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Welcome to Bill Gallagher’s Blog. Click on a Title to view that entry by itself. I plan to bring together the best of what the web offers on the benefits and mechanisms underlying Meditation, Qigong, Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, Alexander and Feldenkrais. Your comments are always welcome.

Mental Practice Video for Athletes

Here is a link to a video on using mental practice to improve basketball skill. These same ideas can be used to improve performance in any task that is physically, cognitively or emotionally challenging.

Click here for Video

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Home Safety for Elders and People with Disabilities

Article in New York Times about environmental modifications that can be recomended by a Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist to allow people with disabilites to stay in their own homes safely.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/health/18patient.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=home%20safety&st=cse

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Meditators Brain Structure Change to Facilitate Equanimity?

Below find the abstract of a study that supports the notion that brain structure changes with meditation practice:

1: Neuroimage. 2009 Apr 15;45(3):672-8.Links The underlying anatomical correlates of long-term meditation: larger hippocampal and frontal volumes of gray matter. Luders E, Toga AW, Lepore N, Gaser C.

Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Department of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7334, USA.

Although the systematic study of meditation is still in its infancy, research has provided evidence for meditation-induced improvements in psychological and physiological well-being. Moreover, meditation practice has been shown not only to benefit higher-order cognitive functions but also to alter brain activity. Nevertheless, little is known about possible links to brain structure. Using high-resolution MRI data of 44 subjects, we set out to examine the underlying anatomical correlates of long-term meditation with different regional specificity (i.e., global, regional, and local). For this purpose, we applied voxel-based morphometry in association with a recently validated automated parcellation approach. We detected significantly larger gray matter volumes in meditators in the right orbito-frontal cortex (as well as in the right thalamus and left inferior temporal gyrus when co-varying for age and/or lowering applied statistical thresholds). In addition, meditators showed significantly larger volumes of the right hippocampus. Both orbito-frontal and hippocampal regions have been implicated in emotional regulation and response control. Thus, larger volumes in these regions might account for meditators' singular abilities and habits to cultivate positive emotions, retain emotional stability, and engage in mindful behavior. We further suggest that these regional alterations in brain structures constitute part of the underlying neurological correlate of long-term meditation independent of a specific style and practice. Future longitudinal analyses are necessary to establish the presence and direction of a causal link between meditation practice and brain anatomy.

PMID: 19280691 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Segment on Mind-Body Medicine

Interview with Ann Harrington, author of The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88188863

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What is best for PTSD? Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, Sitting Meditation, Guided Imagery?

NPR segment on Fresh Air

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102373662

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Body Scan Meditation

Here is a link to a body scan meditation on NPR:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7650123

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Mindfulness Meditation for Pain

I teach meditation at Mount Sinai to people with brain injury, spinal cord injury and chronic pain syndromes. Here is a link to a story on NPR about similiar programs for pain:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7654964

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Meditation lowers blood pressure

Here is a piece on NPR

To Lower Blood Pressure, Open Up And Say 'Om'

by Allison Aubrey

Meditation blood pressure article

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