Contemplation Corner is a page where I will post educational facts and information to help you undertand the benefits of Biofeedback, Mindfulness, and Relaxation Therapy services, as well as related health and wellness tips. Hopefully, you will learn something and be intrigued at the same time
Please see more informational posts on my Facebook page.
Meditation and Neuroplasticity: Five key articles (Click Link Below)
Did you know MINDFULNESS can increase the gray matter of your brain in the area responsible for FOCUS, CONCENTRATION, and MEMORY??
Visit the site link below to learn more about mindfulness and how teens can benefit!!
Just What the Doctor Ordered (excerpt taken from…. Survival of the Kindest By Elisha Goldstein and Stefanie Goldstein
“Research shows that feeling compassion is good for us. It causes our heart rate to slow, which makes us more relaxed and calm; it leads to the release of the “bonding hormone” oxytocin, which helps us to feel more connected and loving toward others; and it activates regions of the brain linked to empathy, caregiving, and pleasure.”
From “Biofeedback” Fall 2016, Vol. 44, Number 3
pg. 123 “In addition to emotional regulation, mindfulness has shown promise in altering physiological and neurological function.” Increases in immune function and brain function have been found after participating in mindfulness training. It has also been written that participants report significantly less perceived stress, and a reduction in pain perception.
From the May 2016 issue of Reader’s Digest:
Secrets Your Body’s Trying to Tell You……. “I can reshape my brain through meditation. According to MRI scans, the hippocampus–the part of the brain in charge of learning and memory–thickens after only a couple of months of mindful meditation. Brain-cell density also decreases in the amygdala (responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress). Those physical brain changes can alter your mood.”
Multitasking: Studies show that a person who is attempting to multitask:
1. takes up to 50% longer to accomplish a task…..and
2. makes up to 50% more mistakes
source: Jon Medina, author of Brain Rules
Missing link found between brain, immune system
Neurogenisis: Growing New Brain Cells
Things that hinder neurogenisis: diet high in saturated fat, aging, sleep deprivation, high sugars, ethanol, vitamin deficiency, stress.
Things that enhance neurogenisis: learning, flavanoids, omega 3 fatty acids, exercise, sex, intermittent fasting, meditation or mindfulness.
Meditation has a REVERSAL effect on biological AGING.
You will NOT be sorry you watched this 18 minute video. VERY INTERESTING!!
Positive Feedback: A great article on biofeedback/neurofeedback/mind-body medicine
EEG Biofeedback for Hyperactivity:
“Using EEG Biofeedback as a therapy for hyperactivity stemmed from the previous work with epilepsy. During EEG Biofeedback training with epileptics, it was observed that symptoms of hyperactivity decreased (Lubar and Bahler, 1976a). This decrease is not that unexpected since hyperactivity can also be ascribed to insufficient motor inhibition. Lubar and Shouse (1976b) conducted the first study on the effectiveness of EEG biofeedback with hyperactivity.
In this study, EEG training was observed to be more effective than the sole use of stimulant medication such as Ritalin. Then, Lubar and Shouse completed a more comprehensive study of using EEG Biofeedback for hyperactivity; they found that combining SMR training with drug therapy resulted in considerable improvements in behaviors which surpassed the effects of the drugs alone. Additionally, these changes in behavior were maintained with SMR training even after the withdrawal of medication.” Click link below for entire article and references
“Any man could, if he were so inclined, be the sculptor of his own brain.”
― Santiago Ramón y Cajal,
“Biofeedback is a technique that uses monitoring instruments to measure and feed back information about muscle tension, heart rate, sweat responses, skin temperature, or brain activity.
Terms associated with biofeedback include applied psychophysiology or behavioral physiology. It is also viewed as a mind-body therapy method used in complementary and alternative medicine. Biofeedback is an important part of understanding the relationship between physical state and thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
The purpose of biofeedback is to enhance an individual’s awareness of physical reactions to physical, emotional, or psychological stress , and their ability to influence their own physiological responses. The overall purpose is to develop self-regulation skills that play a role in improving health and well-being.
Biofeedback has been used as a part of a comprehensive treatment approach with a number of conditions, including chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), Raynaud’s syndrome, epilepsy, attention-deficit/hyper activity disorder(ADHD), anxiety, migraine headaches, depression, traumatic brain injury, and sleep disorders . ”
Learn to be Compassionate: Mindfulness
Integrating Mindfulness Into Psychology and Medicine: Growing Evidence and Emerging Mechanisms for How to Better Treat Stress-Related Disorders.
“Stress is associated with many of the most common and costly mental and medical conditions facing society today. From Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma, the perception of stress, and the biological pathways through which stress perceptions are conveyed throughout the body, afford a unique opportunity for psychologists to integrate mindfulness into health care and medicine.”
Thinking can take on a negative aspect, like worry, catastrophizing, or rumination. The organs and cells of our body receive signals from negative thoughts, which trigger muscle tension, headaches, stomach or GI issues, fatigue, and high blood pressure, to name a few.
Increased evidence of the positive effects of mindfulness on stress-related conditions support the need for psychology and medicine to work together in an effort to enhance physical and emotional health.
The Pennsylvania Psychologist. December 2015, Quarterly
Source: Biofeedback, Fall 2015, Volume 43: Number 3
The Integration of Mindfulness-Based Biofeedback and Compassion in the Healthcare Setting, page 115
“Through mindfulness, compassion, and biofeedback, we increase self-awareness and simultaneously decrease anxiety. Biofeedback is a powerful tool through which one can utilize psychophysiological training to further develop, promote, and refine the skills necessary for compassion. With practice, skills born of each modality not only become polished over time but also appear to have a reciprocally beneficial and additive effect. If we combine conscious attention and focusing practices from traditional meditation with the precision that biofeedback training affords, then it is possible to change the habitual processes of the brain to function more effectively and perhaps efficiently.” – Ursula Klich, Ph.D. (Shepherd Center, Atlanta, GA)
Oct 22, 2015
In 2012, Neurology reported on a study done by David C. Mohr, PhD. He tested the benefits of stress management techniques on people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and found that 77% of those who practiced positive thinking and other relaxation techniques remained free of new brain lesions.
Regular practice of mindfulness is correlated with increased brain tissue in areas associated with attention, emotions, compassion, memory, and the anti-aging processes.
10 Reasons to Bring Meditation to Schools:
1. Reduce stress in the classroom
2. Improve students’ concentration
3. Enhance focus
4. Strengthen memory
5. Develop harmony and improve relationships
6. Introduce a lifelong method to reduce stress
7. Create a quiet time during the day
8. Recharge the students’ minds
9. Offer staff the time to experience relaxation
10. Lower anxiety around exam time
-Adam Dacey, www.meditationinschools.org
August 28, 2015
“The Pill-Free Way to Beat Depression”
….. an article in Prevention Magazine, September 2015 states that a group of people with depression who swapped their anti-depressants for mindfulness based cognitive therapy, showed comparable rates of depression recurrence as the group who took their medication. See the article for full details. They offer the following 5-minute exercise from UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center:
Sit with your back straight, feet on the floor, and hands in your lap
Close your eyes or cast them slightly downward and breathe naturally
If your thoughts wander, say “thinknig” softlly in your mind, then gently return your attention to your breath
When your timer goes off, notice how you feel. Try to carry that feeling with you throughout the day.
August 14, 2015
Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps: How are they beneficial?
Cleanse & Deodorize the Air, Reduce Allergy & Asthma Symptoms, Ease Coughing, Increase Energy Levels, Neutralize Electomagnetic Radiation, Improve Sleep, Improve Mood & Concentration, Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder, Reduce Static Electricity in the Air, Environmentally-Friendly Light Source.
August 3, 2015
Do you have high blood pressure or heart disease? Biofeedback is a natural, non-invasive treatment that can lower your blood pressure and improve your heart rate variability.
July 15, 2015
June 30, 2015
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD did an extensive review of meditation studies, and their findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that mindfulness meditation is beneficial for anxiety, depression, and pain. Source: Harvard Health Blog, January 8, 2014.
June 23, 2015
Chronic stress leads to overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones, which disrupts almost all your body’s processes. This increases your risk of numerous health problems, including, but not limited to:
- Digestive problems
- Heart disease
- Sleep problems
- Weight gain
- Memory and concentration impairment
That’s why it’s so important to learn healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life. Let’s get you breathing correctly and relaxing, for the health of it.
June 16, 2015
The vagus nerve acts as the brain-body connection and is responsible for your heart’s emotions and your gut feelings. When the vagus nerve is activated, it engages the parasympathetic nervous system, which is what calms us. You can stimulate the vagus nerve with diaphragmatic breathing. That’s why breathing correctly relaxes you.
June 3, 2015
Studies show chronic stress and major depression may decrease brain volume. “Recently, Yale researchers also found that stressful life moments — like going through a divorce, or being laid off — can actually shrink brain gray matter in regions tied to emotion and physiological functions, which could potentially be a sign of future psychiatric problems.”
Source: HUFFPOST Healthy Living
May 26, 2015
Following are the names of some celebrities who practice mindfulness:
Willow and Jaden Smith
May 19, 2015
SLEEP: Adequate sleep is one key part of a healthy mind and body. Here are 10 things you may not know are negative outcomes of sleep loss:
1. Sleep loss is a major cause of accidents, both on the job and on the road.
2. Sleep loss slows down cognitive processes. It impairs attention, concentration, and reasoning.
3. Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss are linked to: heart disease, heart attackes, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.
4. Lack of sleep lowers libido
5. Studies have shown that people with insomnia are 5 times more likely to develop depression.
6. Sleep loss causes higher levels of stress hormones that break down collagen and ages your skin.
7. Lack of sleep interferes with consolidating our memories. Sleepiness makes you forgetful.
8. Losing sleep can make you gain weight
9. One study of 10,000 people showed that reducing sleep from 7 to 5 hours or less a night doubled their risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and nearly doubled their risk of death from all causes.
10. Sleep loss impairs judgment.
May 11th, 2015
A few words about BREATHING. When we practice diaphragmatic breathing, the vagus nerve is pressed, and quiets down. The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve that runs down from the brain stem into the spine. It then turns on the body’s relaxation system and regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. When the vagus nerve gets quieted down the following occurs:
- Blood pressure is lowered, along with pulse rate and respiration
- Lactate is cleansed from the blood (lactate increases feelings of anxiety)
- Alpha brain waves are increased, which leave you feeling calm and alert
- Serotonin is released (95% of this feel-good neurotransmitter is stored in the stomach lining and intestines).