If you’re a yogi or a shaman or someone who has practiced meditation for a while (and even those who haven’t been practicing for that long), you know how beneficial a meditation practice can be to your overall health and well being. And while people in the West have been slow to acknowledge the benefits of meditation, science is now helping those skeptics to begin to take this holistic healing practice just a little bit more seriously.
Checkout this recent post from MIT. According to Anne Trafton, in a study published last month, MIT and Harvard researchers used science to determine that meditation affects the brain by helping to regulate important brain waves.
“These activity patterns are thought to minimize distractions, to diminish the likelihood stimuli will grab your attention,” says Christopher Moore, an MIT neuroscientist and senior author of the paper. “Our data indicate that meditation training makes you better at focusing, in part by allowing you to better regulate how things that arise will impact you.”
There are several different types of brain waves that help regulate the flow of information between brain cells, similar to the way that radio stations broadcast at specific frequencies. Alpha waves, the focus of this study, flow through cells in the brain’s cortex, where sensory information is processed. The alpha waves help suppress irrelevant or distracting sensory information.
Read more on the MIT meditation study here.