Navigation Links
Meditation beats dance for harmonizing body and mind
Date:2/24/2011

The body is a dancer's instrument, but is it attuned to the mind? A new study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that professional ballet and modern dancers are not as emotionally in sync with their bodies as are people who regularly practice meditation.

UC Berkeley researchers tracked how closely the emotions of seasoned meditators and professional dancers followed bodily changes such as breathing and heart rates.

They found that dancers who devote enormous time and effort to developing awareness of and precise control over their muscles a theme coincidentally raised in the new ballet movie "Black Swan" do not have a stronger mind-body connection than do most other people.

By contrast, veteran practitioners of Vipassana or mindfulness meditation a technique focused on observing breathing, heartbeat, thoughts and feelings without judgment showed the closest mind-body bond, according to the study recently published in the journal Emotion.

"We all talk about our emotions as if they are intimately connected to our bodies such as the 'heartache of sadness' and 'bursting a blood vessel' in anger," said Robert Levenson, a UC Berkeley psychology professor and senior author of the study. "We sought to precisely measure how close that connection was, and found it was stronger for meditators."

The results offer new clues in the mystery of the mind-body connection. Previous studies have linked the dissociation of mind and body to various medical and psychiatric diseases.

"Ever have the experience of getting home from work and realizing you have a blistering headache?" said Jocelyn Sze, a doctoral student in clinical science at UC Berkeley and the lead author of the study. "The headache probably built up throughout the day, but you might have been intentionally ignoring it and convincing yourself that you felt fine so that you could get through the demands of the day."

Increasingly, mindfulness meditation is being used to treat physical and psychological problems, researchers point out. "We believe that some of these health benefits derive from meditation's capacity to increase the association between mind and body in emotion," Levenson said.

For the experiment, the researchers recruited volunteers from meditation and dance centers around the San Francisco Bay Area and via Craigslist. The study sample consisted of 21 dancers with at least two years of training in modern dance or ballet and 21 seasoned meditators with at least two years of Vipassana practice. A third "control group" was made up of 21 moderately active adults with no training in dance, meditation, Pilates or professional sports.

Participants, who ranged in age from 18 to 40, were wired with electrodes to measure their bodily responses while they watched emotionally charged scenes from movies and used a rating dial to indicate how they were feeling.

Although all participants reported similar emotional reactions to the film clips, meditators showed stronger correlations between the emotions they reported feeling and the speed of their heartbeats. Surprisingly, the differences between dancers and the control group were minimal.

Researchers theorize that dancers learn to shift focus between time, music, space, and muscles and achieve heightened awareness of their muscle tone, body alignment and posture.

"These are all very helpful for becoming a better dancer, but they do not tighten the links between mind and body in emotion," Levenson said.

By contrast, meditators practice attending to "visceral" body sensations, which makes them more attuned to internal organs such as the heart. "These types of visceral sensations are a primary focus of Vipassana meditation, which is typically done sitting still and paying attention to internal sensations," Sze said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Yasmin Anwar
yanwar@berkeley.edu
510-643-7944
University of California - Berkeley
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Military application of Transcendental Meditation gaining acceptance
2. A heart beats to a different drummer
3. Aluminum-oxide nanopore beats other materials for DNA analysis
4. Reef boom beats doom
5. Qqest Teams Up With M2SYS to Add Biometric Technology at the Desktop to TimeForce Time and Attendance System
6. Qqest Teams Up With M2SYS to Add Biometric Technology at the Desktop to TimeForce Time and Attendance System
7. Celldance spotlights cell biologists images and videos
8. New guidance issued for first responders collecting suspected biothreat agents
9. Program for young students increases interest in college attendance and medical careers
10. School attendance, refusal skills combat smoking risk in youth
11. Scientists glimpse dance of skeletons inside neurons
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/20/2016)...  VoiceIt is excited to announce its new ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer ... take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration ... usability. Both ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... , UAE, May 9, 2016 ... it comes to expanding freedom for high net worth ... Even in today,s globally connected world, there is still ... system could ever duplicate sealing your deal with a ... second passports by taking advantage of citizenship via investment ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 First quarter ... (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was ... (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 ... 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to announce ... Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of the Peel ... President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform comparably to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ON (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS ... DNA Technical Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as ... the STACS DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, the NASDAQ Composite ... Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to finish at 17,780.83; ... has initiated coverage on the following equities: Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARLZ ), ... more about these stocks by accessing their free trade alerts ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... market research report to its pharmaceuticals section with ... product details and much more. Complete ... across 151 pages, profiling 15 companies and supported ... at http://www.reportsnreports.com/reports/601420-global-cell-culture-media-industry-2016-market-research-report.html . The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: