Did you know that meditation does not only have positive effects on your mind, but that it can also be extremely beneficial to your body? Practiced regularly, meditation can improve people’s lives tremendously without the side effects that normal medicines can cause.
Obviously, it takes a bit of effort on your part to make this happen. Just as you wouldn’t expect to get a six pack after one session of sit ups, meditating every once in a while won’t drastically ameliorate any conditions you might be suffering from.
Consistency is key. The more you practice, the bigger the impact on your health.
There are hundreds of different meditation techniques out there and it’s all about finding the ones that work for you. One such body of meditation techniques is known as transcendental meditation, and it has since the 1970s gotten a lot of attention and popularity. Partly due to it’s popularity, over 600 scientific studies have been conducted on this tradition of meditation. This makes it the largest and strongest body of research in the world when it comes to meditation.
While we do not favor or recommend any meditation tradition over any other here at Daily Meditate, we have chosen to make use of this vast source of meditation research to shed light on how you can benefit from any type of meditation. With results from over 600 scientific studies, there is no doubt about the power we all hold in our hands to improve our own well-being.
You can read more about the scientific research here:
Scientific research on Transcendental Meditation
1. High blood pressure ( hypertension )
Hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is too high. It is a widely spread problem in both men and women and can lead to strokes, aneurisms and chronic kidney disease. Besides the usual recommendations of exercise and a balanced diet, you should also try to reduce your body mass index and your sodium and alcohol intake.
But more and more medical institutions are also starting to suggest additional methods like meditation to fight and prevent high blood pressure. A study published in Current Hypertension Reviews 2012 lays down the facts on the positive effects transcendental meditation has: Practiced twice a day over several months, blood pressure decreases and so does the need for hypertension medicines.
The same study proves that through regular meditation, stress hormone levels are decreased and people recover much quicker from stress situations. This is good news for all of us, since everyday life – may it be work or private life – doesn’t fall short on throwing us an extra curb ball when things are already tough.
So instead of becoming overwhelmed and stressed out, just sit back, breathe deeply and meditate. The world doesn’t collapse in just a few minutes and you might be surprised not only emerging rested from your little break, but maybe also equipped with the solution to your problems; you see, meditation also boosts intelligence and creativity.
Meditation can also be a valuable tool if you suffer from acute or chronic pain. A study conducted by the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, NC, about the powers of mindfulness meditation for pain management, shows how big of an impact meditation can actually have on your perception of pain. Not only can it decrease your sense of pain, but it also enables you to cope with it in a much better way. After just four sessions of 20 minutes each, the intensity of pain is decreased by 40%. In regards to side effects and addiction, meditation has become an effective addition and alternative to medical pain killers.
Furthermore, over the last few years the Hypno Birthing method has grown extremely popular all over the western world, providing women with different kinds of meditation techniques to conquer childbirth in a less painful and more empowered way.
4. Depression and anxiety
Chronic pain goes often hand in hand with signs of depression and anxiety. You might think that those two things are clearly psychological problems, but if you talk to people who actually suffer from depression or anxiety, they will flat out tell you what an impact they have on their physiological wellbeing as well.
Signs of panic attacks are usually a racing heart, difficulties breathing, hot and cold flashes and extensive perspiration. Depressed people often feel lethargic, with limbs like led, unable to fulfill any tasks and even everyday life situations can become overwhelming. They might even lack the ability to take care of themselves. Through simple mindfulness meditation, you become more self-aware and self-confident. You reach a deep relaxation, which can help you to identify a more positive way of thinking and equips you with alternative reactions in trigger situations – in contrast to your usual behavior patterns.
In any case, if you feel your depression or anxiety symptoms keep you from managing your day to day living, you should always consult your GP.
Insomnia, the inability to fall or stay asleep, is one of the biggest health issues in the western world and surveys suggest that up to 50% of the population experience signs of insomnia every week. Not only does it lead to a decrease in concentration and creativity in the daytime, it is also linked to obesity and high blood pressure.
The good news is that there are countless meditation techniques out there that can help you become more aware of underlying reasons for your sleeplessness, – like stress and worry – in addition to help you wind down, get into a state of deep relaxation and prepare you for a good night’s sleep. Among the most popular methods are mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation and reflection meditation. They are also often included in treating insomnia in sleep clinics.
Meditation is nowadays not only practiced but also recommended by various physicians; one of the most famous among them being Dr. Oz. Committed to providing better health for the broad masses, he stated in an interview that he compliments his healthy life style with regular transcendental meditation and yoga. Furthermore, Dr. Deepak Chopra explains, on Doctor Oz’s website, why music plays such an important role in meditation:
“In the sutra meditations as well as the affirmation meditations which are meant to feed the subconscious with transformative ideas, I frequently use music. The music helps to take the affirmations to a deeper level of the mind so that a process of emotional and spiritual transformation can start. There is also some research that the right kind of music can increase endorphins in the brain. Endorphins produce an intoxicating effect and also modulate the activity of the immune system.”
– Dr. Deepak Chopra
Other conditions meditation can have a positive effect on are (not excluding ones not mentioned):
- High cholesterol
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Boost your immune system
So, after having examined in detail the top 5 health benefits of meditation, if you haven’t already, make sure you get started on a regular meditation practice today. Good luck!
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