Physiology of what happens during the relaxation response
Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine
Background and aim Mental stress represents a pivotal factor in cardiovascular diseases. The mechanism by which stress produces its deleterious effects is still under study, but one of the most explored pathways is inflammation-aging and cell senescence. In this scenario, circulating microRNAs appear to be regulatory elements of the telomerase activity and alternative splicing within the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer (NF-κB) network. Anti-stress techniques appeared to be […]
Journal of Clinical Medicine
Stress is a term used to define the body’s physiological and psychological reactions to circumstances that require behavioral adjustment [1,2,3], and the relaxation response is a psychophysiological state that is opposite to that of the stress or fight–flight response . A variety of mind/body techniques can be used to elicit a relaxation response and achieve the therapeutic effects associated with reduced blood pressure. For example, researchers at the Cochrane Review  investiga […]
The ability of an adult to learn and to perform cognitive tests is directly linked to how active the brain is at rest, UNSW researchers have found.
Nature Scientific Reports
Intelligence is a fundamental ability that sets humans apart from other animal species. Despite its importance in defining human behaviour, the neural networks responsible for intelligence are not well understood. The dominant view from neuroimaging work suggests that intelligent performance on a range of tasks is underpinned by segregated interactions in a fronto-parietal network of brain regions. Here we asked whether fronto-parietal interactions associated with intelligence are ubi […]
A very readable introduction to the scientific findings in neurology about primarily Buddhist forms of meditation.
Recently, much scientific attention has been focused on resting brain activity and its investigation through such methods as the analysis of functional connectivity during rest (the temporal correlation of brain activities in different regions). However, investigation of the magnitude of brain activity during rest has focused on the relative decrease of brain activity during a task, rather than on the absolute resting brain activity. It is thus necessary to investigate the association […]
Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging
Therapeutic interventions that incorporate training in mindfulness meditation have become increasingly popular, but to date, little is known about neural mechanisms associated with these interventions. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), one of the most widely used mindfulness training programs, has been reported to produce positive effects on psychological well-being and to ameliorate symptoms of a number of disorders. Here, we report a controlled longitudinal study to investi […]
Although the physiological and biochemical changes that occur during the acute stress response have been well-characterized, the contrasting changes that underlie the relaxation response evoked by various mind-body techniques are less understood. To help guide future mind-body research, we present a conceptual model that integrates patterns of change at the physiological and molecular levels. In addition, we point to future research opportunities and discuss how repeated elicitation o […]
Previous research indicates that long-term meditation practice is associated with altered resting electroencephalogram patterns, suggestive of long lasting changes in brain activity. We hypothesized that meditation practice might also be associated with changes in the brain's physical structure. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess cortical thickness in 20 participants with extensive Insight meditation experience, which involves focused attention to internal experiences. Brai […]