Is "Mindfulness meditation (MEISOU)" really effective?


"Meditation (Meitou)"Or"Mindfulness"As of 2015, it forms a market of about 1 billion dollars (about 110 billion yen), but there are many parts that have not yet been elucidated as to what kind of influence it will have on human health and physical and mental . In fact it is not excessively exaggerated, the outcome of science / environmental writersBruce LiebermanHe is following that effect and example.

By the way, although both "meditation" and "mindfulness" have implications of "mental concentration", it seems strictly a different thing, but Mr. Liverman also calls "mindfulness meditation" in the sentence.

Peering into the meditating mind

"Meditation" has been done thousands of years ago, but psychologists and neuroscientists began doing detailed research for the last few decades. Among them, it is known that meditation helps relax humans, manages chronic stress, and leads to relieving reliance on analgesics, and in another study depression Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy that has been created by combining meditation and psychotherapy that can deal with the thought of the patient leading to it has also appeared.

However, many research on meditation is targeted at a small number of subjects, and there is no follow-up research at present. In other words, it is said that there is a problem of "not being scientifically strict" compared with other medical research. In 2017, research results that meditation is optimal for treatment of PTSD have been published, but it seems that many of these papers merely published "content at a relatively early stage of research" to the last , Lieberman points out that it is necessary to verify the contents more deeply.

byBen White

Of course, there is also a research that focuses on the more fundamental problem "Do meditation physically change the brain?"

Normally, humans are careful about something on a daily basis, so that they reflect on the past, worry about the future, self-analysis, self-criticism, and so on It is aimed at something. However, according to Dr. Creswell, a psychologist who studies health and human performance at Carnegie Mellon University, "By sitting quietly and focusing on respiration" meditation is performed to identify consciousness It will become possible to concentrate on things of.

In 2010, researchers at Harvard University conducted a survey on 2250 subjects asking them to "remember their day's behavior using the iPhone application". From the results of the subjects' responses, it has been found that humans are unclear 47% of the day's behavior, and it has also been found that this "blurred time" leads to making people unhappy. In contrast, Mr. Creswell says that living firmly and consciously will improve the quality of our daily lives. In other words, it takes less time to unconsciously spend meditating, and you will be able to spend more happy days.

Mr. Creswell said that as a scientist it refused to be skeptical about the effect of meditation, but said that the effect of meditation as a person's own feeling is great. Indeed, when doing an hour of meditation, the body is in pain, while the heart is in a "completely quiet and open state", and the idea of ​​meditation can really change people's lives fundamentally It has led to change.

byIsabell Winter

Studies have also shown that meditation can bring about changes in the brain.

Over the past two decades, several neuroscientistsfMRII have been studying the physical effects of mindfulness meditation using such things. As a result, it is suggested that mindfulness meditation may cause nerve regeneration repair in brain function and structure. Mindfulness meditation is related to sympathy / sympathy / self-recognitionAnterior cingulate cortexActivation of the brain network of the part has been found by a survey using fMRI, "Does it change the brain activity even when not meditating?" "If so Is it something unclear about what you can get effective on a daily basis by meditating? "

In addition, some studies suggest that mindfulness meditation is likely to alter the structure of the brain. In a study published by Mr. Sarah Lazzar of Massachusetts General Hospital and others, in 2011, mindfulness meditation was found in the hippocampus of the braingray matterIt has been shown that there is a possibility of increasing density. However, the influence on the brain due to the increase in density of gray matter is unknown at the time of article creation. Still, Mr. Lazzar said, "Most of the data used in the study was collected during the 2 month meditation practice period, most people's brains continue to change with meditation.Therefore, We need to conduct research to track changes in people's brains across the body. "

byjesse orrico

Based on meditation related research, Mr. Creswell found that mindfulness exerts a stress-specific effect, causing an increase in the activity of the prefrontal cortex, which is important for "top-down stress control", and in the amygdala It reduces activity and functional connectivity. This seems to be widely known among researchers, but it seems that it is not very clear about what is happening in the amygdala.

"Amygdala", one of the most fundamental parts of the brain, not only plays a role as a simple alarm center to respond to threats, but also acts as an essential alarm center for noticing everything important in the environment, It is also the center of what is called a physical network. For example, it is clear that the amygdala of a mother reacts to the pleasant face of a baby and becomes very active, but it is possible to activate the amygdala by meditating in the same way.

In a study published by Mr. Creswell in 2015, a three-day intensive mindfulness meditation exercise is a function between the right amygdala associated with the stress response and the anterior cingulate cortex playing a role in regulating emotion It has become clear that it reduces the connectivity. In addition, from the research published in 2016, the same 3-day intensive mindfulness meditation exercise was also conducted in the brain network working when the brain is resting and the prefrontal cortex involved in stress control It turned out to bring about an increase. In addition, in this study, "rising under high stress"Interleukin-6It has also been shown that it is possible to lower it by meditation. In addition, it is also found that the symptoms of PTSD are improved by increasing the connectivity of the amygdala of the brain with the prefrontal cortex by meditation, firmly supporting that meditation is said to be beneficial for veterans and others It is also clear that it exists.

in Science, Posted by logu_ii