Meditation is really becoming far more mainstream and the practice may seem more accessible as high profile businessmen, politicians, medical practitioners, highly successful public figures and athletes discuss in the media their daily practice of meditation…….. and why wouldn’t they be including meditation in their daily routines??? Studies showing the benefits of meditation just keep on mounting up and are hard to ignore. The support of meditation from the scientific world that shows that meditation practice can lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system, literally rewire key parts of your brain associated with stress and well-being is making more and more people interested in making meditation part of their daily life.
If you’re one of those people who “just can’t meditate,” you may want to give it another go. A video from ASAP Science, a YouTube channel lists some pretty solid benefits of the practice.
“During meditation, brain scans see increased activity in regions directly correlated with decreased anxiety and depression, along with increased pain tolerance,” the clip explains. “The Default Mode Network, in particular, is activated when one’s mind is at rest and not focusing on the outside world, and has been found to improve memory, self-awareness and goal-setting.”
Those who practice meditation also have higher levels of alpha waves, “which have been shown to reduce feelings of negative mood, tension, sadness and anger,” according to the video.
In fact, a 2011 brain imaging study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that even very brief instruction in mindfulness meditation (four x 20-minute sessions) was effective in relieving pain by reducing the brain’s emotional response to painful stimuli
Another benefit? Meditation can also improve sleep. At the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, researchers, citing their work, argued that meditation can help with insomnia. “Results of the study show that teaching deep relaxation techniques during the daytime can help improve sleep at night,” said Ramadevi Gourineni, M.D., director of the insomnia program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Our own Osteopath Dr Nick Ritter practices daily meditation and is seeing the benefits in patients who have incorporated it into their daily lives
“Something that I have been really into for a while is meditation, as a self practice. Since being over here in Australia, I’ve started to incorporate meditation into my patients management plans as stress and anxiety comes up a lot as a significant factor during initial case history. I’ve noticed that a few patients with chronic disorders, especially chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are gaining a lot of benefit from including daily meditation. As there is a significant somato-emotional component with these particular disorders, I’m finding that their practice of mindfulness along with the breathing focus is helping to reduce their pain perception and also lifting their overall mood when they come in for treatment. A few patients have mentioned that through meditation, they now have s sense of hope with managing with their particular disorder.”
How to get some meditation into your busy daily life?!
Setting aside a specific time everyday, taking a class or joining a course…. Or if you haven’t done meditation before and none of that appeals maybe you can catch some meditation during a flight or commute on a busy day by adding an app to your phone– check some of these apps out!