How does meditation heal the body?
Do you ever wish you had a button to just turn off your mind for a few minutes? With this button, would you like your mind to just go blank – no stressing, no worrying, no thinking about everything you need to do, etc? Maybe it would be like hitting the panic button whenever your mind is overloaded with thoughts and you just can’t think straight. Well believe it or not, turning off the mind occasionally is a necessity because exhaustion of the mind is the same as being physically tired from excessive exercise. In fact, sometimes the most effective solution for mental and physical healing is to sit down and rest your body and mind.
Location of this ‘so-called’ magic button?
So where do we find this magic button to turn off our overwhelming thoughts? Well, fortunately this button can be located in the practice of meditation which is simply defined as relaxing the mind in a noise-less environment which revitalizes and restores the mind to a calmer state. Contrary to popular belief, some people are misled to believe meditation is the freeing of your mind completely of thoughts. However, it’s more about re-training and re-directing your thoughts and thus, placing them in order of importance. In other words, any negative, detrimental thoughts can be pushed to the back the line or even eliminated entirely while more peaceful thoughts can be allowed to dominate the mind.
As you rest the mind, the body heals
Whenever you become ill, you are advised to take your medicine and go home and rest, correct? The term, rest, is incorporated in a treatment plan for just about every condition out there. Resting the mind is no different than resting the body and is the first method you can use to initiate a healing action plan. In fact, according to Deepak Chopra, M.D, “the silence of pure awareness is extremely refreshing to the mind, which finds it increasingly easy not to cling to old thought-patterns; rigid habits of thinking and feeling begin to fall away of their own accord. When this happens, the mind is actually learning to heal itself.”
Brain circuitry of meditators versus non-meditators
In essence, if you meditate regularly, your brain wiring will be different from non-meditators. In turn, this wiring will directly correlate to how the body/brain handles incoming stresses such as anger, anxiety, and depression. For example, when you become distressed, the brain’s amygdala and right prefrontal cortex start bustling around with activity. In contrast, if you’re feeling positive, these areas fizzle out and your left prefrontal cortex which is responsible for feelings of joy and contentment takes over. In a nut shell, it’s no longer believed that in order for us to be happy or sad, our brains have to reach a targeted or desired ‘value.’ Instead, we have the ability through meditation to re-train the circuitry in our brains and thus, achieve happiness on our own accord while deflecting illness.
Achieving happiness and healing the body
Now that you know how meditation can re-train the brain’s wiring to handle stress more effectively, we are going to discuss how detrimental stress can be to the healing process. Basically, stress is our nemesis and can actually lead to issues such as stomach ulcers, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and a compromised immunity. Not to mention, studies have proven that stress can lead to neuron reduction on the hippocampus which is the area in the brain that handles your scope of knowledge, retention, and positive state of mind. Therefore, eliminating frivolous stress maintains the hippocampus’ vitality and aids in the body’s healing process. Simply put, it can restore itself and subsequently, the body without stress negatively effecting the neurons.
In addition, practicing meditation changes the way we react to stress and in turn, boosts our formulation of a neurotransmitter known as serotonin. This neurotransmitter controls our state of mind, ability to sleep well, and hunger for food. In addition, with adequate serotonin on board, your likelihood of developing cardiac issues such as cardiac arrest or stroke are minimized. Sounds like a great reason to start a meditation regimen huh?
So there you have an explanation of how meditation can heal the body. Here’s to living your best life ever! Feel free to leave me a comment or any insight you may have on the topic of meditation.