Scientists have found evidence that meditation can make physical changes in our bodies, by boosting parts of the brain and the immune system. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin studied people who practiced “mindfulness” meditation, a technique developed by stress reduction specialist Jon Kabat-Zinn to help hospital patients deal with pain and discomfort. Out of 41 patients, 25 attended a weekly class and one seven-hour retreat, and they also practiced exercises at home. The rest didn’t meditate, so they acted as a control group.
After 8 weeks, the researchers measured the electrical activity in the frontal part of the brains of all 41 subjects and found this region was more active on the left side in the people who meditated. The left side of the brain is associated with less anxiety and a more positive emotional state. They were also all given a flu shot at the beginning of the study, and those who meditated had higher levels of the antibody.
This shows that meditation can actually physically change our brain structure and immune system. Joseph Chilton Pearce explained this amazing idea to us on Dreamland.
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