New Mindfulness-based “Brain” Diet Catching Fire

A recent study found that meditators can literally lighten their brains.

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A neuroscience researcher who is also a mindfulness and yoga instructor has developed a new Mindfulness-Based Diet that is all about decreasing brain weight. Claire Gurrlock, Ph.D. of the Sea Crest Institute for Innovative Neurology in Santa Barbara, California, developed a program two years ago that she calls LightHead. She is doing pilot studies to prove the effectiveness of the program, which is already wildly popular on the West Coast.

The research work that led Gurrlock to develop the program began ten years ago, and was based on the theory that mindfulness meditation practice increases the space around the neurons in your brain, allowing faster communication between neurons, which accounts for all of the positive attributes of mindfulness. The more spaced-out brain is also lighter, because it is more densely packed with energy rather than matter, allowing for more room for communication to pass between the various parts of the brain. Mindfulness practitioners taking part in the LightBrain trials have been found to lose up to one pound of brain weight.

Mindfulness practitioners taking part in the LightBrain trials have been found to lose up to one pound of brain weight.

“It is truly amazing how light-headed participants can become,” Gurrlock says. “From a straight dietary perspective, losing a pound may not be that big a deal, but when you’re able to take a pound of flesh out of your head, through meditation, it really lightens the burden that you carry around in your brain.” One participant, John Schmidt, told Mindful, “I was meditating so hard that I actually lost over two pounds of brain weight. It’s almost as if my thoughts became lighter than air. I practically float through the day. What a huge relief!”

Gurrlock says that the rigorous research and testing she had to do with animals before the Institutional Review Board would allow her to progress to human subjects almost killed the project. According to Gurrlock, “You simply cannot imagine how hard it is to teach mindfulness meditation to rats in a maze. And you can just forget about mindful eating!”

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