Meditation has long been favored among those who are committed to holistic healing. It requires no drugs or expert guidance. Adding to the list of benefits, it can be done for any length of time and in just about any place. Even if you only have five minutes available in the middle of a busy workday, you can reap the benefits of using meditation as a form of alternative medicine. These are some of the scientifically proven benefits that meditation can have on your mind and body.
1) It helps you combat pain.
Researchers have demonstrated that through the use of a mindfulness technique, people can increase their tolerance for pain. In one study, participants were touched on the arm with a hot object. Prior to being touched a second time with the same hot object, they were trained in the mindfulness technique. They asked themselves if the pain was tolerable, and if they would be able to handle it. That simple mental exercise led to a significant decrease in the number of participants who reported pain. Additional research shows that the more time a person has spent meditating directly relates to the level of pain they can comfortably tolerate as compared to those who don't meditate.
2) It keeps your memory development skills sharp.
There are two areas of the brain called the hippocampi, which help transform current happenings in your life into memories. Over time, stress plays a negative role on the hippocampi by decreasing its density. Research indicates that this effect can be stopped through meditation. By using the mindfulness technique to fight stress, individuals can minimize the production of cortisol and the resulting shrinkage in size of their hippocampi.
3) It can lower blood pressure.
A type of meditation known as relaxation response has been tested as an alternative medicine for people who take medication for high blood pressure. An initial study resulted in two-thirds of the participants being able to reduce their medication levels after just three months of practice. Experts link the results a natural increase in nitric acid production, which opens up the channels through which blood flows, thereby lowering blood pressure levels.
If you’re interested in reading more, check out our additional articles on meditation.