Health Benefits Of Meditation
Meditation is one of the top-10 alternative therapies used
by the U. S. population. The National Center for Complementary
and Alternative Medicine reports that 8% of Americans use
meditation as a health tool. No longer just for Buddhist monks
and New-Age types, meditation is now appealing to mainstream
business professionals, medical doctors and even health care
companies. This is a result of the growing evidence which
supports that meditation can promote physical healing.
Meditation may be spiritual for some, but the practice is
not necessarily religious in nature. There are many meditative
approaches but regardless of the technique, medical research
indicates that the practice of meditation tends to evoke a
state of physiological relaxation: blood pressure drops, heart
beats slower and breathing is quieter, other biochemical changes
can also occur. Scientists do not understand why the changes
happen but understanding the physical effects can explain
the potential health benefits of meditation.
Twenty minutes of daily meditation can provide relief for
ailments such as low back pain, headaches, depression and
anxiety. Suffers of these chronic conditions should attempt
to incorporate the meditation practice into their daily routine.
If meditation can lower blood pressure, it could be a useful
tool in helping patients with hypertension. If scientists
uncover exactly how meditation works to relieve these symptoms,
they may be able to apply that understanding to treat a variety
of other disorders.
Research on meditation began back in the late 1960s. Herbert
Benson, MD, began studying the physiological impact of Transcendental
Meditation on individuals. In recent years, the scope of studies
has focused on how the practice can reduce symptoms of chronic
illnesses from cardiovascular disease to cancer. Critics indicate
some of the research is been on small study populations and
has not had adequate control groups for comparison. But some
studies have shown promising results.
Meditation can relax the body. Promote more restful sleep
and boost the body's immune system. This will help fight illness
and better manage the symptoms of chronic conditions. Meditation
can relax the mind and help us better deal with the stress
of our daily lives. The popular interest in meditation and
its health benefits may help drive more research in the future.
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