Why mindful breathing keeps your brain healthy and young
Monday 14/May/2018 - 02:57 PM
Yogis، non-yogis، long-term meditators، and short-term 'dabblers' alike will all agree that meditation improves focus. But، until now، no studies had shown how breathing influences attention in the brain. New research explores the neurophysiological effects of controlled breathing. Lately، more and more studies have confirmed that yoga and mindfulness benefit the brain as much as the body.
Just 25 minutes of yoga or mindfulness have been shown to improve brain function and boost energy levels، for example.
Yoga can make you more resilient to stress، and some studies have even found the molecular explanation for this; practicing either yoga or mindfulness can reduce the genetic changes that lead to stress. Medics Today said.
As a wonderful perk in addition to all of the benefits above، meditation may also be the solution to age-related cognitive decline.
A recent study has suggested that the practice can keep our brains healthy and youthful in the long run — but the findings were just observational، so the study could not explain causality.
However، new research may help us to understand the "why" and "how." Some neurophysiological reactions that occur as a result of breathing-centered meditation practices are brought to light in the new study، which was led by Michael Melnychuk، a Ph.D. researcher at the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience in Dublin، Ireland.
In the paper — which is published in the journal Psychophysiology — Melnychuk and his colleagues show how controlled breathing affects levels of a neurotransmitter called noradrenaline، a "stress hormone" that can cause our hearts to beat faster and our pupils to dilate when we're excited.
In the right amount، the researchers explain، noradrenaline creates new connections between brain cells، and the study centered on how levels of this neurotransmitter changed in a brain area called the locus coeruleus.
This is the production site of noradrenaline and a region known to be involved in both attention and breathing.