What is Meditation?
Meditation is a state of mind in which the person focuses their attention on one single thing. When the persons mind, or attention, naturally wanders to another thought, the person brings their attention back to their original focus. This process, also referred to as mindfulness is both simple – anyone can do it – and difficult, because ones mind always wanders.
Guidance in Meditation
While learning to meditate does not require a great deal of training, personal guidance can be helpful for those wishing to learn more about mediation. At Accurate Clinic we provide guidance to assist people in becoming comfortable with a meditative technique that suits their individual preferences.
Forms of Meditation
While the term meditation brings to mind someone sitting cross-legged on the floor and chanting, there are many ways to practice mindful exercise and achieve the healthful benefits associated with doing so. A very common meditation technique is to simpy sit quietly in a comfortable chair, close ones eyes, and focus ones attention solely on observing ones breathing. After a brief time of doing so, the mind inevitably wanders to other thoughts this is natural. The challenge is to bring ones attention back to the breathing. Spending twenty minutes a day in this practice provides surprising benefits. Mindful exercise can take the form of quiet prayer such as performing Hail Marys as practiced by Catholics, quietly listening intently to music, or focusing on a guided relaxation video. The choice of method is not important and the degree of success at focusing attention is not important. What matters is the concerted effort to maintain the mental state.
Health Benefits of Meditation – Pain
Practicing meditation offers many health benefits. Studies show that it improves ones sense of well-being, lessens the need for pain medications and reduces the frequency and severity of chronic headaches. Recent research also confirms that meditation helps reverse the process of central sensitization which accompanies many chronic pain syndromes including chronic low back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and fibromyalgia. Central sensitization is a process in which the presence of chronic pain induces changes in the nervous system and brain that contributes to developing hypersensitivity to pain, pressure, cold temperature and other sensations including light touch. It is recommended to spend time every day in some form of mindful exercise. A recent study showed that for those who did, there average pain scores dropped 1-2 points after a three month practice period.
Health Benefits of Meditation – Anxiety & Stress
The presence of anxiety is a stressful experience for everybody and for some it can become incapacitating. One of the most useful tools for combatting anxiety is the practice of meditation and other mindful exercises. Not only does it calm the mind and reduce the stress of anxiety, it also results in improved sleep. Studies show that many of the hormonal and biochemical consequences of stress which contribute to such stress-related diseases as high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and obesity are reduced as well.
It is the process of practicing meditation that provides the benefits, so the first and foremost lesson in meditation is to not judge ones success or failure at maintaining singularity of thought. One just practices and the benefits will follow.