Meditation Fun & Fantastic Facts
October 22, 2008 by Ray Baskerville
Still wondering why people meditate, what can it do for you? This article is a collection of fascinating research facts about the effects of meditation and exactly how people from schoolroom to boardroom are benefiting from meditation
This is a brief snapshot of research findings cited at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine, previously the Mind Body Medical Institute at Harvard Medical School.
Chronic pain patients reduce their physician visits by 36%.
The Clinical Journal of Pain, Volume 2, pages 305-310, 1991
There is approximately a 50% reduction in visits to a HMO after a relaxation-response based intervention which resulted in estimated significant cost savings.
Behavioral Medicine, Volume 16, pages 165-173, 1990
Eighty percent of hypertensive patients have lowered blood pressure and decreased medications – 16% are able to discontinue all of their medications. These results lasted at least three years.
Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Volume 9, pages 316-324, 1989
Open heart surgery patients have fewer post-operative complications.
Behavioral Medicine, Volume 5, pages 111-117, 1989
One-hundred percent of insomnia patients reported improved sleep and 91% either eliminated or reduced sleeping medication use.
The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 100, pages 212-216, 1996
Infertile women have a 42% conception rate, a 38% take-home baby rate, and decreased levels of depression, anxiety, and anger.
Journal of American Medical Women’s Association. Volume 54, pages 196-8, 1999
Women with severe PMS have a 57% reduction in physical and psychological symptoms.
Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 75, pages 649-655, April, 1990
High school students exposed to a relaxation response-based curriculum had significantly increased their self-esteem.
The Journal of Research and Development in Education, Volume 27, pages 226-231, 1994
Inner city middle school students improved grade score, work habits and cooperation and decreased absences.
Journal of Research and Development in Education, Volume 33, pages 156-165, Spring 2000
Areas of the brain which deal with attention and processing sensory input have been found to actually thicken. Sara Lazar, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School noted, "These increases are proportional to the time a person has been meditating during their lives". She went on to say, "This suggests that the thickness differences are acquired through extensive [meditation] practice and not simply due to differences between meditators and non-meditators." She 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. Unlike in previous studies focusing on Buddhist monks, the subjects were Boston-area workers practicing a Western-style of meditation called mindfulness or insight meditation. "We showed for the first time that you don’t have to do it all day for similar results," says Lazar. What’s more, her research suggests that meditation may slow the natural thinning of that section of the cortex that occurs with age.
Other fun facts about meditation benefits include
In the Dutch town of Lelystad there is an elementary school where the children Meditate twice a day for 10 minutes. The results are fantastic. The children get quieter and more stable, they achieve better in the national tests. Source: De Telegraaf, a Dutch daily, 22/01/04
Deepak Chopra estimates that people who Meditate for many years often have a biological age that is between 5 and 10 years lower than their chronological age.
When sleeping, your use of oxygen drops 8%, during a Meditation session, it drops 10 to 20%
Hormones with a calming effect like melatonin and serotin increase as a result of Meditating, whereas the stress hormone cortisol decreases.
Meditating has an immense positive effect on the three great indicators of ageing: our sense of hearing, our blood pressure and our eyesight.
People that Meditate recover more quickly from diseases and will not often experience situations as stressful. Time Magazine 27/10/03
According to the latest research Meditation can train our brains and even change its structure positively.
The University of Wisconsin discovered that employees that Meditated have a higher frustration tolerance, more joy in their work, a more cheerful and more optimistic attitude and higher energy levels. It is also clear that conflicts and unpleasant relationships among employees decrease when they start to Meditate.
The current buzzword in brain science is ‘neuroplasticity’. This means that the brain can actually change structure and function. What is new is the finding that meditation can do this, and does so in ways that are tremendously beneficial for health and well being.
Bruce O’Hara, associate professor of biology at the University of Kentucky had college students either meditate, sleep or watch TV. Then he tested them for what psychologists call psychomotor vigilance, asking them to hit a button when a light flashed on a screen. Those who had been taught to meditate performed 10% better—"a huge jump, statistically speaking," says O’Hara. Those who snoozed did significantly worse. "What it means," O’Hara theorizes, "is that meditation may restore synapses, much like sleep but without the initial grogginess."
A growing number of corporations—including Deutsche Bank, Google and Hughes Aircraft—offer meditation classes to their workers. Jeffrey Abramson, CEO of Tower Co., a Washington-based development firm, says 75% of his staff attend free classes in transcendental meditation. Making employees sharper is only one benefit; studies say meditation also improves productivity, in large part by preventing stress-related illness and reducing absenteeism.“Living Liberation - Meditation Training, and so much more" "It changed my life"Find out more