Meditation has been in the news a lot over the last decade as more and more people find that it significantly enhances their quality of life. Research has also helped to document the effects of a meditation practice. For review here is a summary of some of the findings ….
Meditation practice has been scientifically shown to have many physical benefits
- Positive impact on immunity heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure, insomnia, pain, cancer
- Insurance statistics show meditators had 87% fewer hospitalizations for heart disease, 55% fewer for benign and malignant tumors, and 30% fewer for infectious diseases; 50% fewer doctor visits than non-meditators
- In people with normal to moderate hypertension meditation lowered blood pressure to levels similar to prescription drugs
- Blood flow/circulation showed increases in beginning meditators of 30% and in experienced meditators by as much as 65%
- Meditation has been endorsed by NIH as effective for the relief of chronic pain. Chronic pain patients have been shown to have a reduction in symptoms of 50% or more
- Insomniacs who incorporate simple lifestyle changes coupled with meditation improve their ability to fall asleep easily
- Diabetics have been shown to reduce blood sugar levels with meditation practice
- A group suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, depression, diabetes and hypertension experienced a 50% reduction in overall psychiatric symptoms, a 70% decrease in anxiety, and a 44% reduction in medical symptoms with meditation training
Meditation also provides many advantages mentally and emotionally.
- Significant improvements in mental health, memory, concentration, and productivity
- Brain scans show that meditation shifts activity from the right hemisphere to the left reducing negative temperament toward more enthusiasm, interests, relaxation, and happiness
- The relapse rate for chronic depression has been shown to be cut by half with meditation
- Meditators are more alert but emotionally react more calmly than non-meditators Addiction cessation and relapse rates have been more positively impacted by meditation than traditional therapies
- Children who practice meditation show improved work habits, attendance, and GPA
- Brain scans of meditators show increased thickness in brain regions associated with memory and decision making
- Meditation appears to significantly slow aging
In addition to the above advantages there are many benefits that enhance personal growth, spiritual development and overall well-being and creativity. Next post: Meditation and recognizing different types of energy.
In the meantime if you are interested in learning to meditate Relaxation 101 is designed to help you relax your body and mind effectively so you can expand into the energy of your higher spiritual nature.