The Health Benefits Of Meditation
General health benefits of meditation have long been accepted as increasing a sense of relaxation, reducing stress, improving the ability to focus, and amplifying spiritual consciousness.
Over the past decade, scientific research has confirmed these advantages and more. Benefits of daily meditation have now been linked to:
- aspects of higher general intelligence
- increasing ease and efficiency of heart and circulatory systems
- enhancing positivity and self empowerment
- ability to better self manage pain
- faster physical healing
- boosting immune systems
- more regular and restful sleep patterns
- improving intuition
- lessening the reliance on, and abuse of, drugs
Have you heard the phrase 'as you think, so you are'. The dynamic connection between our mind and body is gaining recognition, and from this is a deepening understanding and appreciation of mind-body medicine. Daily meditation is increasingly seen to be a powerful tool to improve the health of both our mind and body, by first improving the health of our mind.
First off, allocating time for yourself to meditate gives you permission for a little quiet 'me' time. By switching off the mind you are also letting go of all concerns, worries, fears and doubts. This is like allowing yourself a little holiday! Holidays are well documented for their power to make us more relaxed, more efficient and energized to continue on to our goals.
Moreover, meditation relaxation can be physically measured. This confirms the immediate benefits we feel, and as well it measures the underlying physiological effects responsible for additional benefits.
- Brainwave frequency is reduced - the cycles per second slow to a lower rhythm, helping to instill the feeling of peace
- The brain increases the production of endorphins, the 'feel good' proteins
- Increases in activity of the left prefrontal cortex correlates with more positive emotions
- Breathing regulates - through it's connection to the autonomic nervous system and the mind, anxiety is reduced
- Heart rate slows and blood pressure is reduced thereby lessening the demand on the heart
- Cholesterol levels lower through decreased levels of epinephrine
- Muscle tension lessens, helping reduce inflammation and aiding in pain management ex. headaches
- Increased production of antibodies strengthen healing
- Heart meditation creates greater synchronization between the nervous system and other body systems, a state associated with positivity
- Electrophysiological characteristics created through heart meditation positively affect the molecular structure of water and in turn, the water is shown to positively affect human DNA
Studies Documenting Health Benefits Of Meditation
Research reporting these positive results are both rigorous and widely respected. The list of professionals involved includes a Nobel-Prize winner - Daniel Khaneman; a Harvard cardiologist - Dr Herbert Bensen; an emeritus professor of medicine at UOM Medical School - Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn; and the growing force of the HeartMath Institute.
A molecular biologist at Promega Corporation was engaged in studies of meditation benefits, and admittedly loves empirical evidence. He stated that neither could he refute the personal results from his foray with daily meditation practice. His living testament is perhaps as powerful as any scientifically researched result:
"I could tell I was less irritable.
My wife felt I was easier to be around.
My wife is dying for me to start meditating again!"
Everything within each of our incredible bodies is linked... that includes our state of mind and physical health. Training the mind through daily meditation is a powerful tool to instill peace of mind, improve health and well being, and encourage us on our personal spiritual growth.
To ensure you gain the maximum benefit possible, integrate useful
into your practice.
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