According to this study, the mental silence traditional approach used in Sahaja Yoga triggers a change in electrical activity of the brain, improving the mind and body in measurable ways.
The Sydney Morning Herald quotes Dr. Manocha saying that "Within the context of meditation and stress, it's the largest study in the world … and we've applied some rigorous conditions". "What authentic techniques should do is show you how to widen space between thoughts until the space is so large you have no thoughts whatsoever in that moment" .
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the clinical trial participants, 178 full-time workers, practised twice daily at home, for 10 to 20 minutes over eight weeks. The improvements for mood and depression were twice as high for those practicing ''mental silence'' compared to the ''relaxation'' and placebo groups.
''We've done other published studies where, when you teach people relaxation, they feel better, but there's no change in disease, but when you teach mental silence approach, they felt twice as better but also saw significant changes in indicators with disease" Dr Manocha is quoted saying.
However, this is not the only type of meditation proven to benefit your mind and body! Last year an international research team from China and the University of Oregon found that only 11 hours of a specific type of meditation, integrative body-mind training (IBMT), increases brain tracts connecting the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) to other brain structures.
IBMT, developed by Dr. Yi-Yuan Tang of Dalian University in China, is a type of mind-body meditation based on traditional Chinese medicine. IBMT uses body relaxation, breathing, mental imagery, soothing music, and mindfulness. Contrary to other types of meditation, IBMT does not attempt to control thought, but instead focuses on achieving a state of restful alertness.
The ACC is part of the “emotional brain” that detects conflicting messages and then connects areas in the brain to suggest the next appropriate action. Increased connectivity of this problem-solving area to other brain regions helps regulate emotions and behavior. Growing more fibers is a good thing, because the more connections the ACC has, the more possible solutions and responses can be made. An inactive ACC with less connections has been associated with attention deficit disorder, tobacco addiction, depression, dementia, and other mental health disorders. For these reasons, increasing the activity and connectivity of the ACC may be a useful mental health treatment.
This research compared two groups of participants: those who practiced IBMT and those who used Relaxation Training (like progressive relaxation of muscles). Brain imaging showed that the IBMT group grew more fibers, strengthening connections of different brain regions to the ACC. This increased connectivity could mean a greater ability to have appropriate reactions when faced with conflicting situations.
Given these, it seems that meditation is no longer considered just an Hindu practice! In fact, every human being should seriously consider taking some minutes from his daily shores to just be with Itself...