A few hours of meditation is enough to change brain structure

A collaborative study by scientists from China and the USA has found that 11 hours of meditation can induce positive structural changes in an area of the brain that helps regulate behaviour. The meditation technique used, integrative body-mind training (IBMT), was developed from Daoist and Confucian meditation practices commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. Previous studies of IBMT have found that it improves attention and self-regulation by changing the interaction between the central (brain) and autonomic (body) systems, as measured by theta wave activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and high frequency heart-rate variability correlation. It has also been shown to improve immune parameters in healthy adults, both at a basal level and following a stress challenge. The most recent work involved 45 healthy volunteers who were randomised to either IBMT (consisting of body relaxation, mental imagery and mindfulness training) or a control group that received the same amount of relaxation training (guided muscle relaxation). Neuroimaging using a type of magnetic resonance allowed researchers to examine fibres connecting brain regions before and after training. The most marked changes were seen in connections involving the anterior cingulate cortex, a brain area involved in the regulation of emotions and behaviorbehaviour. The changes were observed only in those who practiced meditation and not in the control group, were observable after six hours of meditation and became clear by 11 hours of practice. The authors suggest that the changes were due to re-organisation of white-matter tracts or an increase in neuronal myelination. (Short-term meditation induces white matter changes in the anterior cingulate. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Aug 31;107(35):15649-52).

 

LATEST NEWS

Christmas and New Year Opening
BNHC is closed between Friday 23 December and Monday 2 January, no classes will run between these dates. Some of our classes may be finishing earlier in December, check our online timetable to find out if your class is running. ... read more
De-Stress Yoga workshop, Saturday 17 December
'Winter Comfort' with Charlotte Watts. The cold months can have us curling in and looking for warmth and comfort. ... read more
Iyengar Yoga Workshop, Sunday 18 December
Learn about 'using your body to cultivate and regenerate your mind' in this thoughtful workshop with Cathy Rogers-Evans. ... read more
Therapeutic Sound Bath, Sunday 18 December
Relax and come into balance with the healing power of sound with Catherine Hutchinson. ... read more
Humanistic Yoga workshop, Saturday 11 February
Pete Blackaby returns to BNHC to teach this unique session looking at working with pain. ... read more

HOME | INFO | CLASSES | WORKSHOPS | TIMETABLE | COMMUNITY | NEWS | PRIVACY | TERMS & CONDITIONS

©2009  Brighton Natural Health Centre 27 Regent Street Brighton BN1 1UL - tel 01273 600010 - email info@bnhc.co.uk - Registered Charity No: 290122