Using Meditation to Guide you to Better Health

July 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm Leave a comment

Many people turn to meditation to help ease a host of stress-related problems, including chronic pain, headaches, anxiety, PMS, sleep disorders, even infertility. Researchers say that meditation works at least in part by lowering your body’s responsiveness to the stress hormone norepinephrine.

We all meditate in some form from time to time; it’s really just a way of systematically tuning out mental chatter. But the term itself is usually used to describe an exercise in sustained concentration that you can use to calm your body and quiet your mind to reduce stress.

Two of the most common types of meditation are Mindfulness Meditation and Transcendental Meditation. Mindfulness meditation is based on the concept of having an increased awareness and total acceptance of the present. Transcendental meditation, or TM, uses a mantra (a word, sound, or phrase repeated silently) to prevent distracting thoughts from entering the mind, with the intent of allowing the mind to settle into a quieter state and the body into a state of deep rest.

To meditate, choose a quiet place where you won’t be distracted or disturbed. Sit on the floor, or if that’s not comfortable, use a chair or lie down. Close your eyes, and gently begin taking slow deep breaths. To guide yourself into the meditative state, let your mind begin to say a simple word or phrase —your mantra — or focus on your breathing, on a symbol, or even an image. When thoughts come to mind, ignore them without judging them and return to your mantra. Start with short, five-minute sessions and gradually build up to 20 minutes or longer.

If you are considering using meditation or any other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy, talk to your healthcare provider first.

Entry filed under: Alternative.

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