Meditation Activates Your Disease Fighting Genes
In my practice – while my patients are on the treatment table – we often do a form of guided meditation. It may be a meditation to help decrease anxiety around an upcoming surgery, it might be a meditation to help them better visualize their health goals, it may be a simple guided meditation to give them a pause from the usual running and busy-ness of the mind.
Whatever the reason, I find it an incredible tool and I get this same feedback from my patients. And – you all know this – but it bears repeating as I continue to have to remind my patients AND myself to take the time to do it.
Meditation activates your disease fighting genes.
In addition to helping you feel and think more clearly, helping to calm difficult emotions, making you a better parent, spouse, teacher, healer….. – all of which should be motivation enough – the more you practice relaxation methods such as meditation, the greater your chances of remaining free of arthritis and joint pain, the stronger your immune system, the less sick you get, the more balanced your hormone levels and the lower your blood pressure.
So rather than sell more supplements or prescribe more drugs – our doctors and healthcare practitioners would be much better served by encouraging a daily dose of meditation for everybody.
Here are 7 proven health benefits of meditation:
- INCREASED IMMUNITY
Meditation appears to boost immunity in recovering cancer patients. A study at the Ohio State University found that progressive muscular relaxation – a specific meditation technique – when practiced daily, reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence. In another study at Ohio State, a month of meditation exercises boosted natural killer cells in the elderly, giving them a greater resistance to tumors and to viruses.
- EMOTIONAL BALANCE
Emotional balance means freedom from the neurotic behavior and thought patterns that are created by an ego that makes us believe we are separate unique individuals who need infinite amounts of time to heal from our various traumatized lives. Meditation certainly is the way to take responsibility for the ego – and to take a much deeper interest in the part of ourselves that is infinite and always connected – the part that is beyond thought and emotion and has never suffered. When we relate to the world from this place – we are able to distance ourselves from the emotional rollercoaster of the ego.
- INCREASED FERTILITY
A study at the University of Western Australia found that women are more likely to conceive during periods when they are relaxed rather than stressed. A study at Trakya University, in Turkey, also found that stress reduces sperm count and motility, suggesting meditation may also boost male fertility.
- RELIEVES IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
When patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome began practicing a relaxation meditation twice daily, their symptoms of bloating, diarrhea and constipation improved significantly. The meditation was so effective the researchers at the State University of New York recommended it as an effective treatment.
- LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
A study at Harvard Medical School found that meditation lowered blood pressure by making the body less responsive to stress hormones, in a similar way to blood pressure-lowering medication. Meanwhile a British Medical Journal report found that patients trained how to relax had significantly lower blood pressure.
Stress leads to inflammation, a state linked to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and skin conditions such as psoriasis, say researchers at Emory University. Relaxation can help prevent and treat such symptoms by switching off the stress response. In this way, one study at McGill University in Canada found that meditation clinically improved the symptoms of psoriasis.
The simple difference between those who meditate and those who do not, is that for a meditative mind the thought occurs but is witnessed, while for an ordinary mind, the thought occurs and can become the boss. In both minds, an upsetting thought can occur, but for those who meditate it is just another thought, which is seen as such and is allowed to blossom and die, while in the ordinary mind the thought can instigate a storm which can rage on and on.