Given that the human brain is plastic and that structural alterations have been seen in monks who meditate on a regular basis, the question arises of whether these two facts are actually related. Furthermore, if this is in fact the case, would it be possible to apply these findings to the public? In this paper I will present the different conditions that induce neuroplasticity as well as give an overview of meditation and the ways that it is practiced nowadays. To this end I will argue that if monks are able to alter the structure of their brains and the brain is naturally inclined to heal itself then incorporating eastern practices, such as mindfulness and imagery, into western therapies could benefit patients suffering from mood disorders and, in particular, stress.
Pelavin, Paula, "A Meeting of East and West: Can Eastern-Influenced Therapies be Effective in the Treatment of Stress and Mood Disorders?" (2007). Undergraduate Research Symposium (UGRS). 33.