Meditation helps us ground, and it also reduces stress and boosts immunity. Meditation has been gradually moving into the mainstream, as a result of its association with yoga and its growing acceptance by celebrities and corporate leaders. The practice of meditation involves quieting the mind and focusing on the breath for the purposes of contemplation and reflection. The resulting state of deep relaxation has been shown to temper the body’s pain and stress responses, and scientific studies confirm its potential to improve health and prevent and manage disease.
In the scientific realm, meditation is now considered a “growing sub-field of neuro-biological research. John Denninger, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, is leading a five-year study on how the ancient practices affect genes and brain activity in the chronically stressed. His latest work follows a study he and others published earlier this year showing how so-called mind-body techniques can switch on and off some genes linked to stress and immune function.
“There is a true biological effect,’ said Denninger…The kinds of things that happen when you meditate do have effects throughout the body, not just in the brain.’”
Mindfulness-based meditation is being utilized in a wide range of clinical and non-clinical environments, from modern medicine to the corporate world, in sports, education, prison populations, and more.
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