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How can meditation improve my sex life?

Dr. Marsha Lucas
Psychology
The more we experience or practice something, the more our brain commits resources to creating new neural connections and even new neurons in response to that experience.

In 2005, Sara Lazar and her colleagues at Harvard looked at the brains of mindfulness meditators and compared them to the brains of people who did not meditate. The biggest difference between the groups was that brains of the meditators had anterior insula which were significantly thicker than in those who did not meditate. And we know that a busier insula can improve your response to sex.

Another study done in 2007 used different brain-measurement techniques to look at the brains of experienced mindfulness meditation practitioners, comparing them to non-meditators. That study also found that the meditators' brains had thicker anterior insula.

The brains of the meditators, through their repeated practice, had developed richer, thicker pathways and connections in their insula.

The insula was then in a better connected, plumper position to be able to send the information to the higher-level brain - a much less "knee-jerk" way of figuring out what your response should be than just letting your limbic brain run the show. Then, the better-considered decision of how to respond to the outer world can flow back down, the limbic brain gets soothed, the stress chemicals stop flowing, and all of your resources are more available for connecting and enjoying (instead of fighting or fleeing).

So, bigger is better when it comes to sex - a bigger insula, that is.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.