Mindfulness Meditation and Brain Waves

A new study in the Brain Research Bulletin trained people to use mindfulness meditation, and observed their brain waves. After training, these new meditators were instructed to pay attention to body sensations, including the sensations of the breath.

Although it was a very small (12 people) and short (8 weeks) study, the study observed a difference in the brain waves of participants who meditated, with body awareness, as compared with those in the control group, who did not.

The study found a faster increase in the amplitude of alpha waves, in the meditators. These are brain waves, also observed in a 1966 study of Buddhist monks, that may help with concentration and regulation of sensory information.

What could this mean? More confirmation that meditation may increase overall body awareness, including the ability to manage body sensations such as pain. And, meditation training, including forms like mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and other body awareness trainings, can be effective in a relatively short time period.

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