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maybe some of you who haven't tried meditation might better appreciate why it is one of the pillars of the recovery program.:


Psychiatry Res. 2011 Jan 30;191(1):36-43. Epub 2010 Nov 10.
Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density.
Hölzel BK, Carmody J, Vangel M, Congleton C, Yerramsetti SM, Gard T, Lazar SW.

Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. britta@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu

Therapeutic interventions that incorporate training in mindfulness meditation have become increasingly popular, but to date little is known about neural mechanisms associated with these interventions. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), one of the most widely used mindfulness training programs, has been reported to produce positive effects on psychological well-being and to ameliorate symptoms of a number of disorders. Here, we report a controlled longitudinal study to investigate pre-post changes in brain gray matter concentration attributable to participation in an MBSR program. Anatomical magnetic resonance (MR) images from 16 healthy, meditation-naïve participants were obtained before and after they underwent the 8-week program. Changes in gray matter concentration were investigated using voxel-based morphometry, and compared with a waiting list control group of 17 individuals. Analyses in a priori regions of interest confirmed increases in gray matter concentration within the left hippocampus. Whole brain analyses identified increases in the posterior cingulate cortex, the temporo-parietal junction, and the cerebellum in the MBSR group compared with the controls. The results suggest that participation in MBSR is associated with changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Diagnosis: Jan 2010, OMS April 2010.
thanks Alex, this keeps me going. and thanks also for the frequent reminders about meditation, it's so important for me and i can feel my stress lowering. amazing.
Meditation seems to increase gray matter in just one area of the brain. This is not unusual. Piano playing will increase gray matter volume in the area of the brain used for piano playing. Aerobic exercise increases gray matter volume.

The brain is quite plastic. Whatever portion is used and challenged increases in size.

I've been doing yoga now 2-3x per week. I only had one bad class where the teacher was crap and as we introduced ourselves, one girl said she was doing yoga to look good naked. All my other instructors include a form of mindfullness meditation with the movements.

The yoga supports my meditation as well as my physical movements. I feel unbelieveable after a session. It's not all twists and discomfort. It's very pleasant and a good workout, both for strength and flexibility.

Diagnosis: Jan 2010, OMS April 2010.
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