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The Healing Wonders Of Meditation

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Scientific studies continue to prove the healing wonders of meditation.
Many health care professionals consider meditation a key element of an
integrated health program.

meditation, chronic pain, stress and anxiety, pregnancy, insomnia,
relaxation, infertility, anxiety

Article Body:
The use of meditation for healing and spiritual enlightenment has been an
ancient practice that is common among the world's great religions and
cultures. It is an accepted and proven alternative therapy that is
classified under “mind-body medicine.”
Through the years, more and more people have found meditation as an
effective way to ease chronic pain, improve heart health, relieve stress
and anxiety, boost mood and immunity, and resolve pregnancy problems.
Even doctors are already prescribing meditation as a way to lower blood
pressure; improve exercise performance in people with angina; help people
with asthma breathe easier; and to relieve insomnia. It is a safe and
simple way to balance a person's physical, emotional, and mental well-
According to cardiologist Herbert Benson, MD: “Any condition that's
caused or worsened by stress can be alleviated through meditation.”
Benson is the founder of the Mind/Body Institute at Harvard Medical
School's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.   He said that the
relaxation induced by meditation can help decrease metabolism, lower
blood pressure, and improve heart rate, breathing, an d brain waves. When
the body receives a quiet message to relax, tension and tightness begin
to seep from muscles.
Brain scans (or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI) of people who
meditate have been used to show scientific evidence that meditation
really works. It shows an increase in activity in areas that control
metabolism and heart rate. Other studies on Buddhist monks have shown
that meditation produces long-lasting changes in the brain activity in
areas involving attention, working memory, learning, and conscious
Meditation is not difficult to learn but it is a skill that needs to be
practiced in order to develop the ability to focus on the breathing
patterns and the need to ignore distracting thoughts. Meditation is
usually accompanied by a mantra, a word or phrase that is repeatedly
chanted to produce a biological response such as relaxation. The
soothing power of repetition is at the heart of meditation. Constant
practice of meditation allows people to learn anddevelop the ability t o
produce meditative and relaxed states without difficulty. Meditating
several times during the day makes the practitioner feel relaxed
throughout the entire day.
Benefits of Meditation
Heart Health: Countless studies have shown that regular practice ha s
significantly helped reduce high blood pressure. A study conducted at the
College of Maharishi Vedic Medicine in Fairfield, Iowa, showed
significant lowering of blood pressure and heart rate in black adults.
Another study conducted by the American Journal of Hypertension showed
that teenagers who meditated for 15 minutes twice a day for four months
were able to lower their blood pressure a few points.
Immune Booster: In a Psychosomatic Medicine study testing immune
function, meditation has bben shown to be useful in warding off illness
and infections. Flu shots were given to volunteers who had meditated for
eight weeks and to people who didn't meditate. The result of blood tests
from the meditation group had produced higher levels of antibodies
against the flu virus.
Women's Health: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), infertility problems, and
even breastfeeding can be improved when women meditate regularly. In one
study, PMS symptoms subsided by 58% when women meditated. Another study
found that hot flashes were less intense among women who practiced
meditation. Women struggling with infertility had much less anxiety,
depression and fatigue following a 10-week meditation program; 34 percent
became pregnant within six months. Also, new mothers who meditated on
images of milk flowing from their breasts were able to more than double
their production of milk.
Meditation Enhances Brain Activity
Those who practice meditation regularly showed evidence of significantly
higher brain activity, called gamma wave activity, in areas associated
with learning and happiness compared with those who didn't practice
meditation. Gamma waves involve mental processes including attention,
memory, learning and conscious perception.
Many health care providers consider meditation a s a key element of an
integrated health program. However, when you are having a hard time
getting into that meditative state, try to enroll in a class. It will
help and guide you with your progress. Any practice that can evoke the
relaxation response can be beneficial, be it through meditation, yoga,
breathing, or repetitive prayer. The growing body of research literature
on meditation and other alternative therapies gives us no reason to
believe that one is better than the other.

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