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Transcendental Meditation lets 'the CEO of the brain' do its job
by Global Good News staff writer
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5 February 2013
The brain has a natural alarm system built into it, explained renowned psychiatrist and researcher Norman Rosenthal, MD, alerting one to danger and risky situations. But in some brains that alarm system is overactive and so distracting that it damages the brain's ability to function at a higher level.
Practising Transcendental Meditation can help calm the alarm system, Dr Rosenthal said.
At a medical conference hosted by the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland, USA, Dr Rosenthal spoke to an audience of health professionals about the healing and transforming powers of Transcendental Meditation.
During the New Science of Meditation and Self-Healing: Transcendental Meditation and Mind-Body Medicine conference, Dr Rosenthal described two crucial areas of the brain: the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex, using an analogy to explain their functions.
The prefrontal cortex, he explained, is the 'CEO of the brain'. It is involved in executive functions. The amygdala is the 'fire marshal', alerting the brain to danger. The fire marshal has control in an emergency, and is even able to tell the CEO what to do.
Dr Rosenthal elaborated:
'In a functional organization, it is run from the top down and the CEO has sway, has control for the most part. But if you have an anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder, then you are overwhelmed by stimuli that are coming from the fire marshal. Can the CEO do his or her work when the fire marshal keeps banging on the door, even if there's no real emergency?'
Why is this relevant to a talk about healing and transformation? Dr Rosenthal explained.
'Meditation, and specifically Transcendental Meditation, has the capacity to quiet down those alarm bells and let the CEO do his or her job.'
He added, 'In meditation we see increased alpha waves, the slow calming rhythms that bathe the prefrontal cortex and we see increased coherence, the function that enables the brain to work in a more effective and efficient way.'
See related articles:
∙ US: Integrative medicine conference at University of Maryland focuses on healing through meditation
∙ University of Maryland hosts medical conference on benefits of Transcendental Meditation
∙ Conference highlights Transcendental Meditation role in integrative medicine
∙ Medical database holds extensive research on mind-body medicine, meditation
∙ The story behind the bestselling book Transcendence
∙ Dr Norman Rosenthal talks about his early experiences with Transcendental Meditation
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