Harvard neuroscientist: Meditation not only reduces stress, here’s how it changes your brain

Harvard neuroscientist: Meditation not only reduces stress, here’s how it changes your brain

Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and test them in brain scans. What she found surprised her — that meditating can literally change your brain. She explains: Q: Why did you start looking at meditation and mindfulness and the brain? Lazar: A friend and I were training for the Boston marathon. I had some running injuries, so I saw a physical therapist who told me to stop running and just stretch. So I started practicing yoga as a form of physical therapy. I started realizing that it was very powerful, that it had some real benefits, so I just got interested in how it worked. The yoga teacher made all sorts of claims, that yoga would increase your compassion and open your heart. And I’d think, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m here to stretch.’ But I started noticing that I was calmer. I was better able to handle more difficult situations. I was more compassionate and open hearted, and able to see things from others’ points of view. I thought, maybe it was just the placebo response. But then I did a literature search of the science, and saw evidence that meditation had been associated with decreased stress, decreased depression, anxiety, pain and insomnia, and an increased quality of life. At that point, I was doing my PhD in molecular biology. So I just switched and started doing this research as a post-doc. Q: How did you do the research? Lazar: The first study looked at long...
Sound’s amazing power to heal and transform

Sound’s amazing power to heal and transform

The gong is one of the oldest instruments of healing and has been used for thousands of years in meditation, ceremony and rituals. Today they are used in yoga and meditation classes, sound therapy practice, group gong bath meditations and in palliative and cancer treatment centers to promote health and well-being.  They are also a wonderful addition at weddings, family celebrations, workshops, and music festivals. Grand Gongmaster Don Conreaux  According to Don Conreaux “The secret of the gong is its tremendous potential for healing and rejuvenation.” “Because the gong covers the full spectrum of sound, it vibrates all the cells and bones and organs, some more than others, depending upon the pitch of the gong. You feel an influx of energy coming from it in your body as well as hear it.” “The gong is more accurately a force of energy, “like a divine engine, affecting the body’s meridians. By and large, after it’s over, you just feel great,” he says. “You feel like you’ve been healed by the spirit of nature. And the wonderful thing about it is that the instruments heal the player while the player is playing the instrument.” The sounds from the gongs travel from the outer ear throughout the body via the vagus nerve — impacting brain waves, respiratory rate and heart rate. Sound and vibration help facilitate a deep sense of peace, release tension and blocked energy, and balance the energy centers in the body.  They are working at a cellular level to rebalance the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies. “We call it the Music of Wholeness,” Don explains. “Whereas a lot of...
Reduce Anxiety & Stress With Light Healing Therapy

Reduce Anxiety & Stress With Light Healing Therapy

Reprogram your brain to reduce anxiety & stress while relaxing more easily? The Anja Light has been expertly engineered to help you decompress and reach a deep state of relaxation. This treatment is safe and effective; when used appropriately it can have long lasting effects to reduce anxiety and rid your brain of negative energy or unnecessary static. This process can be compared to tuning a radio to reduce static or pressing the reset button. An Anja Light treatment is a light sequence combined with calming music. It activates various areas in the brain and stimulates the pineal gland, which sends you into a sleep-like state. Once you reach this state, the Anja Light works to reset faulty brainwaves while reducing anxiety and stress. How does the Anja Light work? Life has a tendency to pull you in what can seem like a million different directions. Sleep is a crucial component in the body’s ability to heal, recharge, and become revitalized. Many people have noticed positive changes after the first treatment In this age of technology we are constantly “plugged in” and exposed to more information than our brains can effectively handle. Have you ever been reading a book and turned the page only to realize that you can’t recall anything you just read? This is just one example of the result of “brain overload”. When it comes time to unplug and go to sleep your mind is still racing. To remedy this, people will often read online or watch a show. The blue light from your device’s screen tells your brain to stay awake. With all of these...
Hоw a Gоng Sоund Mеditаtiоn benefits your corporate wellness Program

Hоw a Gоng Sоund Mеditаtiоn benefits your corporate wellness Program

Thе benefits оf a соrроrаtе wellness рrоgrаm trаnѕmitѕ frоm thе соmраniеѕ down to thе employees. Corrporate wellness meditation classes gеnеrаllу rеduсеѕ ѕtrеѕѕ, hеightеn аwаrеnеѕѕ аnd develop a саlm mind- thаt iѕ whу leading соmраniеѕ have embraced соrроrаtе mеditаtiоn classes (аlѕо known аѕ mindfulnеѕѕ trаining or mindfulness meditation), inсluding Aррlе, Gооglе, Nike, Prосtоr & Gаmblе, Dеutѕсhе Bаnk аnd Yahoo, MсKinѕеу & Co to nаmе just an fеw. What dо Emрlоуееѕ аnd Companies Stаnd tо Gain frоm Gong Meditation? Rеduсеd аbѕеntееiѕm Wоrkрlасе рrеѕѕurеѕ саuѕе a rаngе of physical аnd emotional illnesses (inсluding dерrеѕѕiоn). Stress ѕuррrеѕѕеѕ the immunе system so thаt it tаkеѕ lоngеr tо recover from nоn-ѕtrеѕѕ-rеlаtеd illnеѕѕеѕ. Thiѕ results in loss оf wоrk hоurѕ. Rеduсеd ѕtаff turnover Employees who aren’t сорing with stress аt wоrk are mоrе likеlу tо leave. Emрlоуееѕ with bеttеr mеntаl fосuѕ Rеѕеаrсh ѕhоwѕ that mindfulness meditation inсrеаѕеѕ mеntаl аbilitiеѕ; especially thе ability tо fосuѕ. Higher ѕtаff morale Rеduсing ѕtrеѕѕ in thе workplace mеаnѕ уоur employees will bе hаррiеr and fееl mоrе роѕitivе аbоut уоur оrgаniѕаtiоn. Reduced wоrkеrѕ соmреnѕаtiоn claims Strеѕѕ-rеlаtеd сlаimѕ account fоr аlmоѕt 30% of all Work Cover claims аnd are аbоut twice as еxреnѕivе аѕ оthеr сlаimѕ (see details bеlоw). Bеttеr inter-staff relations When реорlе аrе ѕtrеѕѕеd аt wоrk, tеmреrѕ flare аnd rеlаtiоnѕhiрѕ саn ѕоur, lеаding to lеѕѕ со-ореrаtivе, lеѕѕ соhеѕivе teams, whiсh dесrеаѕеѕ рrоduсtivitу. Highеr productivity All of thе fасtоrѕ mentioned аbоvе will inсrеаѕе productivity аnd imрrоvе уоur bottom line. Additiоnаllу, the fасt that mаnу реорlе think lеѕѕ сlеаrlу whеn thеу’rе оvеr-ѕtrеѕѕеd mеаnѕ уоur staff will mаkе bеttеr decisions whеn еffесtivе ѕtrеѕѕ management ѕtrаtеgiеѕ, such аѕ mindfulnеѕѕ trаining, аrе implemented. Better сuѕtоmеr service...
Top Health Benefits For Using Palo Santo In Your Home

Top Health Benefits For Using Palo Santo In Your Home

Where does palo santo come from? Deep in the dry tropical forests of South America lay an ancient tree by the name of Palo Santo (which translates to Holy Wood) that’s been used for centuries dating back to the era of the Incas. Known for it’s indigenous medicinal purposes it has been cultivated for its incense and oil properties. Be it the wood shavings burned for smudging, the oil that’s distilled to be used in massaging/diffusing or boiled in water for tea, Burserea Graveolens has highly spiritual purifying and healing properties. What is palo santo wood? With an ancient lineage native to Mexico, Mexico, Yucatán Peninsula to Peru and Venezuela, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador and Galapagos Islands the Palo Santo tree falls into the same family as frankincense and myrrh. The mystical ‘Holy Wood’ tree has an element of citrus and emits succulent hints of sweet lemon, pine and mint. The wood is used in a variety of ways to cleanse energy and improve health. What is Palo Santo essential oil? Ethically harvested from dead wood, the essential oil goes thru a chemical-free process of distillation. The therapeutic properties of the oil range from the ability to heighten positive moods, increase vitality and aid for protection against negative energies. The simplest way to use the essential oil is through simple massage and skin absorption and can also be used in your diffuser. How to use in your meditation practice? As in all meditation, there are numerous accompaniments that can be incorporated into the healing process. The use of Palo Santo helps in the vibrational...
How to benefit from a Tea Meditation

How to benefit from a Tea Meditation

What is tea meditation? Tea meditation is just another form of meditation we can practice easily each day, as the art of meditation is not limited to only sitting cross-legged with our eyes closed (mentally wide open) the different forms of meditation are endless. In all reality meditation is all about the centering of oneself and can be done in whatever way suits you best. As we rise many of us head to our stovetops and boil a pot of water and drink our morning tea or coffee without much thought. We prepare it and sip it up but perhaps we are overlooking the Zen that can be found within tea preparation. [bctt tweet=”There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea ― Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady” username=”Gongsmeditation”] Where did tea meditation come from? The practice of tea meditation is of ancient Chinese and Japanese origin more commonly referred to as tea ceremonies. The powerful aromas and their calming qualities were used for their medicinal purposes. Even today the health benefits of tea are s still being discovered click here to check out more. The art of making tea is the perfect addition to your morning ritual and compliments sitting meditation. The art of making tea is the perfect addition to your morning ritual and compliments sitting meditation. How to enhance your tea meditation practice? The tea meditation exercise of tea meditation is a way to set the tone for the rest of your day, building up an awareness and appreciation for the moment. To begin, like in...