3 MINUTE READ
As defined by the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine “Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization , the breath, movement or attention itself in order to increase awareness”.
Meditation practices have existed for thousands of years. Various forms can be tracked back to the roots of many religious and spiritual systems, but, as we are discovering now, these practices aren’t only for “spirituality” purposes. Modern medicine and scientific studies are beginning to report potential benefits of meditation. Mediation may improve ones overall quality of life and has been included in treatment plans for chronic and/or debilitating diseases.
Although there are many types of meditation they all share the same end goal and that is to relax and focus the mind. When meditation is practiced consistently it may help to promote the relaxation response in the brain and body. A research report from 2002 shows that transcendental meditation may reduce the hardening of the arteries, eventually helping to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Our minds are very powerful. The more we practice peace of mind, the easier it may be to not only cope with stress, but to prevent illness’s as well. Researchers have found “there is no real division between mind and body because of networks of communication that exist between the brain and neurological, endocrine and immune systems”. This suggests the mind may influence the body in quite potent ways.
Through my personal experience I find meditation to be a way to come back to balance within my body, mind and spirit. It helps me to find clarity when I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed. My favorite time to practice meditation is in the morning before I do anything else. I have noticed dramatic shifts in my days when I spend an extra 5-10 minutes meditating.
If you haven’t tried meditation or prefer guided meditation, Mindful.Org has several free guided meditations. Guided meditations can be a great place to start, especially for beginners.
The information presented in this is for informational, reference and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by a health care professional. Although, the information presented herein is based on material provided by sources deemed reliable, we do not presume to give any medical advice.
Anyone wishing to use this information should share it with his or her health care provider before embarking on any therapeutic program. It is your responsibility to discuss any alternative or natural remedy with your health care provider before using it as it may harm rather than benefit. Many medical doctors are not acquainted with alternative or herbal remedies. Share this information with them so they may learn, too, or find a medical practitioner who is familiar with them.
- Reed, K. (2017, May 08). The Science Behind Why Meditation Makes You So Much Happier – Infographic. Retrieved November 02, 2017, from https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/infographics/science-behind-meditation-makes-much-happier-infographic/
- Fundukian, Laurie J. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning, 2009. Print
- Zeidan, F., K.T. Martucci, R.A. Kraft, N.S. Gordon, J.G. McHaffie, and R.C. Coghill. “Brain Mechanisms Supporting Modulation of Pain by Mindfulness Meditation.” The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 06 Apr. 2011. Web. 02 May 2017.
- Brower, Vicki. “Mind–body Research Moves towards the Mainstream.” EMBO Reports. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2006. Web. 02 May 2017.
- Walton, Kenneth G., Robert H. Schneider, and Sanford Nidich. “Review of Controlled Research on the Transcendental Meditation Program and Cardiovascular Disease: Risk Factors, Morbidity, and Mortality.” Cardiology in Review. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2004. Web. 02 May 2017.
- photo credit: thesilentjourney.com