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“Meditation enhances the qualities companies need most from their knowledge workers: increased brain-wave activity, enhanced intuition, better concentration, and the alleviation of the kinds of aches and pains that plague employees most.”

Mind-Body Medical Institute – Harvard University

The breadth of supporting research on the benefits of Relaxation & Meditation programs within the workplace is why we have chosen to focus on one credible source here for you.
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More companies are battling employee stress with meditation

Increasingly, the overstretched and overburdened have a new answer to work lives of gunning harder for what seems like less and less: Don’t just do something — sit there. Companies increasingly are falling for the allure of meditation, too, offering free, on-site classes. They’re being won over, in part, by findings at the National Institutes of Health, the University of Massachusetts, and the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Harvard University that meditation enhances the qualities companies need most from their knowledge workers: increased brain-wave activity, enhanced intuition, better concentration, and the alleviation of the kinds of aches and pains that plague employees most.

It doesn’t hurt that meditation has some high-profile corporate disciples, including bond-fund king William H. Gross, of Newport Beach (Calif.)’s Pacific Investment Management Co., who often meditates with yoga before a day of trading at his $349 billion money-management firm. Tech outfits like Apple Computer (AAPL ), Yahoo!, and Google, which already offers an organic chef and an on-site masseuse, are also signing up. So are white-shoe, Old Economy outfits like consulting firm McKinsey, Deutsche Bank, and Hughes Aircraft.

…Other companies have added classes to help break up the drudgery of day-long meetings. AstraZeneca (AZN ) Pharmaceuticals in Wilmington, Del., now offers three meditation courses aimed at energizing its 5,000 employees during and after marathon powwows. “We usually had a coffee and a Danish on our meeting breaks and would go right into a sugar slump,” says spokeswoman Lorraine Ryan.

The icing for companies is that meditation programs come cheap. “Everybody is dealing with limited dollars,” says Grossman. “It’s important to keep things going when times aren’t so good.” So employees can breathe easy: This is one perk that isn’t likely to get axed.

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New research shows that Meditation changes the brain in ways that alleviate stress

To find out whether meditation could have lasting, beneficial effects in the workplace,  (Richard Davidson, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin at Madison) performed a study at Madison (Wis.) biotech company Promega. Four dozen employees met once a week for eight weeks to practice mindfulness meditation for three hours. The result, published last year in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, showed that the employees’ left prefontal cortexes were enlarged, just like those of the monks. “We took typical, middle-class Americans trying to cope with the demands of an active work life and active family life who reported being relatively stressed out,” says Davidson. “And what we found out is that after a short time meditating, meditation had profound effects not just on how they felt but on their brains and bodies.”

These results matter at a time when companies lose an estimated $200 billion annually in absenteeism, subpar performance, tardiness, and workers’ compensation claims related to stress. In fact, stress-related ailments account for upwards of 60% of all doctor visits, according to the Mind/Body Medical Institute. President Herbert Benson, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, notes that stress does amp up performance to a certain level. But sustained too long, it erodes productivity. “If businesses were clever, what they would do is simply put time aside [and have] a quiet room for people to carry out a meditative behavior of their choice,” says Benson

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Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Improved connections in areas regulating emotions become clear after 11 hours of training, scans show

The boost in brain connectivity began after six hours of IBMT and became more apparent after 11 hours of practice, according to the report published in the Aug. 16-21 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The meditation-induced changes may be due to a reorganization of white-matter tracts or due to an increase of myelin that surrounds the brain connections, the study authors suggested.

“The importance of our finding relates to the ability to make structural changes in a brain network related to self-regulation. The pathway that has the largest change due to IBMT is one that previously was shown to relate to individual differences in the person’s ability to regulate conflict,” Posner said in a university news release.

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Meditation alleviates stress and anxiety

Researchers at University Hospital Basel randomly assigned 150 patients to either take part in an eight-week meditation program based on “mindfulness” or receive regular medical care. The study defined the meditation, which included yoga, as “nonjudgmental awareness of moment-to-moment experience.”
The participants in the mindfulness meditation program reported lower levels of fatigue and depression for up to six months than those receiving standard care and had better quality of life, according to the study findings, published in the Sept. 28 issue of the journal Neurology.

Those in the meditation program, in fact, improved in almost all the measures of fatigue, depression, anxiety and quality of life, while those who received usual medical care declined slightly on most of the measures.

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