Asymmetry in frontal electrical activity has been reported to be associated with positive mood. One form of mindfulness meditation, integrative body-mind training (IBMT) improves positive mood and neuroplasticity. The purpose of this study is to determine whether short-term IBMT improves mood and induces frontal asymmetry. This study showed that 5-days (30-min per day) IBMT significantly enhanced cerebral blood flow (CBF) in subgenual/adjacent ventral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), medial prefrontal cortex and insula. The results showed that both IBMT and relaxation training increased left laterality of CBF, but only IBMT improved CBF in left ACC and insula, critical brain areas in self-regulation.
A group from Univ. of Oregon in collaboration with the Institute of Neuroinformatics and Laboratory for Body and Mind, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China has found more evidence (see 2007, 2009 and 2010 articles) that short-term meditation in the form of IBMT can improve self-regulation and components of attention.
What is IBMT? According to the authors, it was developed in the 1990s as a technique adopted from traditional Chinese medicine and incorporates aspects of meditation and mindfulness training. “IBMT achieves the desired state by first giving a brief instructional period on the method (we call it initial mind setting and its goal is to induce a cognitive or emotional set that will influence the training). The method stresses no effort to control thoughts, but instead a state of restful alertness that allows a high degree of awareness of body, breathing, and external instructions from a compact disc. It stresses a balanced state of relaxation while focusing attention. Thought control is achieved gradually through posture and relaxation, body–mind harmony, and balance with the help of the coach rather than by making the trainee attempt an internal struggle to control thoughts in accordance with instruction. Training is typically presented in a standardized way by compact disc and guided by a skillful IBMT coach”.