Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind to focus inward. It is a mind/body practice which has been utilized historically throughout various cultures. Meditation increases calmness and physical relaxation, improves psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhances overall health and well-being. It is a mindfulness practice in which the focus can be on the breath, a mantra (a word or phrase), and on a systematic body scan. The practice focus is on physical postures which include, sitting on the floor with props, in a chair, or lying down. Meditation is considered to be safe for healthy individuals. Meditation is not a substitute for health care, but a holistic, complementary practice to enhance health.
The significant health implications of meditation are astounding. Scientific research has demonstrated that regular meditation practice improves overall health, increases the body's ability to heal, increases happiness, sleep, and emotional well being, and improved state of mind. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), meditation may be helpful for conditions such as, high blood pressure, certain psychological conditions, and pain. Studies have suggest that practicing meditation may reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis flare-ups, anxiety and depression, insomnia, and the frequency, duration, and severity of acute respiratory illnesses.
Neuroimaging studies (fMRI, EEG) show that brainwave patterns are altered with longterm meditation practice. Meditation is a natural way to help reduce the amount of stress we experience in our lives. By placing the body into a relaxed state, the parasympathetic nervous system responds thus calming the body. During this relaxed state, the mind is tranquil, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration are reduced, thus increasing overall health and state of mind. Meditation helps us to become more level-headed, cope with illness, clear the mind, and adapt with greater ease to stressful situations. It may also help to ease depression or anxiety, while heightening our overall sense of contentment, regardless of the circumstances.
Through the meditation practice, clients are taught meditative techniques to promote and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness for themselves and towards others.
What is Meditation:
Johnnine Wahl RN, BSN
and Meditation Training
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