Meditation, the Brain, Neurons, and Neurotransmitters

Meditation can help promote health in various dimensions, including physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and social. The scientific studies and the scans of the meditating brain found that the blood flow condition may be improved in the brain, with improved connections between various regions of the brain. With lower stress hormone levels, meditation can lead to stress reduction and relaxation. Most importantly, meditation can help strengthen your brain power.

The brain has neurons, the nerve cells, and neurotransmitters, the molecules that sending messages among neurons. There are about 12 billion neurons in the brain. Neurons have dendrites as branch-like parts extending from the cell body, and axons as single long fiber-like parts.  Messages carried by neurotransmitters can be received by the dendrites and sent away by the axons.

Aging, injuries, and diseases such as stroke can lead to the damage or even loss of neurons. On the other hand, meditation can be a mental workout for keeping the neurons active and slowing down the aging process. For instance, Transcendental Meditation (TM) has been found to promote the flow of the blood to the brain.

Meditation is not the same as resting your body or slowing down your responses or senses. Instead, it can awaken your senses and train your attention. “Kensho” is an experience of insight-wisdom, a clear-thinking moment similar to pre-enlightenment with the understanding of the essence of things. Meditation practices have the potential to control many body functions such as the body temperature.

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