Meditation’s Antianxiety Effects Visible on Brain Imaging

“There is plenty of evidence that meditation can improve a host of issues, such as pain and cognitive function, and anxiety is perhaps at the top of the list,” explained lead author Fadel Zeidan, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest School of Medicine, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The findings were published online April 24 in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

“This involves a focus on breathing and a conscious acknowledging of distracting thoughts and emotions, combined with a decision not to react to them…While the participants reported meditation-related reductions in anxiety ratings by as much as 22%, the MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) showed anxiety relief to be associated with activation of the anterior cingulate cortex and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), which show decreases in activity when anxiety is present…”Activation in the vmPFC is associated with modulating higher-order affective appraisals, including cognitive regulation of negative emotions.”

Read the whole article at Medscape News by clicking here.

This type of meditation emulates the basic exercise which is used in clinical hypnotherapy in order to induce a hypnotic trance. A specific technique, personalised for each case, follows that hypnotic induction. This appears to be the main difference between “plain” meditation and clinical hypnotherapy practice: clinical hypnotherapy proposes to work on an objective and is therefore a goal oriented practice. Patients are taught how to do it by themselves and instructed to repeat the practice daily, or twice a day if possible.

 

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About Anna Pons

Certificat (CPPD), Post Graduat Certificat (PGCert) i Post Graduat Diploma (PGD) en Hipnoteràpia Clínica, London College of Clinical Hypnosis (LCCH) i Universitat de West London (UWL)
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