THE SCIENCE BEHIND OPO
In recent years there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of ‘gold standard’ scientific studies researching the impact of meditation on our mental and physical health.
This is largely because research has shown that meditation does not merely make us feel better or less stressed. There are physical benefits backed up by clinical evidence.
Below we've shared links to studies evidencing benefits relating to stress, anxiety, creativity, memory, focus, and decision making.
Here’s a just one example of findings by Dr Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
In an eight-week pre-post study, Dr Lazar found just 30 mins of meditation per day can change people's brains for the better.
Dr Lazar found thickening in several regions of the brain, including the left hippocampus (involved in learning, memory, and emotional regulation); the TPJ (involved in empathy and the ability to take multiple perspectives); and a part of the brainstem called the pons (involved in essential functions such as sleep and processing sensory input).
In addition, the new meditators experienced shrinkage of the amygdala, the ‘fight of flight’ region of the brain, correlating to reduced stress & anxiety.
In another study, Dr Lazar also found that fifty-year-old long-term meditators have as much grey matter as 25yr-olds, and that fluid intelligence (IQ) is also preserved, suggesting meditation can prevent & slow age-related decline in the brain.
FURTHER ACADEMIC RESEARCH
The benefits of mindful meditation
Click on the links below for articles