People are more curious about meditation lately because each day we learn about different benefits of meditation. Although meditation techniques have common benefits, some techniqes can be more beneficial in some cases.

If you are planning to start meditation or just curious if you could really benefit from it; first you need to clarify what you expect from meditation.

We cannot point one technique as the best, but you can choose which is the best for you. Read about different techniques to choose which you can keep on without quitting because some techniques require more time, some needs quidance and some needs tools, so you need to find out which is suitable for you. Consistency will help you to get the best from the meditation technique you choose.

If you want to be sure about the benefits of meditation, here are some scientific researches about different meditation techniques which will be helpfull for beginners.

Mindfulness Meditation Increases Positive Emotional State:

The research team led by Richard Davidson, Vilas Professor of psychology and psychiatry at UW-Madison investigated the positive changes in the brain during and after the meditation.

In the experimental group, participants receieved mindfulness meditation from Jon Kabat-Zinn and the control group didn't receive training.Meditation group attended a weekly class and they practised for an hour at home for 6 days a week.

The team measured electrical activity in the frontal part of the brain which is associated with lower anxiety and a more positive emotional state. As expected the meditation group developed more activity at that part of the brain.

Source: University Communications, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Mindfulness Meditation Decreases Perception of Pain and Improves Cognitive Processing:

Fadel Zeidan, a post-doctoral researcher at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and a former doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and co-authors Susan K. Johnson, Zhanna David and Paula Goolkasian from the Department of Psychology at UNC Charlotte, and Bruce J. Diamond from William Patterson University studied if a brief meditation can be helpfull on cognition.

Participants meditated 20 minutes each day for 4 days and control group attempted a reading session at the same period.

Prior to and following the mindfulness meditation and reading sessions, both the meditation and control group were tested to examine assessing mood, memory, visual attention, attention processing, and vigilance. Mindfulness meditation improved cognitional skills ten times better of the Mindfulness meditation participants after training than the control group.

"This seems to be strong evidence for the idea that we may be able to modify our own minds to improve our cognitive processing -- most importantly in the ability to sustain attention and vigilance -- within a week's time."explained Zeidan.

Through this research the meditation and control group participants' sensitivity to pain also examined before and after the sesssions by employing harmless electrical shocks Meditation decreased the perception of "high pain" levels, and also reduced the perception of "low" pain levels

"We knew already that meditation has significant effects on pain perception in long-term practitioners whose brains seem to have been completely changed -- we didn't know that you could do this in just three days, with just 20 minutes a day," Zeidan said.

Source: Download full research PDF

Wake Forest University

Buddhist Meditation Improves Visiopatial Abilities:

The researchers led by psychologist Maria Kozhevnikov of George Mason University focused on two types of buddhist meditation Deity Yoga and Open Presence to find out if meditation improves our imagery skills.

In the experiment Deity Yoga and Open Presence practitioners meditated for 20 minutes and the control group rested at the same period. Participants tested before and after sessions about mental rotation abilities and visual memory.

Before meditation sessions although the participants were practitioners of Deity Yoga or Open Presence their test results were similar to the control group, which means meditation doesn't have a long lasting affect.

After meditation sessions, the results show that the Deity Yoga parctitioners improved their visiopatial abilities dramatically.

Buddhist Insight Meditation Increases Grey Matter In The Brain:

The research led by Sara Lazar, assistant in psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital and co-author of the study Jeremy Gray, assistant professor of psychology at Yale studied to find out if meditation increased the grey matter in the brain.

Gray said. "The study participants were people with jobs and families. They just meditated on average 40 minutes each day, you don't have to be a monk."

Magnetic resonance imaging proved that practising meditation regularly helps to increase the sensory, auditory and visual abilities and internal perception and also reduction of aging effects of brain.

They mentioned that different kinds of meditation may have different affects on cortical thickening.

Source: Yale University

Yoga Has a Positive Effect on Mood:

A study led by lead author Chris Streeter, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at BUSM examined if yoga has a positive effect on mood.

One group of participants practiced yoga three times a week for one hour and the control group just walked at the same period. Both were followed for 12 weeks scanning their brains with using magnetic resonance spectroscopic (MRS) imaging. They were also asked to assess their psychological state at several points throughout the study.

"Over time, positive changes in these reports were associated with climbing GABA levels," said Streeter. Low GABA levels are associated with depression and other widespread anxiety disorders.

Source: Boston University

Integrative Body-Mind Training (IBMT):Helps to regulate your behaviour through your desires

A team of Chinese researchers led by Yi-Yuan Tang of Dalian University of Technology in collaboration with University of Oregon psychologist Michael I. Posner. and UO psychology professor Mary K. Rothbart focused on IBMT to find out what

Posner, who last fall received a National Medal of Science said:"The importance of our findings relates to the ability to make structural changes in a brain network related to self regulation.The pathway that has the largest change due to IBMT is one that previously was shown to relate to individual differences in the person's ability to regulate conflict."

Source: University of Oregon

Vipassana meditation

A study by psychology and psychiatry professor Richard Davidson of the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and the Waisman Center and his research group examined whether conscious mental training can affect attention.

Because the attentional resources are limited when two visual signals are shown, people miss the second one much of the time. "The attention momentarily goes off-line. Your attention gets stuck on the first target, then you miss the second one " Davidson says.

Three months of intensive training in Vipassana meditation, which focuses on reducing mental distraction and improving sensory awareness. improved people's ability to detect a second target.

"The results of the study show that devoting fewer neural resources to the first target leaves enough left over to attend to another target that follows shortly after it", Davidson says

Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison

Zen Meditation Helps You for Pain Management:

A research by Joshua A. Grant, a doctoral student in the Department of Physiology, co-authored the paper with Pierre Rainville, a professor and researcher at the Université de Montréal and it's affiliated Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal studied on Zen meditation to find out its effects on pain.

"Through training, Zen meditators appear to thicken certain areas of their cortex and this appears to be underlie their lower sensitivity to pain," says lead author Joshua A. Grant and noted that meditative practices could be helpful in general for pain management, for preventing normal age-related grey matter reductions or potentially for any condition where the grey matter is compromised such as stroke.

Source: Université de Montréal

Zen Meditation Helps to Clear the Mind Faster After Distruction

Researcher Giuseppe Pagnoni, PhD, Emory assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and co-workers at Emory University School of Medicine studied how interruption affect the thoughts of meditators.

There were two group of participants, one group was Zen practitioners and the other one was control group. Participants brain was scanned during the task with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants was distracted during meditation.

Zen practitioners brain turn back to baseline before distruction faster than the control group.

This suggests that the regular practice of meditation may enhance the capacity to limit the influence of distracting thoughts. This skill could be important in conditions such as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder and major depression, characterized by excessive rumination or an abnormal production of task-unrelated thoughts," Pagnoni says.

Source: PubMed

Author's Bio: 

Nil Celen is a researcher for the proofs of "Mind Power" based on scientific resources. Researches from Worldwide universities on neuroscience, psychology and much more topics can give you a new perspective about "Mind Power" and how to use it.