Say your Om's

Mediating can help you concentrate and decrease pain

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Have you ever been asked to sit still and close your eyes, but you can’t because you are distracted? You hear the clock ticking, your thinking about what to have for dinner or your worried about tomorrow's board meeting? Meditating can quiet the noises in your head.

Meditating will control the brain waves that cause you to become easily distracted.  Similar to how a radio uses waves, imagine your alpha rhythm is the stereo volume, and by meditating you can turn this down, like you turn the volume of the radio down, allowing yourself to focus on the lyrics or the conversation you're trying to have with a friend.

"If you're easily distracted, start mediating."

Catherine Kerr, PhD, of the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at MGH and the Osher Research Center at Harvard Medical School, determined that mediating lowers the rhythm of the brain waves allowing you to be more focused and improve your memory.

Twelve individuals that had no prior experience with mediation were asked to participate in this study. Half learned to meditate and practice mediation for eight weeks. The remaining six, did not practice mediation.

Researchers monitored all the participants alpha rhythm brain waves when completing different tasks such as grabbing a pencil or lifting their left leg. It was concluded that individuals that meditated have a lower alpha rhythm frequency, allowing them to concentrate on the task at hand.

It has previously been reported that, meditating can help a person with mental abilities and memory. This study offers a further explanation but suggests further research to help better understand meditation and the positive affects of meditating.

The Study

  • To study the brain waves, researchers used the tool, Magnetoencephalography (MEG), which locates and takes images of brain activity
  • The research study also suggests that mindful meditation can decrease pain perception
  • Brain cells use frequency also known as waves to regulate the flow of information. Meditation controls the alpha rhythm
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 27, 2011
Last Updated:
May 6, 2011