Meditation has been proven to do amazing things physically to the brain. Of course, what we mainly hear about meditation is its effect on the mental and emotional body. Though actually the health benefits to meditation are quite numerous and impressive.
Meditation Reduces Stress
First and foremost it is important to acknowledge stress has been found to be directly linked to Alzheimer’s. One of the most well-known benefits of meditation is reducing stress.
Stress is the instigator of many life’s problems and it certainly doesn’t help then. This is especially true for our health. Meditation works directly within the mind but it spreads the healing effects throughout the entire body.
There are countless studies proving this and millions of practitioners preaching this. Though when we are confronted with a health issue such as dementia and Alzheimers the natural remedy of meditation can be easy to overlook.
Studies on Meditation and Alzheimers
A study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that meditation can slow the progression of disorders related to aging such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Made up of fourteen adults between the ages of 55-90 two groups were formed.
One group practiced meditation and yoga (mindfulness-based stress reduction) while the other group was provided with standard care. The groups were required to meet once a week for 2-hour sessions where each practiced their delegated task.
Results were found by MRI scans before the eight weeks and after. The hippocampus is responsible for learning, memory, and emotional processing. In both groups, it had begun to show atrophy.
The results showed that those practicing meditation showed less atrophy in the hippocampus region of the brain than compared to the non meditation group. They even showed improved functional connectivity within the default mode network section of the brain.
Now the default mode network plays an important role in remembering past events. This study showed that meditation, which has no negative side effects, can at least slow down the cognitive degeneration of the brain.
Easy Meditation Techniques
Thes simple and beginner-friendly meditation techniques can strengthen your brain’s functionality and even slow down the generation of the brain which stops Alzheimer’s and dementia. Find what to expect when beginning a meditation practice here.
Following The Breath
A simple and calming meditation practice is to follow the flow of your breath. This technique involves using focus in order to remain present to the basic functionality of the breath.
Thoughts will arise as you tunnel vision your focus to your breath. Allow any thoughts, emotions, or sounds around you to fade into the background. Watch them objectively and know there is no need to try to force them to go away.
Present Moment Meditation
Listening to a guided meditation can be a very beneficial way to get started. As a beginner one of the most challenging things can be staying fully present in the moment without letting the future or the past take you out of it.
You can practice becoming fully present in your own meditation practice or you can follow a guided meditation to become aware of the eternal moment of right now.