Did you know mice can meditate? Recently, a study was conducted at the University of Oregon by Dr. Michael Posner to study the effect meditation has on the brain. Posner and his team were able to simulate the neurological effects of meditation practices of humans in mice using electrical implants. The mice didn’t know they were meditating; their brains were doing it automatically.
Posner and his team found that, while in the meditative state, the mice’s brains were producing more myelin, the fatty covering that encases the part of neurons called axons. The axon is the “wire” through which the brain sends electrical signals, working like insulation and allowing electrical impulses to travel continuously along it. Posner found that after his mice “meditated” the myelin-producing cells (oligodendrocytes) were active in two areas of the brain, which mirrored earlier studies in human brains. The study also found increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, which is the area of the brain that helps to integrate emotions with physical responses.
“Many meditation methods produce an increase in theta rhythms across the frontal cortex of humans,” Posner says. These theta rhythms are brain wave patterns. In his studies on both humans and mice, Posner found that it was these waves that stimulated myelin production and can lead to positive behavioral changes.
How can this help us, as lay people? Since a growing body of evidence is supporting the therapeutic effects of mindfulness training or meditation to create positive changes in our physical and emotional wellbeing, it may be a good idea to begin a practice of daily meditation. For most of us, however, it can take months or even years of disciplined practice to maintain the theta rhythm and glean meditation’s full benefit.
Since none of us want an electrical implant in our head, the audios in the BrainTap audio library and, even better, the BrainTap headset are efficient and straightforward ways to achieve theta. If you are someone who feels that meditation is too hard, or you can’t sit still or calm your brain long enough to gain the positive benefits of meditation, then the BrainTap headset may be your solution. It’s meditation done for you.
Brainwaves are produced by electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other. These brainwaves change according to what we’re doing, thinking, and feeling. Theta brainwaves occur most often in the twilight period between awake and asleep but are also prevalent during deep meditation. Theta is our gateway to learning, memory, and intuition. Theta is that drowsy state near sleep where we can dream beyond our ordinary consciousness. That’s why meditation is so crucial in helping us achieve goals and calm our bodies and minds from today’s inundation of stress.
The technology in the audios on the BrainTap app is specifically designed to bring your body into states of mindfulness and meditation quickly and easily, without conscious effort on your part so you can experience the benefits of the theta brainwave state. To experience this relaxation state for yourself, begin with a FREE trial on us!
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