February 8, 2011

Meditation and Mindfulness by Gary Purse

Gary Purse from the BYU-Idaho Religion department and Gwenaelle Couliard a BYU-Idaho counselor came and met with students to discuss the benefits and techniques of meditation. Meditation is a beneficial practice that can help students to eliminate stress from their lives. “Neuroscientists have found that meditators shift their brain activity to different areas of the cortex - brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. This mental shift decreases the negative effects of stress, mild depression and anxiety. The researchers found that the meditators showed a pronounced shift in activity to the left frontal lobe. In other words, they were calmer and happier than before.” (The Benefits of Meditation: Psychology Today, by Colin Allen, Apr 24 '03).
Other meditation benefits include:
 -Increases activation of left frontal regions, which lifts mood (Davidson 2004).  
 -Decreases stress-related cortisol (Tang et al. 2007).
 -Strengthens the immune system (Davidson et al. 2003; Tang et al. 2007).
 -Helps a variety of medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, asthma, type II diabetes, PMS, and chronic pain (Walsh and Shapiro 2006). 
 -Helps numerous psychological conditions, including insomnia, depression, anxiety, phobias, and eatingdisorders (Walsh and Shapiro 2006)(http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/06/mindfulness-as-good-as-antidepressant-drugs-study-says/)

 Emily Thompson, owner of Cure Touch Massage Therapy, conducted a workshop with students to teach them proper massage techniques and the positive effects it can have on one’s body. 

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