Inspired living

Meditation for health

Meditation is best known for the benefits it can bring for stress relief and relaxation by taking your mind off the hassles and worries of daily life. However, meditation can also produce effective results for people suffering from a range of Health conditions and illnesses.

How meditation benefits your health
Stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol increase the heart rate and blood pressure which in turn weakens immunity and lowers fertility. However, during meditation, the brain produces alpha waves and theta waves which together work to promote calmness and enhance wellbeing. Meditation induces what Herbert Benson, a cardiologist at Harvard Medical School refers to as the “relaxation response.” Relaxation and meditation are linked to positive chemicals such as serotonin and the growth hormones which repair body cells and tissues. Meditation also reduces the heart and respiratory rates and boosts the immune system, allowing the body to thrive.

Meditation is very powerful as it essentially shows the impact a person’s state of mind can have on the body. Regular and long-term practice of meditation causes disease-fighting genes to become more active. These include the genes that protect from pain and disorders such as infertility and high blood pressure.

Conditions that can be improved with meditation

Regular meditation can produce positive and effective results for people suffering from a range of conditions. Meditation can be particularly beneficial for people with illnesses that can be exacerbated by stress.

Blood pressure: A number of studies have found that meditation works to lower blood pressure by making the body less responsive to stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. Regular practice of meditation works to lower the risk of heart attack, stroke and other stress-related illnesses.

Meditation enhances the function of the immune system and improves the function of cells that kill bacteria and cancer cells. Studies have also revealed information about the ability of meditation to slow the growth of tumour cells.

Yogic meditation in particular can produce many benefits for asthma sufferers. Meditation involves focused and controlled deep breathing which works to increase lung capacity and strength. This in turn helps reduce the lung’s sensitivity to factors that may induce an asthma attack.

Infertility: Studies have found that women are more likely to fall pregnant when they are relaxed. Meditation allows the body to enter this relaxed state and help it conserve the resources needed to reproduce. Stress can lower fertility in a number of ways and has been linked to a reduced sperm count, making meditation very beneficial in this area.

Irritable bowel syndrome: Studies have found that sufferers of IBS who meditate on a regular basis experience an improvement in their symptoms of bloating, cramping, diarrhoea and constipation. Meditation techniques help reduce feelings of discomfort and tension which work to reduce pain and stress.

Stress leads to inflammation, a state linked to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and skin conditions such as psoriasis. Relaxation and meditation can help prevent and treat symptoms by switching off the stress response.

FInd a practitioner that offers meditation near you.