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Posts Tagged ‘chronic pain’

10 May 2016 May & June Éiriú Eolas workshops in downtown Vancouver and South Surrey

The first Vancouver class will be held on Friday May 20th at Yoga on 7th – a beautiful heritage building at 156 E 7th Avenue, a block north of Broadway and Main. Class begins at 7:30pm and goes to 9:30pm. Two other classes will be held on June 3rd and 17th at the same location and time. In these 2 hour workshops we will be discussing the science of stress, how it affects the organs and nervous system, and how certain breathing techniques can influence our physiology to counter that stress and create a sense of relaxation in a hectic world. We can actively strengthen our body’s innate ability to heal and rejuvenate through practicing these techniques. Hope to see you there!

EE vancouver may

Two more Éiriú Eolas classes are being held in Surrey in May. The first is Saturday May 14th, and the second is Saturday May 28th. Both classes are from 11am-1pm, and both are at Endless Shore Yoga (upstairs in room 222 at 2570 King George Blvd. in South Surrey, British Columbia). In these 2 hour workshops we will be discussing the science of stress, how it affects the organs and nervous system, and how certain breathing techniques can influence our physiology to counter that stress and create a sense of relaxation in a hectic world. We can actively strengthen our body’s innate ability to heal and rejuvenate through practicing these techniques. Hope to see you there!

EE vancouver may surrey

 

4 April 2016 April Éiriú Eolas workshops in Vancouver

Two more Éiriú Eolas classes are being held in April. The first is Sunday April 10th, and the second is Sunday April 24th. Both classes are from 10 am-noon, and both are at Endless Shore Yoga (upstairs in room 222 at 2570 King George Blvd. in South Surrey, British Columbia). In these 2 hour workshops we will be discussing the science of stress, how it affects the organs and nervous system, and how certain breathing techniques can influence our physiology to counter that stress and create a sense of relaxation in a hectic world. We can actively strengthen our body’s innate ability to heal and rejuvenate through practicing these techniques. Hope to see you there!

EE vancouver April

26 February 2012 Meditation Boosts the Brain

Owen Nicholas
IEET
Posted: Feb 24, 2012

Science and meditation are two things that one might initially regard as having no more in common with each other as Chinese calligraphy and Italian pasta. Science, however, has recently examined the eastern tradition to answer the longstanding question: how does meditation work?  Is anything actually happening or is it “all in the head?”

The effects of meditation on human cognition and physical health have become the subject of numerous scientific studies in the past decade. Results are linking meditative practice to improved memory, concentration and self-control, and the lowering of stress, blood pressure and other psychological conditions.

For example, UCLA researchers are exploring the connection between meditation and resistance to age-related brain atrophy. Assistant professor Eileen Luders states that: “Meditation appears to be a powerful mental exercise with the potential to change the physical structure of the brain…. it might not only cause changes in brain anatomy by inducing growth but also by preventing reduction. That is, if practiced regularly and over years, meditation may slow down aging-related brain atrophy, perhaps by positively affecting the immune system.”
Here’s a listing of additional study results:

* M.R.I. brain scans taken before and after participants’ meditation found increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area important for learning and memory. The images also showed a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress.

* High-risk patients who meditated cut their risk of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from all causes roughly in half compared with a group of similar patients who were given more conventional education about healthy diet and lifestyle. The meditators remained disease-free longer and reduced their systolic blood pressure.

* Meditation reduces stress, due to brain changes that cut stress hormones like cortisol and dampen the inflammatory processes associated with atherosclerosis.

* Students at risk of hypertension that practiced meditation reduced their systolic blood pressure by 6.3 millimeters of mercury and their diastolic pressure by 4 millimeters of mercury on average.

* Meditators have demonstrated superior ability at detecting fast-changing stimuli, like emotional facial expressions. Mediation may also increase concentration levels by helping to control brain phenomenon such as the attentional blink.

* Researchers found that when meditators heard the sounds of people suffering, they had stronger activation levels in their temporal parietal junctures, a part of the brain tied to empathy, than people who did not meditate. Distressed sounds elicited stronger empathetic responses than the positive and neutral noises, and the brain activity in these regions was much stronger in the seasoned meditators.

* Meditation increases the thickness of the cortex in areas involved in attention and sensory processing, such as the prefrontal cortex and the right anterior insula. The finding is in line with studies showing that accomplished musicians, athletes and linguists all have thickening in relevant areas of the cortex.

* Mindfulness meditation holds promise for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which provokes intrusive thoughts, emotional numbness and hypervigilance. It could also lead to decreased activity in an area of the brain implicated in a range of neurological disorders, potentially even slowing down the onset of dementia.

* Scans taken after meditation training showed that every participant’s pain ratings were reduced, with decreases ranging from 11 to 93 percent. At the same time, meditation significantly reduced brain activity in the primary somatosensory cortex, an area that is crucially involved in creating the feeling of where and how intense a painful stimulus is.

An interesting debate ignited by the studies has been the suggestion that the personal beliefs of the researchers are directly influencing results by distorting scientific objectivity. These arguments were played out in a similar context during the early 20th century when psychoanalysis was causing a stir.

As science pushes forward, age-old beliefs have become increasingly threatened, marginalised and retired. It has been easy for many to imagine that all spiritual practices, meditation included, may eventually go the same way. Yet here is one example where science – far from dismantling a social practice – may, in fact, give it new life by informing and invigorating it’s processes.

3 January 2012 Éiriú Eolas meetings in Grande Prairie

2 May 2011 Brain scans show how meditation calms pain

By Alan Mozes
USA Today

Dr. Giuseppe Pagnoni is a zen monk researcher who did a mediation in an MRI machine study in 2008 (By Jon Rou, Emory University)

People who routinely practice meditation may be better able to deal with pain because their brains are less focused on anticipating pain, a new British study suggests.

The finding is a potential boon to the estimated 40% of people who are unable to adequately manage their chronic pain. It is based on an analysis involving people who practice a variety of meditation formats, and experience with meditation as a whole ranged from just a few months to several decades.

Only those individuals who had engaged in a long-term commitment to meditation were found to have gained an advantage with respect to pain relative to non-meditators.

“Meditation is becoming increasingly popular as a way to treat chronic illness such as the pain caused by arthritis,” study author Dr. Christopher Brown, from the University of Manchester‘s School of Translational Medicine, said in a university news release.

“Recently,” he noted, “a mental health charity called for meditation to be routinely available on the NHS (National Health Service of Great Britain) to treat depression, which occurs in up to 50% of people with chronic pain. However, scientists have only just started to look into how meditation might reduce the emotional impact of pain.”

The findings were released online recently in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal Pain.

All the forms of meditation that Brown looked at included mindfulness meditation practices, which form the basis of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which has been recommended for recurrent depression since 2004.

By using a laser to induce pain, Brown and his team found that activity in certain parts of the brain seemed to dip when the study participants anticipated pain. With that observation he was able to establish that those with upwards of 35 years of meditation under their belt anticipated pain the least.

In particular, meditators also seemed to display unusual activity in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain that is known for regulating attention and thought processes when a person feels threatened.

“The results of the study confirm how we suspected meditation might affect the brain,” explained Brown. “Meditation trains the brain to be more present-focused and therefore to spend less time anticipating future negative events. This may be why meditation is effective at reducing the recurrence of depression, which makes chronic pain considerably worse.”

However, he added that “although we found that meditators anticipate pain less and find pain less unpleasant, it’s not clear precisely how meditation changes brain function over time to produce these effects.”

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