Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Meditating on health

A study finds that practicing yoga leads to an increase in the brain transmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), associated with a feeling of relaxation and a lessening of anxiety.

In our book we mentioned work by Richard Davidson on the effects of mindfulness meditation on immune response to 'flu vaccine. After an 8 week course subjects were vaccinated and found to have a significantly stronger response than controls. Differences also showed up in brain activity, with greater left-sided anterior activation.

Davidson jointly edited a book Visions of Compassion, whose subtitle - Western Scientists and Tibetan Buddhists Examine Human Nature - explains its contents.

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