People who meditate are healthier – both mentally and physically.And there’s plenty of scientific studies to back it up.
Many doctors now recognise meditation as a mainstream therapy and recommend it to their patients to help with a wide range of medical issues.
The effectiveness of meditation comes from the fact that you can achieve a state of deep relaxation in just a few minutes. When you settle down into a state of deep relaxation, the body and mind are refreshed and revitalized. This gives you many good effects that are both immediate and long lasting.
Researchers have shown that meditation lowers levels of stress hormones.In particular, while meditating, your cortisol level drops and stays low for hours afterward. . Cortisol is one of the most important stress hormones. It is present in your blood in small amounts all the time, but when you experience stress, your body produces much more of it. High quantities of cortisol produces unhealthy and unpleasant effects. Getting it out of your blood stream, in contrast, has beneficial and positive effects.
When you meditate, there is an increase in the amount of alpha brain waves and this helps to produce feelings of calmness and tranquility and can result in lower level of lactic acid in the blood. As high levels of lactic acid are related to anxiety, this can explain why meditation can reduce anxious feelings. When you meditate, your breathing slows down and becomes more rhythmic and this also helps to invoke a sense of stillness that is conducive to managing anxiety.
An interesting side note: A high level of cortisol makes your body store extra fat in your abdomen and makes you crave fattening foods with extra intensity. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association reported that stress in general is a “primary predictor of relapse and overeating.” And they concluded that meditation is an effective method for managing the kind of stress that causes weight gain.
Many clinical studies have looked into how the health of our hearts can be affected by meditation. Here’s are a few of these studies to consider.
A 1998 study published in Psychosomatic Medicine showed that people who practiced meditation had lower levels of lipid peroxide than those who didn’t. Lipid peroxide can contribute to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and other chronic diseases associated with aging. A 1999 study published in the same journal showed that people who practiced meditation had lower blood pressure immediately after meditating than did the control group.
An article published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke in 2000 demonstrated the effects of teaching meditation to people suffering from atherosclerosis . Over a period of time, the meditators showed a marked decrease in the thickness of their artery walls. The improvement could potentially bring about an 11 percent decrease in the risk of heart attack and an 8 percent to 15 percent decrease in the risk of stroke.
In 2004, the American Journal of Hypertension featured the results of a study showing significant lowering of blood pressure in a group of meditators compared to a control group who didn’t meditate. The study also reported a 23% reduction in usage of antihypertensive drugs between the group of meditators and the other group.
In the past, meditation has been difficult to master. Using older techniques , it can take you many months or years of practice to control your mind and attain states of meditation. With Meditation Machines, like the MindSpa, however, you can meditate easily and automatically and start to receive the physical and psychological benefits immediately.