I often write about the many health benefits of mindfulness meditation.
For example, we know it supports healthy activity in regions of the brain associated with executive functioning and decision making, concentration and focus, stress and anxiety. Recent studies even show it can increase the size of key regions in your brain!
And now—a new, rather “stimulating” study shows that experiencing sexual pleasure affects the brain in many of these same ways.
Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s back up for a bit of history about the researchers who undertook this project…
Center for Integrative Medicine leads the way
The new study on sex and meditation was conducted by researchers with the Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA.
As you may recall, I directed this original center of learning, research, and medicine from 2002 to 2005.
Of course, back then, research into the natural approaches for achieving good health was quite limited…and underfunded. So, as soon as I took the role of director, I went to work petitioning Congress for funds.
I met personally with Senators Tom Harkin of Iowa and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania (who was also my own senator). I asked them to add funding for research into natural medicine to the federal budget. And some of the first funds we received went to study natural solutions for back pain.
We also petitioned philanthropists—including Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot—about the possibility of supporting us. Many years later, he made a significant donation. And the Center obtained some state-of-the-art brain scanning equipment to measure the effect of mind-body therapies—like meditation—on brain activity.
Interestingly enough, it’s actually the very same equipment they used in the new study on meditation and sex…
Is sex as good for your brain as meditation?
The new research conducted by researchers with the Center looked at the effect of “orgasmic meditation” (OM) on the brain.
(OM has been around for about 15 or 20 years. It’s an intimate wellness practice that combines mindfulness, touching, and pleasure.)
The woman (“receiver”) lies in a comfortable place with her upper body clothed and her clitoris exposed. The male (“giver”) strokes the clitoris for 15 minutes with a gloved, lubricated finger while fully clothed.
The goal isn’t for the female to achieve orgasm. (Although that sometimes happens.) Rather, the goal is for both partners to have an intense spiritual experience. And it turns out, this practice seems to work!
In fact, for this study, researchers measured the brain activity of 20 pairs of OM meditators using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans. Following the 15-minute session, both OM meditators showed signs of activity in these three areas of the brain:
- The frontal lobe, which involves intense focus.
- The parietal lobe, which involves spatial representations of self-identity and is associated with feelings of connectedness during spiritual practices.
- Temporal lobe, which involves processing of emotions.
Interestingly, each of these areas of the brain also “light up” with activity during meditation. The lead researcher said the brain responses during OM more closely resembled reactions to religious and spiritual practices than purely sexual experiences.
Furthermore, he thinks their findings may have implications for therapy in the future, helping with various neurological and psychological problems—including emotional traumas, sexual dysfunction, pain, and depression.
In the end, I think we can safely conclude from this study that sexual stimulation activates many parts of your brain in healthy ways. And that’s key…
Because as you’ll recall, other research has found that mental exercises like crossword puzzles and computer games increase activity in certain parts of the brain. But the intimate practice of OM increases activity in ALL parts of the brain. It also increased blood circulation and oxygenation and the distribution of nutrients.
Of course, there are many drug-free, cutting-edge approaches to protecting and restoring brain health—in addition to practicing mindfulness meditation and engaging in a healthy sex life—as I outline in my Complete Alzheimer’s Fighting Protocol. Learn more about this comprehensive, online learning tool, or enroll today, by clicking here now!
“Alterations in Functional Connectivity Measured by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and the Relationship With Heart Rate Variability in Subjects After Performing Orgasmic Meditation: An Exploratory Study.” Frontiers in Psychology, November 11, 2021. doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.708973
“7 ways meditation can actually change the brain.” Forbes, 2/9/15. (forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/02/09/7-ways-meditation-can-actually-change-the-brain/?sh=5705c1061465)