All mental activity has to have a physical correlation in the brain, and this aspect has been studied in relation to anxiety. Chronic worriers often display increased reactivity in the amygdala, the area of the brain associated with regulating emotions, including fear. Neuroscientists at Stanford University found that people who practiced mindfulness meditation for eight weeks were more able to turn down the reactivity of this area. Other researchers from Harvard found that mindfulness can physically reduce the number of neurons in this fear-triggering part of the brain.
In regular meditation, it's often hard to force oneself to sit still and be present. The use of ropes and the support of another person in meditative bondage helps urge oneself into sitting quiet for a bit. "The safety of being held and bound allows a separation from the body and the material world (physical environment, body, ground)," says Donaghue. "The focus is allowed to drift elsewhere. This opens up the participant to experiencing groundlessness, timelessness and selflessness, all of which are necessary for meditation and transcendence."