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Meditation Facilitates Cerebral Optimization, Study Reveals

June 20, 2012

Researchers have discovered that a form of mindfulness meditation called IBMT, integrative body-mind training, significantly improves mood and may actually facilitate neurogenesis.

Researchers at the University of Oregon have discovered that a Chinese medicine-based form of mindfulness meditation improves mood, cerebral efficiency, and may actually facilitate neurogenesis. This ground-breaking study, which builds off of previous data, centers around IBMT, integrative body-mind training. IBMT was developed in China in the 1990s and is based on traditional Chinese medicine. Reportedly, it is distinguished from other forms of meditation in that it requires a high level of balanced awareness of the body, the mind, and the environment. Additionally, it incorporates music, and thus might also be considered a form of music therapy.

Participants reported a significantly improved mood after 4 weeks of IBMT when compared with controls. Researchers also noted coinciding improvements that include increased density of axons (nerve fibers) and expansion of myelin (protective sheaths that insulate nerve fibers and increase conductivity) in a specific part of the brain associated with self-regulation. This translates into improved efficiency of cerebral white matter. While previous studies have demonstrated changes in myelin production, this study also shows positive changes in axonal density. These findings hold incredible implications for neural plasticity and for patients with attention deficit disorder, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, addiction, and maybe even Alzheimer's.

Click here to read the full Medscape Medical News article.

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