Health benefits of meditation harvard university,beginners meditation schedule,positive thinking quotes with images in hindi - 2016 Feature


It's a piece of advice yogis have given for thousands of years: take a deep breath and relax.
Now the hard science has caught up: a comprehensive scientific study showing that deep relaxation changes our bodies on a genetic level has just been published. In particular, they found genes that protect from disorders such as pain, infertility, high blood pressure and even rheumatoid arthritis were switched on. The experiment, which showed just how responsive genes are to behaviour, mood and environment, revealed that genes can switch on, just as easily as they switch off. More encouraging still, the benefits of the relaxation effect were found to increase with regular practice: the more people practised relaxation methods such as meditation or deep breathing, the greater their chances of remaining free of arthritis and joint pain with stronger immunity, healthier hormone levels and lower blood pressure. While relaxation techniques can be very different, their biological effects are essentially similar. The next time you tune out and switch off and let yourself melt, remind yourself of all the good work the relaxation effect is doing on your body. Emotional balance, means to be free of all the neurotic behavior that results from the existence of a tortured and traumatized ego.
A study at the University of Western Australia found that women are more likely to conceive during periods when they are relaxed rather than stressed. When patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome began practising a relaxation meditation twice daily, their symptoms of bloating, diarrhoea and constipation improved significantly. A study at Harvard Medical School found that meditation lowered blood pressure by making the body less responsive to stress hormones, in a similar way to blood pressure-lowering medication. Stress leads to inflammation, a state linked to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and skin conditions such as psoriasis, say researchers at Emory University in the US.
The simple difference between those who meditate and those who do not, is that for a meditative mind the thought occurs but is witnessed, while for an ordinary mind, the thought occurs and is the boss. Body Scan: Starting with your head and working down to your arms and feet, notice how you feel in your body. Mantra Repetition: The relaxation response can be evoked by sitting quietly with eyes closed for 15 minutes twice a day, and mentally repeating a simple word or sound such as ''Om''.
Guided Imagery: Imagine a wonderfully relaxing light or a soothing waterfall washing away tension from your body and mind. For centuries, yogis have advocated for the use of yoga and meditation as a form of legitimate healing and now, according to Makiko Kitamura’s recent article (below), it looks like scientists are on the cusp of proving it. John Denninger, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, is leading a five-year study on how the ancient practices affect genes and brain activity in the chronically stressed.
While hundreds of studies have been conducted on the mental health benefits of yoga and meditation, they have tended to rely on blunt tools like participant questionnaires, as well as heart rate and blood pressure monitoring. The government-funded study may persuade more doctors to try an alternative route for tackling the source of a myriad of modern ailments. The science is advancing alongside a budding “mindfulness” movement, which includes meditation devotees such as Bill George, board member of Goldman Sachs Group and Exxon Mobil Corp., and comedian Jerry Seinfeld. As a psychiatrist specializing in depression, Denninger said he was attracted to mind-body medicine, pioneered in the late 1960s by Harvard professor Herbert Benson, as a possible way to prevent the onset of depression through stress reduction.
It’s an interest that dates back to an exchange program he attended in China the summer before entering Harvard as an undergraduate student. His current study, to conclude in 2015 with about $3.3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, tracks 210 healthy subjects with high levels of reported chronic stress for six months. One group with 70 participants perform a form of yoga known as Kundalini, another 70 meditate and the rest listen to stress education audiobooks, all for 20 minutes a day at home. Participants come into the lab for weekly instruction for two months, followed by three sessions where they answer questionnaires, give blood samples used for genomic analysis and undergo neuro-imaging tests.
Unlike earlier studies, this one is the first to focus on participants with high levels of stress.
Harvard isn’t the only place where scientists have started examining the biology behind yoga. In a study published last year, scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles and Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn found that 12 minutes of daily yoga meditation for eight weeks increased telomerase activity by 43 percent, suggesting an improvement in stress-induced aging. There have been a lot of news articles recently reporting on the benefits of mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation cultivates mindfulness, which is the “state of being fully present without habitual reactions.” (Sharon Salzberg) Mindfulness involves a heightened awareness of what is happening right now and being with what is here now.
Let’s look more closely at what this means, starting with “increased awareness of the present moment.” The mind is easily distracted and has a tendency to wander away from the present moment. Now, let’s consider “acceptance of the present moment.” The mind has a tendency to analyze, judge, categorize, and criticize. You can think of mindfulness as showing up for life (100% fully, totally) with a good attitude.
5 benefits of mindfulness studies lesley university, 5 benefits of mindfulness their harvard health blog about the benefits of mindfulness meditation for the brain titled "mindfulness meditation improves.
Above i have explained review about mindfulness meditation harvard health blog will help you to find the best price. Copyright © 2015 World Economic News, All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners. Participating in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress.
Previous studies from Lazar’s group and others found structural differences between the brains of experienced meditation practitioners and individuals with no history of meditation, observing thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration.


For the current study, magnetic resonance (MR) images were taken of the brain structure of 16 study participants two weeks before and after they took part in the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness.
Meditation group participants reported spending an average of 27 minutes each day practicing mindfulness exercises, and their responses to a mindfulness questionnaire indicated significant improvements compared with pre-participation responses. Participant-reported reductions in stress also were correlated with decreased gray-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress. James Carmody of the Center for Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts Medical School is one of the co-authors of the study, which was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the British Broadcasting Company, and the Mind and Life Institute.
Using pre-clinical models for multiple sclerosis and samples from MS patients, a Harvard-affiliated team found evidence that changes in diet and gut flora may influence astrocytes in the brain, and, consequently, neurodegeneration, pointing to potential therapeutic targets. Harvard staff photographers interviewed four sets of twins currently enrolled as undergraduates at Harvard College, to gain a glimpse into these unusual relationships.
Nearly 80 percent of applicants admitted to the Class of 2020 have chosen to enroll at Harvard College. Citing the harmful impact created by gender discrimination affecting students at Harvard College, administrators announced that beginning in the fall of 2017, new students who join unrecognized single-gender social organizations will not be permitted to hold leadership positions in recognized student organizations and athletic teams. Dominique Donette, who is graduating from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, beat long odds in her quest to help empower the powerless. Many studies have been done to diagnose the physiological changes in humans during meditation.
This study took sixteen participants with no serious history of regimented or consistent meditative practice.
The participants all reported significant reductions in stress, which correlated well with a decrease in the density of the amygdala, which plays a large role in stress and anxiety. Test subjects taking part in an 8-week program of mindfulness meditation showed results that astonished even the most experienced neuroscientists at Harvard University.
Sue McGreevey of MGH writes: “Previous studies from Lazar’s group and others found structural differences between the brains of experienced meditation practitioners and individuals with no history of meditation, observing thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration.
What researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered is that, in long-term practitioners of relaxation methods such as yoga and meditation, far more ''disease-fighting genes'' were active, compared to those who practised no form of relaxation. The changes, say the researchers, were induced by what they call ''the relaxation effect'', a phenomenon that could be just as powerful as any medical drug but without the side effects. Benson believes the research is pivotal because it shows how a person's state of mind affects the body on a physical and genetic level. A study at the Ohio State University found that progressive muscular relaxation, when practised daily, reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence. A study at Trakya University, in Turkey, also found that stress reduces sperm count and motility, suggesting relaxation may also boost male fertility. The meditation was so effective the researchers at the State University of New York recommended it as an effective treatment.
Meanwhile a British Medical Journal report found that patients trained how to relax had significantly lower blood pressure.
Harvard researchers found that yoga, meditation and even repetitive prayer and mantras all induced the relaxation effect.
Tune into your breath, follow the sensation of inhaling from your nose to abdomen and out again. Make your image vivid, imagining texture, colour and any fragrance as the image washes over you.
A beautiful guided meditation to open up your chakras through the use of colour, flowers and your imagination. We believe that your body is worthy of good care and that no one is more suitably qualified to care for it than yourself. His latest work follows a study he and others published earlier this year showing how so-called mind-body techniques can switch on and off some genes linked to stress and immune function. Only recently have neuro-imaging and genomics technology used in Denninger’s latest studies allowed scientists to measure physiological changes in greater detail. Stress-induced conditions can include everything from hypertension and infertility to depression and even the aging process.
While treatment with pharmaceuticals is still essential, he sees yoga and meditation as useful additions to his medical arsenal. Kundalini is a form of yoga that incorporates meditation, breathing exercises and the singing of mantras in addition to postures. The study published in May in the medical journal PloS One showed that one session of relaxation-response practice was enough to enhance the expression of genes involved in energy metabolism and insulin secretion and reduce expression of genes linked to inflammatory response and stress. Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, shared the Nobel medicine prize in 2009 with Carol Greider and Jack Szostak for research on the telomerase “immortality enzyme,” which slows the cellular aging process. Get regular access to valuable information on meditation that you can use to improve the quality of your health and life. I’ve also noticed a trend in brand marketing to associate products with a conscious lifestyle by using the word mindful. We even speak of someone as being “lost in thought.” The world around us certainly offers enough distractions that we may avoid any meaningful encounter with the self, remaining unconscious of what is going on inside of us. It can be almost automatic to view experience as good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, something we like or don’t like, want or want to avoid. You keep coming back to the immediacy of your experience, and then when the thoughts start coming up, thoughts like, bad, good, should, shouldn’t, me, jerk, you, jerk, you let those thoughts go, and you come back again to the immediacy of your experience. But those investigations could not document that those differences were actually produced by meditation.


In addition to weekly meetings that included practice of mindfulness meditation — which focuses on nonjudgmental awareness of sensations, feelings, and state of mind — participants received audio recordings for guided meditation practice and were asked to keep track of how much time they practiced each day. The analysis of MR images, which focused on areas where meditation-associated differences were seen in earlier studies, found increased gray-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection.
Although no change was seen in a self-awareness-associated structure called the insula, which had been identified in earlier studies, the authors suggest that longer-term meditation practice might be needed to produce changes in that area.
None have been this comprehensive or had detailed information about a before and after. Sara Lazar, senior author at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, has done studies on meditation before. The participants answered questionnaires and submitted to have magnetic resonance images (MRI) taken of their brains two weeks before and after they took part in a meditation program. Participants attended a weekly guided group meditation session and were given audio recordings for independent guided sessions.
When the final results were jotted down it became obvious meditation had a profound effect on the physiology of the brain and consciousness.
The control group showed none of these improvements, showing that these changes were not from the passage of time. They demonstrate that the first-person experience of stress can not only be reduced with an eight-week mindfulness training program but that this experiential change corresponds with structural changes in the amygdala, a finding that opens doors to many possibilities for further research on MBSR’s potential to protect against stress-related disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder,” says Amishi Jha, a neuro scientist at the University of Miami.
But those investigations could not document that those differences were actually produced by meditation.”  Until now, that is. It might also explain why relaxation induced by meditation or repetitive mantras is considered to be a powerful remedy in traditions such as Ayurveda in India or Tibetan medicine. Linked to the release of the stress-hormones adrenalin and cortisol, stress raises the heart rate and blood pressure, weakens immunity and lowers fertility. In another study at Ohio State, a month of relaxation exercises boosted natural killer cells in the elderly, giving them a greater resistance to tumours and to viruses. In this way, one study at McGill University in Canada found that meditation clinically improved the symptoms of psoriasis.
See how much you can spread any sensations of softness and relaxation to areas of your body that feel tense. Think of us as your nutritional consultants and know that we are here with you on your journey to a healthier life. Simply knowing breath-management techniques and having a better understanding of stress can help build resilience. Herbert Benson, President of the Mind Body Medical Institute at Harvard Medical School, has shown that meditation leads to raised levels of nitric oxide that has the effect of dilating the arteries and allowing increased blood flow through the body, thereby reducing blood pressure.During meditation the brain produces higher levels of endorphins or 'feel-good' hormones. There are Mindful Mints (“meditation in a mint”), a Mindful Moon iPhone app (“positive reminders to live brighter”), and even “Mindful Meats” (a meat company that brings local, organic, non-GMO, pasture-raised meats to market).
30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reported the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s gray matter.
A set of MR brain images was also taken of a control group of nonmeditators over a similar time interval. None of these changes were seen in the control group, indicating that they had not resulted merely from the passage of time.
They found that first time practitioner’s cerebral cortex’s thickened in the areas associated with attention and emotional integration. The University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness accepted the participants in an eight week long Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program. They were asked to keep track of the amount of time and frequency of their independent meditations. There were various improvements to neurological structures associated with self awareness, compassion, and introspection.
The good news for the control group with the less-healthy genes is that the research didn't stop there. By contrast, the state of relaxation is linked to higher levels of feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and to the growth hormone which repairs cells and tissue. And non-essential functions such as immunity and digestion go by the wayside.'' Relaxation, on the other hand, is a state of rest, enjoyment and physical renewal. More importantly, they play a part in our immune systems, stimulating the production of White Blood Cells (killer cells), which detect and destroy harmful bacteria and viruses. Since I recently gave a short talk on the benefits of mindfulness, introducing a group of about 25 men and women to mindfulness meditation (all, but 3 or 4, were new to the practice), and, because “Be Mindful” is an Essential Balance Principle, I want to share with you, dear reader, on this important topic, too. Indeed, studies show that relaxation has virtually the opposite effect, lowering heart rate, boosting immunity and enabling the body to thrive.
The heart can slow and blood circulation flows freely to the body's tissues, feeding it with nutrients and oxygen.
This restful state is good for fertility, as the body is able to conserve the resources it needs to generate new life. Center for Mindfulness in Medicine at the University of Massachusetts has shown that output of melatonin also increases, which acts as a powerful anti-oxidant destroying harmful free-readicals that cause cancer.DHEA, another powerful hormone, has been shown to increase with regular meditation. It is the most abundant steroid in the body and the only known hormone that decreases directly with age.



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