The Blissful Brain


ISBN-13: 978-1856752916
Available here.

In her new book, Dr Shanida Nataraja explores the extraordinary research that shows practices such as meditation, tai chi and yoga are not only helpful in reducing stress; they may actually be crucial for good health and optimal brain functioning. From the effects of meditation on blood pressure and depression to the latest insights from brain imaging studies, this book reveals the scientific evidence that proves meditative practices should be at the very heart of our healthcare system.


Dr Shanida Nataraja has a BSc (First Class Hons) in Human Science and Neuroscience and a PhD in Neurophysiology, both from University College London. In her final year of undergraduate studies, in order to gain a better understanding of human behaviour, Shanida wrote a dissertation on brain plasticity and its implications for learning and memory. Her interest whetted, Shanida investigated the processes underlying learning and memory in the rat brain for her PhD thesis, and continued in this field of research for a further two years, holding a post-doctoral research position at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

After five-years in research, Shanida abandoned the isolation of the laboratory for the relative comforts of a career in medical communications. She is currently Scientific Director in a small medical education company where she produces a wide range of different written materials in oncology, cardiology, respiratory diseases, metabolic disorders, and auto-immune disorders.

Shanida regularly meditates, and has received basic instruction in tai chi, chi gung, and iyengar yoga. In 2004, she collaborated with Laurence Freeman OSB and Kim Nataraja of the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) and Sifu Dr Mark Green (Green Tai Chi) to produce an introductory seminar on meditation, tai chi, and chi gung for an audience of 20–40 year old professionals. Shanida is also a member of the Scientific and Medical Network, an organisation promoting open exploration in science and human experience whose common objective is to deepen understanding in science, medicine, and education through both rational analysis and intuitive insights.