Health gem


If you do one thing this week. . . meditate to change your brain

Can meditation change your brain? A new study by Massachusetts General Hospital of people who meditated mindfully for about 30 minutes each day found that meditation correlates with observable changes in particular structures in the brain.

The study, due to appear later this week in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, asked 16 participants to meditate mindfully for a period each day over the course of eight weeks.

Magnetic resonance images of their brains taken before and after the eight-week stints showed meditation was linked with increases in grey-matter density in brain areas associated with learning and memory, and decreased density in areas linked with stress. A control group did not show the changes.

“It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practising meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our wellbeing and quality of life,” says study co-author Britta Hölzel.