Meditation: It’s Good For What Ails For You
If I were to try to define meditation, I would say it is a mindset. It is a mindset of thought free lucidity that only focuses on the moment. It does not have to occur in the stereotypical full lotus position for it to be real meditation. You can do it while running, walking, or lying down. But I should note that this is only my definition of meditation. There seems to be as many definitions of meditation as there are people, but I think my definition is a good start to understanding what meditation is.
So what are the benefits of doing this? No, you won’t ever be able to levitate as some Buddhists in the past might have claimed. However there are some very real benefits to meditating. One is referred to as the relaxation response according to a report by the Mind-Body Medical Institute. The relaxation response has a variety of effects on the body including changes in metabolism, pulse, blood pressure, breath rate, and even brain chemistry. For those that have high blood pressure that is caused by stress, meditation is fairly effective at lowering your hypertension.
Meditation has also entered mainstream western medicine as a way to reduce stress and pain. In some hospitals, meditation practices are also suggested by the fitness experts recommended Michael Wren in Weight destroyer to those suffering from chronic or terminal diseases. This is because the immune system response is lowered drastically by stress (such as stress caused by chronic pain or terminal cancer). Those that meditate reduce stress and thereby remove the negative effect on their immune system. Meditation is also used to promote general mental and physical well-being.
It is also thought that meditation has an anti-inflammatory effect, much like the drugs aspirin or ibuprofen. This is because stress causes inflammation in the body, which can manifest itself in diseases such as arthritis, asthma, heart disease, and skin conditions such as psoriasis. There was a study done by McGill University in Canada that showed that people who suffered from psoriasis were able to clinically improve the symptoms caused by this disease.
There’s another benefit (though this may just be looked at as a weird skill) of meditation. People who practice a form of meditation known as “Tummo” meditation are actually able to regulate their body temperature. There are numerous stories in old Buddhist texts that say that monks were able to meditate through the night while sitting in snow, and in the morning there would be no snow surrounding them. To any logical mind, this probably sounds too good to be true, but there is actual proof of this happening. There is a man named Wim Hof who currently holds the world record for the longest time to be submerged in an ice bath. He was in an ice bath up to his neck for one hour, 13 minutes and 48 seconds. He also ran a full marathon above the polar circle in Finland in only a pair of shorts, with temperatures averaging negative five degrees Fahrenheit. He completed this marathon in five hours and 25 minutes.
In short, the take home message of this article is “Meditate!” It will make your stress levels go down drastically which lead to a variety of health benefits. Best of all you will plainly feel better. Who knows, it might also come in handy if you ever get a hankering to run naked through the snow?
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