“There is a pressing need for a rigorous investigation of how meditation affects brain function.” Professor Jim Lagopoulos, Sydney University, studied electrical brain waves in Acem meditators. There was an abundance of theta waves in the frontal and middle parts of the brain, different from ordinary relaxation.
by Øyvind Ellingsen
The gold standard of meditation research
In 2007 a 472-page report on meditation research and health was published,(1) commissioned and paid for by the (American) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a public institution that evaluates new forms of treatment to improve healthcare in the United States. This research report is a gold mine. It contains comprehensive, independent and reliable information on common methods of meditation and how they work. An independent group of experts spent two years evaluating medical and psychological meditation research findings, including seven articles on Acem Meditation by Dr. Erik E. Solberg. The eleven experts were established specialists with no financial or other attachments to meditation organisations. As might be expected, they reached a cautious conclusion regarding the efficacy of meditation as a form of medical treatment, stating that some methods can lower blood pressure and reduce stress ailments.
by Svend Davanger, MD PhD
People have been meditating for thousands of years. During the last decade, researchers have obtained a better understanding of what goes on in the brain during meditation.
The impact of meditation on the meditator’s heart rhythm, blood pressure and hormone level has been known for many years. Recent technological developments are beginning to provide answers about what goes on in the brain during meditation.
For the last 15 years or so, new ways of applying MRI have made it possible to register and observe activity in the brain while it is consciously used for various tasks, including meditation.
These recent developments in neurological research indicate that meditation may actually change parts of the brain’s reactivity to stress.