Mindfulness meditation has become increasingly popular in these days and times, and very likely for a good reason. Reports of stress are on the rise from almost all age groups and people are seeking solace; if even for a few minutes out of the day to find some real inner peace. At one point, meditation was only viewed as a part of Eastern mystical practices and reserved only for those who have abandoned the facets of society; however in these days it can be considered so much more as it is reaching more people through the advents of technology. Why meditation? Is there a direct correlation to health outcomes? As a Naturopathic Practitioner, it can certainly be said that since the core intention in the meditative practice is to bring awareness and a sense of calm to the person doing it, it can only result in beneficial outcomes when done regularly.
The mind and the body are intrinsically connected. Emotions create physical states in the body. If anyone is looking for proof related to this, how many people have lost their appetites’ after being engaged in a verbal disagreement with someone? As more and more people are being prescribed psychotropic medications to stabilize mood and behavioral outcomes, some in the medical field are slowly and quietly advising some of their patients to take up holistic health practices like mediation to increase positive health outcomes.
The place of meditation as an authentic healing modality needs to be solidified as healing outcome. Meditation and mindfulness breath practices are not a pseudo-science. If having a conflicted and out of control state of emotion can create illness and imbalance in the body, then what can be said of the opposite? Specifically speaking, a consistent practice of calming meditation can positively affect the abundance of cortisol that is released in the body. Cortisol is the stress related chemical that gets released into the body as a coping mechanism while in the fight-or-flight state of being. Many of us are operating like this every hour of the day , and in some cases even in our sleep. Over time, being in this constant state depletes the reserve nerve energy that the body needs to be at the best state of health when it is actually- really needed. Excess cortisol in the body leads to harmful inflammation build up, weight gain, brain fog and may even lead to the development of some autoimmune disorders.
Why can so much excess cortisol in the body be so detrimental to our health? There are a lot of ways that this can be discussed but the most harmful reason why is due to the fact that it blocks both the physical and spiritual flow of energy. As a result of this, excess inflammation begins to hamper the function of the body. A daily practice of meditation is the dosage needed to combat the stressors and predispositions to illness that lie in waiting for us.
Regular Meditators have seen a reduction in symptoms related to:
- Minor depression.
- Poor digestion.
- Minor incidents of seizures.
- Sleep terrors.
- Feelings of unnecessary guilt.
- Increases feelings of empathy and positivity for others.
- Poor and insufficient immunity.
In a diseased bodily system, the overall harmony of the body is weakened and cannot function at its best. If you notice all of the symptoms described above are linked to one or many medications on the market that, sadly over time cause the body to deteriorate in one way or another. Regular Mindfulness based practices like meditation at least create a path to understanding the true self of the person. If one were to truly examine why so many are affected with the symptoms above, it is mostly due to the fact that people are truly unaware of themselves and what they are to do in this world. The symptoms are not the cause; it is lack of knowledge of self that is the cause.
Slowing the breath and becoming aware of the body is the first stage of health that sets the tone for nutrition and movement to benefit the body the most. It is beyond ones race, religion or creed: it is the way for everyone to get back in touch with your essence. Your awareness of essence is the starting point of your health journey. To know yourself and get in touch with your higher vibration in itself can start to heal you. To begin a path towards a daily meditative practice, reach out to your local practitioner, or search an array of introductory applications that exist in the meantime while you are searching for your guide. In health and happiness to you and your families.
-Dr. Daud Scott N.D; CHNP.