Even though man is practicing one or the other form of meditation for the last few thousand years, we do not know exactly how it actually works and helps or benefits the practitioner. Scientists are still trying to get to the bottom of this issue. Integrative body-mind training meditation is one such technique that has recently been developed. Chinese scientists working in collaboration with their American counterparts have studied meditation to find how useful it is in stress management.
Integrative Body-Mind Training Meditation
Integrative body-mind training methods work through instructions that help practitioners of this technique in avoiding mental struggle in controlling thoughts. It aims at creating restful alertness in the practitioner, and helps in cutting down respiration rates and focuses on belly breathing. The practitioner benefits from increased amplitude of belly breathing, which results in deep breathing. IBMT also focuses on mental imagery, postures, and relaxation to achieve mental control.
Benefits Associated with Integrative Body-Mind Training Meditation
- Changed blood flow
- Change in the electrical activity in the brain
- Change in skin conductance
- Low levels of stress hormone cortisol in the body, resulting in lower levels of anxiety and fatigue, depression, and anger in participants
How IBMT Works
Scientists found that integrative body-mind training improves the connection between anterior cingulate cortex, and the parasympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system. Anterior cingulate is a part of the brain and lies in the cortex.
The cingulate cortex takes and processes inputs from the neocortex, which is involved in generation of conscious thoughts and language, which are essential attributes of an individual's mental makeup. It is considered as a part of the limbic system, which is where we form and process emotions, i.e., motives behind our behavior.
The limbic system is also responsible for learning, long-term memory, and executive functions such as goal setting. It is claimed that this form of meditation brings benefits to the practitioner by boosting efficiency of the brain, which really helps a person regulate his behavior and stress associated with achieving goals.
For a long time it was believed that the feel-good-effect, that various kinds of meditation techniques impart to its practitioners, was nothing but a feeling which can be explained by the placebo effect. However, dedicated research in this field and the use of advanced scientific instruments such as electron encephalography, functional MRI, positron emission tomography and single photon emission computed tomography gave sufficient proof to the contrary.
By studying the effects produced by the practice of IBMT methods, to actually pinpoint the benefited parts of the brain, scientists have taken a step further in unraveling how mediation smoothens the connection between mind, brain and body to produce better cognition, emotional, and social behavior in its practitioners. The strength of IBMT lies in the fact that it can be used to make changes to the brain's neural pathway related to self regulation and raise a balanced society.