Experts Review Available Data on Commonly Used Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments for Mood Disorders

3 06 2012

Experts Review Available Data on Commonly Used Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments for Mood Disorders.

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Mindfulness meditation improves brain function

9 03 2011


Just two months participation in a mindfulness meditation program can have a considerable effect on the regions of the brain linked to sense of self, memory, stress and empathy.

A team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) used MR imaging to study the brain structure of 16 study participants two weeks before taking part in the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. The same measurements were also taken of a control group of 16 people.

The meditation participants took part in weekly meetings in which they focused on awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind, and also used recorded resources with which to guide meditation each day. With an average daily practice of just under half an hour, participants responses to a mindfulness questionnaire exhibited improvements. MR images showing an increased density of grey-matter in the hippocampus and decreased density in the amygdala pointed to positive improvements in the areas of learning and memory, compassion, self-awareness and introspection, and also to reduced stress.

The study’s senior author, Sara Lazar, PhD, of the hospital’s Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, said ‘Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day. This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.’

Britta Hölzel, PhD, a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany and first author of the paper commented; ‘It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life. Other studies in different patient populations have shown that meditation can make significant improvements in a variety of symptoms, and we are now investigating the underlying mechanisms in the brain that facilitate this change.’

Source: Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging





Tai Chi may fight depression, obesity | Health | BigPond News

8 02 2010

This press release brings good news about research being done from University of Queensland, Australia on the topic of how Tai Chi may be able to help people with Depression and Obesity.

I look forward to meeting up with Dr Xin LIU to find out more from him about his work of Kaimai (opening the Channels) Tai Chi which he designed.

via Tai Chi may fight depression, obesity | Health | BigPond News.