Thursday, August 19, 2010

More Proof Meditation Builds And Re-Wires The Brain

From Agence France-Presse, via "Raw Story":

A Chinese-influenced meditation technique appears to help the brain regulate behavior after as little as 11 hours of practice, according to a study released Monday.

Researchers at the University of Oregon and Dalian University of Technology charted the effects of integrative body-mind training (IBMT), a technique adapted in the 1990s from traditional Chinese medicine and practiced by thousands in China.

The research to be published in the upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences involved 45 test subjects, about half of whom received IBMT, while a control group received relaxation training.

Imaging tests showed a greater number of connections in the anterior cingulate -- the part of the brain which regulates emotion and behavior -- among those who practiced meditation compared to subjects in the control group.

"The importance of our findings relates to the ability to make structural changes in a brain network related to self-regulation," said The University of Oregon's Michael Posner, a lead author on the study.

*Story continues at link highlighted above.*

And consider this, from "The Aquarian Conspiracy", by Marilyn Ferguson:

(Page 168) "Meditation, reverie, relaxation and other associated psychotechnologies tend to increase the slower, larger brainwaves known as alpha and theta. Inward attention in other words, generates a larger fluctuation in the brain. In altered states of consciousness, fluctuations may reach a critical level, large enough to provoke the shift into a higher level of organization.
-Larger fluctuations of energy cannot be contained in the old structure. They set off ripples throughout the system, creating sudden new connections."

This is a great example of why the internal martial arts offer a truly unique way to combine self-defense with meditation, something I never felt in Tae Kwon Do or Kenpo. I clearly feel and perceive these things differently in Tai Chi Chuan and Xingyi.


Zacky Chan said...

That's it, no more time to waste ... time to sit! I wonder if there have been studies calculating differences between still meditation like zazen and moving meditation like the Tai Chi Chuan form.

Dojo Rat said...

In the book I referenced, "The Aquarian Conspiracy" which is about personal transformation and modern science, Marilyn Ferguson goes on much deeper. She says moving activities like Tai Chi, Aikido and Yoga do as much or more to create these brain connections. You should also look for Fritz Capra's book "The Tao of Physics".

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