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15418Re: Article from Science daily. Meditation causes alertness (duh)

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Jul 6, 2007
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      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, Benjamin Buehne
      <benbuehne@...> wrote:
      > Study: Meditators 'surprisingly' alertADELAIDE, Australia, July 6
      (UPI) -- Meditation produces changes in brain waves associated with
      being increasingly alert, an Australian researcher says.
      > Dylan DeLosAngeles, of the Flinders Medical Center in Adelaide, is
      to present his findings this month at the World Congress of
      Neuroscience in Melbourne.
      > Previous studies proved conflicting about meditation's impact on
      the brain, with some studies reporting that meditators were asleep,
      DeLosAngeles said.
      > DeLosAngeles asked 13 people in a meditation group to describe
      their experiences of five different meditative states. DeLosAngeles
      then measured brain activity in each state using an
      electroencephalograph, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday.
      > DeLosAngeles said he found an increase in alpha brain waves
      associated with alertness, focus, attention and concentration, and a
      decrease in delta brain waves associated with drowsiness or sleep.
      > "Meditation is a finely held state of attentiveness and alertness
      that differs from eyes-closed resting or sleep," he concluded.
      > Copyright 2007 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.
      The "problem" with these studies is that for every one
      like this one (which I feel is right on), there is another
      that questions the other (see below). So, I think that
      the best way to know what meditation can do is by meditating.
      Peace and blessings,

      The Therapeutic Value Of Meditation Unproven, Study Found
      Main Category: Complementary Medicine / Alternative Medicine News
      Article Date: 04 Jul 2007 - 6:00 PDT
      "There is an enormous amount of interest in using
      meditation as a form of therapy to cope with a
      variety of modern-day health problems, especially
      hypertension, stress and chronic pain, but the
      majority of evidence that seems to support this
      notion is anecdotal, or it comes from poor quality
      studies," say Maria Ospina and Kenneth Bond,
      researchers at the University of Alberta/Capital
      Health Evidence-based Practice Center in Edmonton, Canada.

      In compiling their report, Ospina, Bond and their
      fellow researchers analyzed a mountain of medical
      and psychological literature - 813 studies in all -
      looking at the impact of meditation on conditions
      such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and
      substance abuse.

      They found some evidence that certain types of
      meditation reduce blood pressure and stress in
      clinical populations. Among healthy individuals,
      practices such as Yoga seemed to increase verbal
      creativity and reduce heart rate, blood pressure
      and cholesterol. However, Ospina says no firm
      conclusions on the effects of meditation practices
      in health care can be drawn based on the available
      evidence because the existing scientific research
      is characterized by poor methodological quality and
      does not appear to have a common theoretical perspective.

      "Future research on meditation practices must be more
      rigorous in the design and execution of studies and
      in the analysis and reporting of results," Ospina explains.

      But the researchers caution against dismissing the
      therapeutic value of meditation outright. "This
      report's conclusions shouldn't be taken as a sign
      that meditation doesn't work," Bond says. "Many
      uncertainties surround the practice of meditation.
      For medical practitioners who are seeking to make
      evidence-based decisions regarding the therapeutic
      value of meditation, the report shows that the
      evidence is inconclusive regarding its effectiveness."
      For the general public, adds Ospina, "this research
      highlights that choosing to practice a particular
      meditation technique continues to rely solely on
      individual experiences and personal preferences,
      until more conclusive scientific evidence is produced."

      The report, published June 2007 and titled Meditation
      Practices for Health: State of the Research, identified
      five broad categories of meditation practices: mantra
      meditation, mindfulness meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi and
      Qi Gong. Transcendental Meditation and relaxation
      response (both of which are forms of mantra meditation)
      were the most commonly studied types of meditation.
      Studies involving Yoga and mindfulness meditation were
      also common.

      Article adapted by Medical News Today from original
      press release.

      The research was conducted by the University of
      Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center under contract
      to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services'
      Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. It was
      requested and funded by the National Center for
      Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Bethesda, Md.

      Contact: Isabela C. Varela
      University of Alberta

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