Saying Om can help you feel calmer - newspaper article


Article from The Sunday Times Newspaper February 22nd 2015

"YOGA lovers and mystics have known it for centuries but scientists have now confirmed that chanting “Om” really does soothe the brain.

The finding emerged from a study in which 21 men listened to the mantra while lying in a scanner that monitors brain activity.

Researchers found that, as the chanting progressed, the parts of the brain used in day-to-day activity slowed while those involved in emotional awareness took over.
“Listening to the ‘Om’ sound . . . activates areas of the bilateral cerebellum, left middle frontal gyrus and right precuneus,” said Uttam Kumar, India. The research was published in the journal Cognition and Emotion.

“Listening to ‘Om’ recruits neural systems implicated in emotional empathy,” Kumar said.
To make sure “Om” was the key sound, the researchers also played people chanting “Tommmm” – and found this did nothing to relax the 21 men.

Om is regarded as a divine word by Hindus and Buddhists, who believe it can open the mind."