Meditation, as a religious practice or mystic experience, may be as old as humanity. Evidence of its use dates back as far as 7,000 years, and some scholars speculate it might have begun among people sitting in caves, gazing into their fires.
Today, it’s also the focus of serious scientific attention. While much of the work is preliminary, what researchers have learned about potential health benefits has them eager to learn more.
“Interest in meditation is vast – and is deep,” said Dr. Prab Nijjar, a cardiologist and assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine in Minneapolis.
Nijjar, who has led studies related to meditation and the heart, cautions that “there’s probably more that we don’t know than we know” about meditation’s benefits. But he’s far from alone in seeing potential.