I stumbled upon an article about meditation that led me down a rabbit hole of other articles looking into why or how meditation helps us feel better. Turns out, there are hundreds of recent articles discovering exactly what meditation is doing in our bodies. So where would I begin?

It was overwhelming to be sure. But I started with articles from the National Institute Of Health, or NIH, which publishes a meta-analysis on a certain topic.

The first was a very long NIH group of studies which reported that there is a special protein called brain derived neurotrophic factor, which is necessary for healthy brain function. Low levels of this protein can be found in patients with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. But what can we do to improve the levels of this protein? Exercise helps. A high antioxidant, plant-based diet helps. But what about meditation? The results discussed here seem promising.

Next, I reveal an NIH meta-analysis article that gets into the area of epigenetics. This can get complicated and sciency, but they are basically saying that meditation might help us with adaptability to our environment. They may be in the initial exploratory phase of understanding what is going on, but I find it fascinating. The article can be found here.

There is a more comprehensive article by the national Center for complementary and integrative health that is excellent. It gives us all a feel for the larger picture. I could see a time where regular meditation becomes a part of our healthcare plan. At the very least, it could help us through this post-pandemic, scary – political time in American culture.

As always, feel free to contact me on my contact page, at healing outside the box, if you have any questions or suggestions of future episodes.