Recently, there have been numerous studies released showing the positive effects that a meditation practice can have not only on your mental, but also your physical and spiritual health. Although the human mind is programmed (thanks to the ego) to posses and control, meditation holds within it a key to releasing a person from the harmful effects an over active mind can have on one’s being.
Amy Yeong, in this post from Asia One, takes a look at how meditation is now being used as medicine. At a recent Tsao Foundation talk given by Dr. Patricia Bloom called Meditation As Medicine, Bloom (a doctor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York) outlines how too much stress can lead to illness. The solution? Meditation which helps the body to relax. Using a mindfulness based stress reduction approach (MBSR) such as in a mindfulness meditation, the goals is to witness what occurs in our minds so that we can choose to respond to thoughts and stressors in a different way.
Dr Bloom explained that chronic stress has the potential to produce illness. It can worsen or even cause cardiovascular, metabolic, gastrointestinal diseases. It can inhibit a person’s immune system and make him more prone to infectious illnesses.
However, it has been shown that meditation can elicit the body’s own relaxation response which helps the body recuperate from stress. Not only that, activating the relaxation response helps the body to be less reactive to stress. In order words, one becomes more resilient.
Read more about Dr. Patricia Bloom’s talk on meditation here.