(NaturalNews) The importance of meditation has long been known to mankind, but scientists have now discovered the positive brain changes that occur after a session of meditation even if it is a brief one.
Chinese and US researchers at the University of Oregon studied the effects of a meditation technique known as Integrated Body Mind Training (IBMT) on 45 students who were randomly selected. One group of students practiced IBMT for half an hour every weekday for a month and the other group did a relaxation technique.
The scientists found that even a brief session of meditation strengthened the connections of the brain that regulate our emotional response. They also found that the group of students who were practicing IBMT had brain connections that started to strengthen in only 6 hours, which was not visible in the other group. In 11 hours the differences were all the more apparent.
The changes were noted mostly on the part of the brain known as anterior cingulate and the fibres connecting it. The inactivity of this part has been associated with dementia, ADHD, schizophrenia and depression and therefore scientists believe that the new study can help those who are fighting with these conditions apart from de-stressing.
The researchers said, "We believe this new finding is of interest to the fields of education, health and neuroscience."
Integrated Body Mind Training is based on an ancient Chinese medicine and was adopted in the 1990s. It involves the combination of breathing practice, mental energy and body relaxation to de-stress all parts of the body and make the mind more functional and calm. The rapid results achieved by this practice, according to the scientists, may be due to the lack of emphasis on deliberately emptying your mind and integrating all body activities instead.
The same team of scientists had previously conducted a similar test where five 20-minute sessions of IBMT had helped cut stress and improve well being.
The apparent positive changes on the brain in such a short duration, without the use of anything but your own body and mind, are clearly a solution for many who need to de-stress, relax and get smarter all at the same time.
Atula Gupta is a freelance writer and a nature enthusiast from India. She devotes her time writing on travels, traditions and the natural world for websites and magazines. She also keeps a blog www.indiasendangered.blogspot.com for endangered flora and fauna of India.