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Transcendental Meditation increases alpha rhythms, important in recovery from addictions
by Global Good News staff writer
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20 November 2012
In a conference titled Stress, Meditation, Addictions, and Self-Recovery, psychiatrist Dr Norman Rosenthal spoke about the effect of transcendence during Transcendental Meditation on brain physiology.
In his talk, 'Transcending Addictions: The Role of Transcendental Meditation in the Recovery Process,' Dr Rosenthal spoke of how to learn Transcendental Meditation.
He said, '[Transcendental Meditation] needs to be taught because it's not something you can pick up out of a book.'
But Dr Rosenthal also mentioned his New York Times bestselling book, Transcendence: Healing and Transformation through Transcendental Meditation—explaining that it does not provide instruction on how to meditate.
Instead, he said, 'It is not a ''how to'' book, it is a ''why to'' book. Why is it worth our while to take twenty minutes twice a day to sit down and use this technique?
'Well firstly, what does it do to the brain? It increases the soothing alpha rhythms.' These alpha waves are associated with the prefrontal cortex, 'the part of the brain just behind the forehead that is responsible for good decision making and good judgements.'
The prefrontal cortex is also involved in planning, complex cognitive behaviour, personality expression, and moderating social behaviour.
For these reasons, Dr Rosenthal explained, '[it is] very important certainly for everybody, but . . . it is crucial for people with addictions to learn how to not let the addiction hijack the brain, but to use their executive functions wisely.'
In the next part of his presentation, Dr Rosenthal talked about how the prefrontal cortex helps calm addictions, and how the practice of Transcendental Meditation increases brain wave coherence.
He said, 'What we need is a technique that helps people get their acts together, get the different parts of the brain working together.'
Dr Rosenthal has found that Transcendental Meditation is just such a technique.
See previous articles in this series:
∙ Expert on Transcendence describes three different kinds of meditation
∙ Meditation long used to treat addictions: Dr Norman Rosenthal
∙ Dr Norman Rosenthal addresses conference on stress, addiction, and Transcendental Meditation
∙ Using Transcendental Meditation in addiction recovery: Dr Norman Rosenthal
Copyright © 2012 Global Good News Service
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