A team of researchers at South Carolina State Medical University detailed their work by combining traditional meditation practices with modern techniques called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS),media slash Gear reported. The new technique, known as “electronic meditation,” is expected to determine whether it can be combined with mindfulness meditation as a self-enhancement method for practitioners themselves.
Meditation, especially the “mindfulness” version, has become a popular lifestyle activity, a traditional approach designed to lower blood pressure, relieve depression, and so on. Many people who are not familiar with the exercise will find it difficult to be quiet and focus on the exercise, especially those who are accustomed to frequent distractions.
At the same time, transcranial direct current stimulation is a technique that involves a slight electrical current that passes through the skin and enters certain areas of the brain. This is usually done through headsets, many of which are available on the market for those who want to use the technology privately.
Past studies of the technique have shown that it may help relieve symptoms of depression and improve concentration. The latter effect can be particularly useful for people who are new to meditation, which can help them reduce distractions and maintain the discipline necessary for daily exercise.
However, before assessing its potential benefits in meditation, researchers must determine whether the meditator can manage the device on his own and whether it has any problems. To test this, a new study at South Carolina State Medical University created a five-day “electronic meditation” experiment in which 31 people at a retreat were asked to use a brain stimulation device up to two times a day as part of meditation exercises.
While it’s too early to determine whether the technique can enhance meditation exercises, researchers say people can use a second attempt to figure out how to use the device on their own. Similarly, they experience only mild symptoms such as tingling. Combined with previous studies, the researchers believe that brain stimulation may be an interesting subject as part of future meditation studies.