The Healing Power of Meditation
By William T. Hathaway
I suffered a brain injury at birth. An EEG test showed chaotic, abnormal brain waves, and in school I had attention deficit disorder. I couldn't concentrate and my thoughts were cloudy. My grades were mediocre, and I flunked out of my first university. I wanted to become a writer, but my writing was disorganized and unclear. In despair I took marijuana and other drugs, but they made my thoughts even foggier.
Then I started Transcendental Meditation. My thoughts became clearer, and I didn't want drugs anymore. I could concentrate. And I could write. One of my essays gained me entrance to a much better university, Columbia in New York City, and this time my grades were so good I received a scholarship. My first novel won a Rinehart Foundation Award, and I became a professor of creative writing. I've now published eight books and many shorter pieces.
My EEG now shows normal, orderly brain waves with no sign of damage. TM healed my birth injury and gave me access to my talent and mental abilities. Without meditation, this change would not have occurred.
How did it happen? Physiologists have discovered that during Transcendental Meditation nourishing blood flow to the brain increases by 20%. Our brain waves become more coherent, synchronizing and coordinating across both hemispheres, an indication of more integrated mental functioning. The whole brain becomes more activated, and that gives us access to more of our potential. In the blood stream arginine vasopressin, a hormone that improves memory and learning ability, increases, as do serotonin and melatonin, hormones that indicate relaxation and well being. Adrenalin, cortisol, blood lactate, and blood pressure decrease, indicating lessened anxiety. TM produces mental and physical rest that is twice as deep as in sleep, although we're fully awake. This rejuvenating state enables the body's self-healing mechanism to repair the damage from traumatic events and illnesses. With these blockages gone we are more able to develop our full capabilities.
More information on the effects of TM on attention deficit disorder.
Research on the physiological changes.