thus, additional effects with respect to other cortical features might have remained undetected. Gyrification (the pattern and degree of cortical folding) is an important cerebral characteristic related to the geometry of the brain’s surface. Thus, exploring cortical gyrification in long-term meditators may provide additional clues with respect to the underlying anatomical correlates of meditation. This study examined cortical gyrification in a large sample (n = 100) of meditators and controls, carefully matched for sex and age. Cortical gyrification was established by calculating mean curvature across thousands of vertices on individual cortical surface models. Pronounced group differences indicating larger gyrification in meditators were evident within the left precentral gyrus, right fusiform gyrus, right cuneus, as well as left and right anterior dorsal insula (the latter representing the global significance maximum). Positive correlations between gyrification and the number of meditation years were similarly pronounced in the right anterior dorsal insula. Although the exact functional implications of larger cortical gyrification remain to be established, these findings suggest the insula to be a key structure involved in aspects of meditation. For example, variations in insular complexity could affect the regulation of well-known distractions in the process of meditation, such as daydreaming, mind-wandering, and projections into past or future. Moreover, given that meditators are masters in introspection, awareness, and emotional control, increased insular gyrification may reflect an integration of autonomic, affective, and cognitive processes." (Fox Chase Cancer Center, Cheltenham, PA 19012, USA. carolyn.fang@fccc.edu.)

Do your body a favor and meditate today!

Don't know how?

How to Meditate

#Meditation #Metaphysics #Wellbeing #Healthcare #Research #LivingUltraViolet

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