Research on Meditation and Health
The scientific support for the health benefits of meditation is growing on a daily basis, as more and more research is starting to validate what has already been known by the spiritual community for centuries now. Today we will explore this topic further. As we know there are many different meditation techniques and although, all these are helpful in some degree from a health perspective, in this series, I will compile for you those techniques that are the best for health and healing.
This series will be in 2 parts. In part 1, I will highlight the health benefits of meditation as demonstrated by recent scientific research, while in part 2 I will provide you with the healing meditations themselves. Below are these benefits, knowing which I feel will be very inspiring to you for beginning a personal meditation practice.
Scientific Research Indicating Health Benefits of Meditation:
1. Reduce Anxiety & Stress:
Research has shown that meditation activates the left pre-frontal cortex, while diminishing activity in the right pre-frontal cortex of the brain. This shift is in line with reduced stress and anxiety, as the left frontal cortex is associated with calmness, peace, happiness and other positive feelings. This shift in brain activity also indicates meditation as a solution for depression.
For more details on using meditation and yoga to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, read Best Treatments for Stress and Anxiety Disorder.
2. Reduce Blood Pressure:
Meditation has been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure, while at the same time improving circulation and heart health. Blood flow was shown to increase almost 200%, specially in the frontal cortex. Meditation has also been shown to reduce cholesterol, but most significant to heart health is the stress reducing power of meditation, as undoubtedly stress is the number enemy of good heart health.
3. Immune Health:
Research has shown, meditators to be significantly more healthy than those who don’t. 50% fewer doctor’s visits, 55% fewer tumors and significantly reduced cases of infectious diseases as well.
4. Chronic Pain:
Meditation has been shown to be very effective in helping with pain management. Research has shown a 50% reduction in perceived pain when tackled using meditation.
One of the areas where meditation has been extremely effective is helping those suffering from insomnia. When trained in meditation, there was a 75% improvement in those suffering from this condition.
6. Intelligence, Awareness, Concentration and Performance:
Thickening of the brain as well as improved performance, concentration and intelligence has been attributed to meditation practice. These improvements were found to be valid with young adults as well (Amazing Benefits of Meditation for Young People). Another article previously published detailing how good meditation is for the brain is Brain Benefits of Meditation.
7. Aging and Addictions:
Meditation has been shown time and again to slow down the aging process, with those who meditate registering much younger effective ages than their chronological age.
8. Treating Habits and Addictions:
Meditation has been shown as an effective treatment for addictions and detrimental habits. There are also yoga and breathing techniques which are valuable for this, and you can find those in the article Yoga to Stop Smoking and Breaking Addictions.
Summary of Health Benefits of Meditation:
Of course, the benefits of meditations are much more far reaching than just good health, and you can read about all these benefits in the article, Top 10 Profound Benefits of Meditation. The above list though should certainly be more than enough to motivate you to start practicing meditation as a tool to maintain good health and heal yourself of diseases. In part 2 of this series I will detail those meditation techniques which are highly reputed for their healing capabilities.