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How to get smarter, one breath at a time: Scientists find that meditation not only reduces stress but also reshapes the brain
by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen
Time magazine Translate This Article
16 January 2006
On 16 January 2006 Time magazine reported:
As a result of more sophisticated brainscanning technology, researchers are finding that meditation directly affects the structure and function of the brain, creating increased attention span, sharper focus of attention, and improved memory. Time magazine reported that Corporations are taking note of the benefits for business: Jeffrey Abramson, CEO of Tower Co., a Washington-based development firm, says 75% of his staff attend classes in Transcendental Meditation, paid for by the company.
It is a joy for Global Good News service to feature this news, which indicates the success of the life-supporting programmes Maharishi has designed to bring
fulfilment to the field of business.
It has long been known that meditation reduces stress, but now new technologies in brainscanning are allowing researchers to more clearly see the effects that meditation actually has on the brain. According to the article, research shows that: 'Meditation directly affects the function and structure of the brain, changing it in ways that appear to increase attention span, sharpen focus, and improve memory.'
Various forms of meditation have been practised throughout the ages, but more and more are now being thoroughly researched. The article noted that: 'Sara Lazar, a research scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, presented preliminary results last November that showed that the gray matter of 20 men and women who meditated for just 40 minutes a day was thicker than that of people who did not.' Lazar said that the results indicated that it is not necessary to meditate all day to gain similar results to meditating just 40 minutes a day, and that: 'Research suggests that meditation may slow the natural thinning of that section of the cortex that occurs with age.'
The article mentions that research shows that meditation gives rise to greater clarity of mind, increased focus of attention, more balanced social behaviour, less absenteeism, fewer stress-related health problems, and increased productivity.
Not surprisingly, a growing number of corporations are now providing instruction in meditation as a benefit to their employees in order to maintain a competitive edge. The article mentions that such companies as Deutsche Bank, Google, and Hughes Aircraft offer classes in meditation to their employees.
Copyright © 2006 Time Inc.
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