BRAIN RECHARGE: 20-1-7 Challenge Week #4

Dr. Grimes’ 20-1-7 CHALLENGE:

  • For the first TWENTY weeks of this year,
  • Pick ONE healthy change every Sunday, and
  • Commit to that change for SEVEN days.

BRAIN RECHARGE: 20-1-7 Challenge Week #4

MEDITATION. This is something I think about and INTEND to add to my daily routine every year, but have honestly never managed. This week, I will do a 12 minute meditation every day.

Last week, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published an interesting study, which is what is pushing me: Meditation and Music Improve Memory and Cognitive Function in Adults with Subjective Cognitive Decline: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.

In short, 60 people with “Subjective Cognitive Decline” (think of this as likely pre-Alzheimer’s) committed to a six month study. They were randomly assigned to either a daily 12 minute Kirtan Kriya meditation or a 12 minute music listening session for the first three months, and then they could choose to continue that practice or not during the second three months (roughly 70% chose to continue the daily intervention.) Memory and cognitive testing showed “marked and significant improvements” at three months (compared with their baseline) and these improvements were maintained or improved after six months!

My first question was “what is Kirtan Kriya meditation”? A quick youtube search yielded multiple helpful instructional videos that revealed this is that classic yoga-style meditation where you chant four syllables: “Sa Ta Na Ma”. I’ll admit, I had trouble staying focused on the first few instructional videos that I watched, but after I understood the basics, I connected with Nirinjan Kaur’s video, which beautifully combines the chant with background music and harmony that I find almost hypnotizing.

Does it have to be Kirtan Kriya meditation? No. For example, this study demonstrated listening to music provided the same cognitive improvement as this type of meditation.

BOTTOM LINE: We know that meditation may provide many benefits, including improvement in blood pressure, sleep, anxiety, irritable bowel and many other chronic illnesses. Why not give some form of meditation a try for a week? And yes…there’s an app (or two or twenty) for that.

20-1-7 Challenge Week #1: COLOR

20-1-7 Challenge Week #2: Veggie Spiralizer

20-1-7 Challenge Week #3: Medication Dispenser FEEDBACK: using this dispenser for my prescription and recommended supplements worked like a charm, though interestingly I still missed my sublingual B12 one day, because I had just brushed my teeth and thought I would take it “later”. This is a no-brainer to keep going long term!

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