Research On Meditation
Research on the processes and effects of meditation is a growing subfield of neurological research. Modern scientific techniques and instruments, such as fMRI and EEG, have been used to see what happens in the body of people when they meditate, and how their bodies and brain change after meditating regularly.
These studies have shown substantial bodily changes as a consequence of regular meditative practice. For instance, one study by Richard Davidson and Jon Kabat-Zinn showed that eight weeks of mindfulness-based meditation produced significant increases in left-sided anterior brain activity, which is associated with positive emotional states. Positive emotion may be a skill which can be achieved with training similar to learning to ride a bike or play the piano.
Since the 1950s hundreds of studies on meditation have been conducted, though many of the early studies were flawed and thus yielded unreliable results. More recent reviews have pointed out many of these flaws with the hope of guiding current research into a more fruitful path. More reports assessed that further research needs to be directed towards the theoretical grounding and definition of meditation.
Meditation has been practiced within religious traditions since ancient times, especially within monastic centers. These days there also exist many secular programs in the West including mindfulness-based programs. Today mindfulness-based meditative practices have become popular within the Western medical and psychological community, due mainly to the observable, positive impact such processes have on patients suffering from stress-related health conditions.
Read more about Research On Meditation: Potential Adverse Effects of Meditating, Research Methodology, See Also
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