Heidi Castro: My migraines started first with a normal headache then they became more and more intense to the point that I would vomit. That would just be so debilitating that I wouldn’t be able to do anything, just lie down and wait for the time to pass by.
Reporter: Meditation is said to have benefits for general health and wellbeing, physically and mentally. It’s also said to help alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions like asthma and high blood pressure. Dr Manocha wanted to put these claims to the test.
Meditation is said to release an energy that travels from the sacrum up through the spine to the head. It’s known as the Kundalini. It travels through seven chakras or energy centers. Researchers still don’t understand how meditation affects the brain. The study enlisted a number of experienced meditators and submitted them to testing. When people relax, alpha and delta brainwaves are present. Yet, when researchers tested this group, they were surprised to find theta waves. Until now, these waves have been difficult to track and poorly understood.
Dr Ramesh Manocha: We actually saw the emergence of a well-organized pattern of theta wave activity. It suggests that meditation is not just relaxing or not just experiencing the alpha state, although it is very much that as well, but it is something above and beyond relaxation. And that is supported by our other research which showed significant differences between the meditation group and the relaxation group.
Heidi Castro: Even five minutes of meditation, you could do it before you go out or when you come back or before you go to sleep, even five minutes of just closing your eyes and relaxing yourself a little while pays off. So, it’s worth it.