From NEWSMAX March issue:  In recent years, meditation has proven to be beneficial for numerous maladies including high blood pressure, chronic pain, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, stress, and depression.  Now, the ancient practice for relaxing the body and quieting the mind is being credited with forestalling the aging process.

Want evidence?  Consider this:  Research from Emory University in Atlanta found that the regular practice of Zen meditation may prevent the normal age-related decline of gray matter volume in the brain and performance on attention-related tasks that’s been observed in healthy older adults.

Moderate amounts of meditation may increase the size of the hippocampus (which normally shrinks with aging).similar to the way strength training can build muscle mass, notes Charles L. Raison, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and family and consumer sciences at the University of Arizona  in Tucson.

What’s more, research from the University of California, San Francisco, found that mindfulness meditation techniques seem to slow the rate of cellular aging, perhaps by preserving the length of telomeres, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes.  “Telomeres are a marker of aging.”  Dr. Raison explains, “because when telomeres start to get too short, DNA unravels, and the biological aging process can accelerate.”  So meditation may have a protective effect on cellular aging in the brain and body–which is a double dose of good news. 

Note:  my granddaughter says that mindfulness meditation takes practice, but it sounds as if it is all worth it,  I will keep practicing if it means longer health and better memory.



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