(NaturalNews) Results of ongoing research shed new light on the mechanisms of meditation. Recent studies now confirm that you don't have to be a monk to enjoy deep relaxation, increased attention span, better cognition and other health benefits meditation is offering.
Until recently, it was believed that one has to spend many years training in meditation in order to see any real and lasting improvements in health. However, both everyday experience and psychology research are now starting to agree that our mind may be easier to cognitively train than we previously thought. In fact, just four days of practicing mindfulness meditation for 20 minutes might be enough to boost your mental abilities.
Meditation and our health
In a study performed at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Fadel Zeidan and his co-authors compared 63 student volunteers, who were divided into two groups. The first group listened to a book being read aloud, while the participants in the second group received meditation training.
After just four days, the people in the meditation group experienced a boost in their cognitive abilities and scored higher averages than the other group on all cognitive tests - in some cases as much as ten times.
"The profound improvements that we found after just four days of meditation training are really surprising," said Zeidan, who is a post-doctoral researcher at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. "It goes to show that the mind is, in fact, easily changeable and highly influenced, especially by meditation."
Meditation can also help you increase your attention span. As it turns out, some studies now suggest that our attention doesn't have a fixed capacity and that it can be vastly increased by directed mental training.
Katherine MacLean and her co-advisor, Clifford Saron, wanted to see how meditation affects our mental abilities and what they found was remarkable. They selected 60 people to study meditation for three months at a retreat in Colorado. During the retreat, all participants took a 30-minute computer test to evaluate how well they could sustain visual attention and make fine visual distinctions. At the end of the study, they were able to focus on task for a much longer period of time and were better able to distinguish small differences between things they saw on the screen.
If that wasn't enough, a study published in the journal Pain proved that meditation can reduce the emotional impact of pain. "Meditation is becoming increasingly popular as a way to treat chronic illness such as the pain caused by arthritis," explains Dr. Christopher Brown from The University of Manchester.
Scientists found that advanced meditators show unusual activity during anticipation of pain in the prefrontal cortex. As a result, those people anticipate pain less and find pain less unpleasant.
As NaturalNews previously reported (http://www.naturalnews.com/031228_meditation...), mindfulness meditation favorably alters brain structure in just eight weeks. However, it is usually recommended to keep practicing in order to fully boost your mental abilities. You won't see all the benefits overnight, just as a single visit to the gym won't make you an athlete.
James Schreiber was a long time sufferer of Candida albicans - a little known and frequently misdiagnosed condition that causes seemingly unrelated symptoms such as chronic fatigue, digestive problems and flu-like symptoms. After completely transforming his diet and lifestyle to triumph over Candida infection, Schreiber made educating people on how to better cope with the disease a mission. He shares the secrets of his success at http://www.ecandida.com
FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care
revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...
Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D
In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on
how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases
like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...
Get the Full Story
The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through
NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians,
brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating
that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children.
Click here to read it now...
Ranger Storable Organics
GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness.
See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com