Brain Repair

Robin sent me this interesting article from the Well blog in the NY Times: How Meditation Changes the Brain and Body (G. Reynolds, 18 Feb 2016). Researchers divided 35 unemployed people into two groups: a meditation group and a control group (note: lack of a job was considered an adequate source of stress). Both groups were “treated” for 3 days, and both were told that they were being taught to meditate, but only the meditation group was taught the standard practice of mindfulness meditation, while the other group was taught to practice an array of relaxation and distraction techniques that were described as “meditation” (this ruse was devised as a way of removing any placebo-related benefits from being told you were meditating). Brain scans and blood draws were taken before the sessions began, immediately afterwards, and again four months later. While both groups reported improved attitudes after the training ended, beneficial changes in the brain scans and blood draws were confined to the meditation group.