The impact of diverse meditation methods on various elements of mental and physical health is gaining attention. Despite the fact that scientists have been studying meditation for a long time, there has yet to be agreement on its description. The wide range of viable meanings mirrors the enormous number of various meditation approaches.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is expected to affect up to 152 million individuals worldwide by 2050. There are currently no medications that have a significant favorable impact on the prevention or reversal of cognitive deterioration. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that addressing lifestyle and vascular risk factors improves general cognitive performance.
A new review published by IOS Press in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease looks at research that suggests spiritual fitness, a new concept in medicine that focuses on psychological and spiritual well-being, and Kirtan Kriya, a simple 12-minute meditative practice, may reduce multiple risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.
We hope that this study will inspire scientists, doctors, and patients to embrace this novel idea of spiritual fitness and include it into every multidomain program for cognitive impairment prevention. The key point of this review is that making a commitment to a brain longevity lifestyle.Dharma Singh Khalsa
“The key point of this review is that making a commitment to a brain longevity lifestyle, including spiritual fitness, is a critically important way for aging Alzheimer’s disease free,” explain authors Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD, Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation, Tucson, AZ, USA, and Andrew B. Newberg, MD, Department of Integrative Medicine and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Radiology, Marcus Institute of Integrative Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
“We hope that this study will inspire scientists, doctors, and patients to embrace this novel idea of spiritual fitness and include it into every multidomain program for cognitive impairment prevention.”
According to research, religious and spiritual activity can help us maintain cognitive function as we age. The writers notice that, in today’s world, spirituality is frequently experienced outside of the setting of an organized religion and can be found in all religions or as a separate entity. Spiritual fitness is a new component in Alzheimer’s disease prevention, combining physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. The authors highlight the research that has been done on how these factors affect brain function and cognition. Psychological well-being, for example, may minimize inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and disability.
Individuals having a high score on a “purpose in life” (PIL) test, a component of psychological well-being, were 2.4 times more likely to be free of AD than those with a low PIL. In another study, participants who reported higher levels of PIL had improved cognitive function, and PIL also protected those with pre-existing pathological problems, reducing their decline.
Stress and stress management are under-discussed topics in Alzheimer’s disease prevention, despite the fact that there is substantial evidence that the physical, psychological, and emotional impacts of stress may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Kirtan Kriya (KK) is a 12-minute singing meditation in which four sounds, breathing, and repeated finger movements are used. It has numerous demonstrated impacts on stress, including improved sleep, less depression, and increased well-being. Long-term practitioners have also been found to improve blood flow to areas of the brain linked in cognitive and emotional regulation, as well as increase grey matter volume and decrease ventricular size, which may slow brain aging. The practice enhances cognition, reduces memory loss, and increases mood in healthy people, caregivers, and those with cognitive decline, according to research.
The comprehensive relationship between spiritual fitness and a person’s total physical and mental health is being researched in the developing field of study known as neurotheology. Early research focused on developing models to determine which brain areas are impacted by spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer. There has been a significant increase in neuroimaging and other physiological research investigating the influence of meditation, spiritual activities, and mystical experiences over the last 20 years. A neuroimaging study of KK discovered long-term brain changes, both during and after meditation. According to Dr. Khalsa and Dr. Newberg, neurotheological studies can assist understand how a practice like KK can lead to more permanent impacts in brain function that enhance spiritual fitness.
“Mitigating the extensive negative biochemical consequences of stress by meditation techniques, in conjunction with the development of higher levels of spiritual fitness, may help lessen the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. Small changes in one’s daily routine can make a big difference in Alzheimer’s disease prevention “Dr. Khalsa and Dr. Newberg come to a close. “We hope that this article will spark additional research on the topic of spiritual fitness and Alzheimer’s disease.”
Meditation thus provides a means of combating cellular aging and preventing cognitive decline. Just as we keep our physical talents in shape via exercise, we must keep our minds in shape by cultivating an attentive and loving presence in the world. When done correctly, meditation integrates body and mind via a discipline that generates a sense of abundance and promotes health.