Medical research into the benefits of Sahaja Yoga meditation. 2/6

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Spanish (Latin América)

Part 2 of 6: Body

Professor Katya Rubia explains more in detail how Sahaja Yoga Meditation affects our nervous system.

She explains that the sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic nervous systems need to be in balance.

The sympathetic nervous system is active during daily activities. When we are stressed the sympathetic nervous system is overactive, and this can lead to increase in heart and breathing rate, oxygen metabolism, stress hormones and on the long run this can affect your health.

The parasympathetic system is mostly active during sleep and it relaxes and restores bodily functions, which are "wasted" during the daily sympathetic activity.

Meditation has been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system more than rest. This means that when you meditate, there is a significant decrease in heart rate, breathing rate, pulse rate, blood pressure and oxygen metabolism, which is anti-ageing. All this leads to stress reduction and the restoration of bodily functions. This could explain why meditation can lead to physical health benefits.

With meditation we enter the state of mental silence and this activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is connected to the limbic area of the brain. In Meditation people feel a cool breeze which can be measured as a drop in temperature over the fontanelle area and in the palms of the hands.

In conclusion, the state of mental silence reduces sympathetic activity and enhances parasympathetic activity, which restores bodily functions and distresses the body.

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Katya Rubia is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre and Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, both part of the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London.

She is best known for her work in child cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychiatry, particularly on disorders of impulsiveness, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and conduct disorder. She uses techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and neurofeedback.

Some of Katya Rubia's main contributions to the field are that children with ADHD have timing abnormalities and have abnormalities in their brain function relative to healthy peers.

Katya Rubia has over 130 publications in academic journals.