The blog “Research Digest,” published by the British Psychological Society, published “Experienced meditators have brains that are physically 7 years younger than non-meditators” on 4-21-16. This fascinating article reviews research that studied the neurological functioning of 50 experienced meditators (average age =51 and average years of medication = 20) with a matched group of 50 non-meditators.
The article notes, “The older meditators who had brains that seemed particularly well preserved, suggesting that meditation provides protection against the brain cell loss associated with aging,” but also that further research is needed to assess whether “people who meditate do other healthy things that non-meditators don’t do.” Finally, the researchers also noted that their female subjects seemed to obtain more benefit from meditation than males, with brains that were assessed as having functioning typical of people 3 years younger than the male meditator subject- a total of 10 years of benefit from long-term meditating!
mhconcierge.com’s take: the meditator’s that were the subject of this study are outliers, but the results can be used to help support the benefits of meditation for people interested in improving their self care. People with mental health challenges probably face the most challenges to developing a meditation practice, but also are likely to obtain a lot of benefit from it.