The Benefits of Meditation
Wise men and yogis have been giving this advice for thousands of years: take a deep breath and relax. See the tension melting away from your muscles and all your worries start to dissappear. We all know that relaxation is good for us. Science has finally cought up to what i have always known and felt: A comprehensive scientific study shows that deep relaxation changes our bodies on a genetic level. Researchers at Harvard Medical school found that practitioners of meditation has far more disease-fighting genes active in there body compared to those who does not practice relaxation. The researchers found genes that protect the body from disorders such as pain, infertility, high blood pressure and even rheumatoid arthritis.The researchers say that the changes were induced by the “relaxation effect”, a miracle, or phenomenon if you will, that could be just as powerful as any medical drug but with no side effects at all. Dr Herbert Benson says that “We found a range of disease-fighting genes that were active in the relaxation practitioners that were not active in the control group”. The control group that was not practising meditation was told by the researchers to start practising relaxation techniques every day. After only two months their bodies began to change and the genes that fight inflammation, kill diseased cells and protect the body from cancer all started to activate. What was even more interesting but in my ears also logical, the benefits of the relaxation effect increased with regular practice. The more people practised meditation and deep breathing the greater their chances of remaining healthy and free from arthritis and joint pain, their immunity got stronger, they got healthier hormone levels and blood pressure. The research is important because it show corelation between a person’s state of mind and the body on a psysical and genetic level. This is why meditation or repetitive mantras is considered to be a very powerful remedy in traditions such as Ayurveda in India or Tibetan medicine. Let me try to explain how relaxation has such a wide-ranging and powerful effect. Research has time and again described the negative effects of stress on the body. Stress releases the hormones adrenalin and cortisol, stress raises heart rate and blood pressure; it weakens immunity and lower fertility. Stress can lead to deep depression and anxiety. And if we look at the pros of relaxation we find that meditation is linked to higher levels of feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and to the growth hormone wich repars cells and tissue. Meditation lowers the heart rate, boosts immunity and enables the body to thrive. If we look at stress from a biological level we see that it is linked to fight-flight and danger mode. In that mode heart rate rises and blood pressure explodes, the muscles prepare for danger and tighten. Functions like immunity and digestion are put aside.
Relaxation on the other hand is a state of rest, enjoyment and physical renewal. The muscles relax, the heart can slow down and blood circulation can flow freely to the bodyâ€™s tissues. This restful, amazing state is good for fertility and the body can conserve the resources it needs to generate new life. There are many different relaxation and meditation techniques but their biological effects are very similar, they only vary in the time it takes for the beneficial effects to show. When you relax the parasympathetic nervous system starts. This is closely linked to better digestion, memory and immunity just to name a few. When you relax deeply, you will most certainly reap the rewards. You are looking for a state of deep relaxation where tension is released from the body on a physical level and your mind completely switches off. This effect wonÂ´t be achieved by lounging round in an everyday way, nor can you force yourself to relax. The only way to really achieve it is by learning a specific meditation technique or self-hypnosis. I have practised all of the available meditation methods from transcendental meditation(TM), Vipassana meditation, Zazen meditation, Kundalini meditation, i have practiced Qi gong â€“the Taoist form of meditation, Zen meditation, Om meditation, Shine meditation or Samadhi, Chakra meditation and I have studied the Trance-based practices. I have travelled all over the world and met Indian yogis, Tibetan monks, Hindu masters, Buddhist meditation masters. I have seen miracles taking place befor my eyes, all thanks to the wonderful gift of meditation. The last 15 years have been an amazing journey and i have learnt so much, though there is one thing i wish had been available to me at the beginning of my meditation journey. This one thing that i heard of from a friend has proven more useful to me in my spiritual journey than the last 10 years of different meditation studies. It is the most amazing mind altering experience i have had in all of my life and it continues to surprise me. I will soon explain what it is but i want to continue describing the benefits of meditation for a little while longer. As i described earlier deep relaxation invokes a lot of positive effects on the body. The biggest benefits are: Increased immunity: Relaxation and meditation boosts immunity in recovering cancer patients. Progressive muscular relaxation, when practised daily, reduces the risk of breast cancer. It boosts natural killer cells in the elderly, giving them greater resistance to tumours and viruses. Emotional balance: To be free of all the neurotic behavior that comes from the existence of a tortured and traumatazied ego. It is very hard to achieve fully, but meditation most certainly is the way to cure such neurosis and similar unhealthy emotional states. As the consciousness is cleansed of emotionally soaked memories, not only does great freedom abound, but also great balance. Increased fertility: Several studies show that women are more likely to conceive during the periods when they are relaxed. Studies have found that stress reduces sperm count and this shows that relaxation boosts male fertility. Relieves irritable bowel syndrome: When patients that suffer from this syndrome begin to practise meditation twice a day, their symptoms of bloating, diarrhoea and constipation improve significantly. Several universities recommend meditation as a treatment for this.
Lowers blood pressure: Studies have shown that meditation lower blood pressure by making the body less responsive to stress hormones, similar to the ways that blood pressure lowering medication works. Patients trained in relaxation has significantly lower blood pressure. Anti-Inflamatory: Stress can lead to inflammation, a state that is closely linked to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and skin conditions such as psoriasis. Relaxation helps to prevent and treat such symptoms by shutting off the stress response. Calmness: The biggest difference between those who meditate and those who do not, is that for a meditative mind the thought occurs but is witnessed, while for an ordinary, non meditative mind, the thought occurs and is the boss. In both minds upsetting thoughts can occur but those who meditate just sees it as another thought and lets it blossom then die, while in the ordinary mind the thought instigates a storm which rages on and on. There is such an enormous amount of positive effects that meditation can help you attain. All areas of life are positively affected by meditation and relaxation. Researchers have found that yoga, meditation, repetative prayers and mantras all induce the relaxation effect. What is it that makes meditation work? What is happening inside the body and mind? It is well known that the brain is an electrochemical organ, researchers says that a fully functioning brain can generate up to 10 watts of electric power. Electrical activity emanating from the brain is displayed in the form of brainwaves. There are four categories of brainwaves. When the brain is aroused and actively engaged in mental activities it generates beta waves. These beta waves are the fastest of the four. This is a strongly engaged mind. The next brainwave in order of frequency is alpha. These brainwaves are slower. A person that is in a relaxed meditative state is usually in an alpha state. This is where the interesting frequency begins. Then, even slower is the next state. The theta brainwave state. When people daydream, they are in this frequency. Deep meditation also works in this frequency. Good ideas and clear thought is signs of the theta brainwave state. Finally the last state is the delta brainwave frequency. This is the slowest frequency and happens when someone enters deep sleep. This state can also be entered by meditation masters. When the state of meditation is entered, research shows that the frequenzy of the brainwaves changes. This is the secret; this is why meditation works miracles in the body. This is what i discovered; this has worked more miracles for me than all my years of meditation put together. This will truly transform your life in every area and miracles will show up everywhere. Within the first times of using these techniques you will see amazing life altering changes. Trust me and give yourself this amazing gift. Go to http://themeditationhealth.wordpress.com/ and see for yourself
The spiritual benefits of meditation