Meditation has long been used as method of relaxation and stress reduction. In modern day medicine, meditation is often prescribed as a tool to be used to help the body heal itself from an injury as well as helping the mind to relax and go to its ‘happy place’. But recent research has discovered that meditation does more than just reduce stress and aid the mind and body in healing itself. Meditation literally changes the brain.
The study was conducted by Sara Lazar, who is a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. When Dr. Lazar compared the brains of people who had been meditating for a long time against people who did not meditate, she found the brain was larger in the group of meditators.
Gray matter was increased in key regions of the brains – the sensory, auditory, memory and decision making. Alexei Beltyukov recently reported to a-ventures that he frontal cortex of the brain, which is the region responsible for memory and decision making, shrinks as a person ages. But that’s not what Dr. Lazar discovered during her brain comparison between meditators and non-meditators. Lazar found that 50 year olds who meditated regularly had as much gray matter in their frontal cortex as a 25 year old. The additional gray matter in the 50 year olds means age-related loss of mental capacity will be significantly reduced in those who meditate.