That meditation has a calming effect on us is common knowledge. But no one really knows exactly how meditation reduces our stress levels and produces calm. Recent research by University of California Los Angeles [UCLA] may have an answer to this mystery.
In a previous experiment, conducted six months ago, UCLA researchers had found that practicing Kirtan Kriya Meditation [KKM] for just 12 minutes daily for eight weeks helps the body and mind cope with stress. Kirtan Kriya is a yogic meditation that involves chanting the sounds "Sa Ta Na Ma" along with some hand gestures in a specific sequence.
The researchers have now found that this yogic meditation helps manage stress by reducing the activity of proteins that are specifically linked to increased inflammation. And it's chronic inflammation, which is the body's stress response, contributes to a multitude of chronic health problems.
And not just Kirtan Kriya, other meditations too offer benefits. For instance, latest research by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that practising mindfulness meditation reduces loneliness in older adults. Loneliness is the cause of many problems of ageing and seen as a curse of that phase of life.
Mindfulness meditation is a 2,500-year-old practice dating back to Buddha that involves creating an attentive awareness of the present moment. This meditation too was found to lower inflammation levels.
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