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Meditation, Mood, and Movement

The ancient practice of meditation is making news!  The use of modern brain imaging technology shows that an individual’s brain has a natural “set point” for good and bad moods, with greater activity on the left front side of the brain associated with “happy – calm”.  Greater activity on the right side is associated with stress, anxiety, and worry.  Research published in the Psychosomatic Medicine suggests that regular meditation (1 hr./day, 6 days a week) can positively shift the emotional set point and enhance immunity as well.  Most students new to meditation have difficulty sitting still for more than 5 minutes, so you may want to start with a physical activity that prepares the mind and body for quiet stillness such as yoga or Tai Chi.  Beginning meditation classes can be found at hospitals, community centers, and yoga        centers.  You may also decide to work with a meditation teacher individually to deepen your practice.

This research about the brain’s right/left activity – mood patterns is particularly intriguing in light of brain research on the effects of trauma, which shows the trauma material residing in the right brain (Limbic system) being disconnected from the meaning-making-accurate labeling left frontal cortex.

Therapeutic interventions such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) and psychodrama (particularly the Therapeutic Spiral Model™) have proven to be effective means of healing the neurobiology of trauma. This new research on the effects of meditation on mood promises to be an important addition to the treatment of trauma survivors, (as well as meditation’s proven benefits in regulating blood pressure and mood.)

In summary, the mindbodyspirit connection is being documented by good science and leading the way to integrated medicine and true holistic healing.  For more information about resources for learning meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, or about EMDR and/or the Therapeutic Spiral Model™, please contact us here at Healing Bridges  linda.healingbridges@gmail.com.  Begin your meditation with slow, deep breathing and welcome the peace within. NAMASTE´.