In a recent article that showcased the transformation of a woman’s life after she participated in spiritual retreats, Cindy Lamothe of the Washington Post cited a study published in Religion, Brain & Behavior conducted by Andrew Newberg, M.D., Director of Research in the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University.
Researchers found that there are physical changes that happen in retreat participants’ brains. They discovered the retreats affected the two neurotransmitters related to positive emotions: dopamine and serotonin.
Though the study was preliminary, scientists observed improvements in the participants’ fatigue, tension and physical health. The subjects also reported they felt sentiments of self-transcendence.