Our Claire looks into the benefits of meditation…

I was delighted to see this week that lots more activities have been added to WHISC’s What’s On calendar. Amongst them is Soul Spa, 10am – 12:30pm on Tuesdays with the lovely Jan Evans. I’ve been told that this will include meditation and massage and lots of fun. I’ve had massages at WHISC before and found them to be very beneficial but I’ve never tried meditation. To me, meditation seems a bit out-there but a quick search on the internet showed that it is actually backed up by the science. For example, an article in Forbes magazine lists these 7 benefits of meditation:

  1. Meditation Helps Preserve the Ageing Brain
    Apparently, a study by UCLA showed that people who’ve been “meditating for an average of 20 years have more grey matter volume throughout the brain” than those that hadn’t.
  2. Meditation Reduces Activity in the Brain’s “Me Centre”
    A study by Yale University showed that mindfulness meditation decreases mind-wandering, which is “typically associated with being less happy, ruminating, and worrying about the past and future.”
  3. Its Effects Rival Antidepressants for Depression, Anxiety
    A study by Johns Hopkins University found that mindfulness meditation reduced symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain by the same amount as antidepressants. 
  4. Meditation May Lead to Volume Changes in Key Areas of the Brain
    A study by Harvard University found that eight weeks of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was “found to increase cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which governs learning and memory, and in certain areas of the brain that play roles in emotion regulation and self-referential processing. There were also decreases in brain cell volume in the amygdala, which is responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress”
  5. Just a Few Days of Training Improves Concentration and Attention
    Another study found that “meditation training helped people’s focus and memory” by 16%.
  6. Meditation Reduces Anxiety – and Social Anxiety
    Apparently, a study at Stanford University found that “MBSR brought about changes in brain regions involved in attention, as well as relief from symptoms of social anxiety” and other studies have shown that MBSR reduces anxiety in general.
  7. Meditation Can Help with Addiction
    A study showed that “people who learned mindfulness were many times more likely to have quit smoking” than regular cessation training. Other studies have also shown that “mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), and mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) can be helpful in treating other forms of addiction.”

So, all in all, it seems meditation is something to be taken seriously. So if you’d like to give it a go, why not contact WHISC on 0151 7071826 and see if you can book on? Hurry! There are just 5 places on this course.