Meditation does good, words of scientist.

Until the 1950s, meditation was the prerogative of monks and of those who in any case followed a holistic or yogic path. Then with the Beatles it became the practice of the Hippies, and known to most.

In the following years it was the turn of footballers and actors: for example Roberto Baggio and Richard Gere still meditate. In more recent times it was the turn of the CEOs of the large multinationals: Ray Dalio (Bridgewater associates) and Marc Benioff (Oracle), making this practice almost their business card.

For some years now, however, meditation has no longer only dealt with “psychological well-being” and has entered hospitals with many applications: from pain control to immunology, from the treatment of hypertension to the slowing of cerebral decline.

Meditation does good , words of a scientist

With the growing attention to this practice, studies have also begun, and we report some of them:

Jon Kabat Zinn founded the Centre for Mindfulness at the University of Worcester (UK) about 30 years ago and began using meditation as a therapeutic tool, clearly demonstrating its benefits:

  • improves attention,
  • cognitive skills and memory,
  • reduces anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Scientific studies on meditation

At Brown University in Providence (USA), Catherine Kerr began to use meditation for its analgesic effect, claiming that it worked as a kind of knob that regulates the perception of unpleasant sensations. In 2010, at Harvard MIT, he demonstrated that, if we focus our attention on the sensations of the left hand, the cerebral “map” corresponding to that hand registers a significant drop in the amplitude of the waves that filter the sensations, letting pass only those that exceed a certain threshold.

If, on the other hand, the attention is focused on another part of the body, the waves return to normal.

The following year, using magneto-encephalography, a brain imaging technique, he demonstrated that the rhythms of these waves in the brain correlate with sensory attention and that the ability to regulate these waves in the cerebral cortex is greater in subjects capable of meditation.

In other words, meditating allows greater control over the sensory system and allows you to choose what to focus on. Meditation then puts in the background what you don’t want to feel, such as chronic pain.

Scientific studies on meditation

Fadel Zeidan, a neurobiologist at Wake Forest Baptist University (USA), even quantified the effect of meditation on the analgesic power of morphine:

“It could reduce the intensity of pain by 40% and its unpleasantness by 57%, compared to a reduction of only 25% obtained with morphine,” says Zeidan.

Steven Cole at the University of California (UCLA) assuming that many cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases are linked to a state of inflammation of which neither the origin nor the cure is known exactly, he hypothesized that if it were possible to reduce the inflammatory state, perhaps it could be prevented. He therefore wanted to investigate whether meditation could reduce the feeling of loneliness of the elderly, a condition that increases the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression and even premature death.

The experiment then began with about forty subjects in meditation half an hour a day for 8 weeks. But he soon discovered that this “therapy” didn’t just affect psychological well-being:

meditation also reduced the activation of inflammation-related genes and thus reduced inflammation itself.

Meditation does good

Meditation proves to be a cure-all in many fields.

It even appears to be effective against colds: Bruce Barrett, of the University of Wisconsin (USA), studied meditation on 51 individuals.

He calculated that those who meditate had a 40-50% reduction in working days lost due to acute respiratory infections, including the flu, compared to those who did not meditate. The duration of the disease is shorter and the symptoms are milder.

We could go on with lots of other researches and studies, some even on the immunological system.

There are meditation experiments in the presence of HIV, and even drug diehards have changed their minds; meditation is also good for those suffering from hypertension and vascular problems.

There are various types of meditation, such as the zen meditation.


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