Meditation and Health

If you are reading this article, you are probably somewhat open to the idea of meditation. Let us proceed on that assumption.

A few years ago, while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, I watched a short video about a study which proved that back surgery patients who meditated recovered better than patients who did not meditate. It has been a long time coming, and how reassuring it is that physicians now advocate the use of meditation for certain patients!

We have known for many years that badly managed stress can contribute to poor health. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored that fact in a big way and added to our concerns. It is essential that we be well informed about managing stress effectively. To our benefit, the practice of meditation – in its many forms – is proven to help greatly.

Way back in 1975, the connection between meditation and good health was explained in the landmark book, The Relaxation Response by Dr. Herbert Benson of The Harvard School of Medicine. Dr. Benson’s research presented evidence that transcendental meditation lowered blood pressure, and allowed a general relaxation of other processes, such as muscular tension, heartbeat and breathing. Since that time, further studies have been done to support Benson’s conclusions. Here are a couple of examples:

From the National Library of Medicine, the following link takes you to an article showing that meditation is beneficial for people with coronary artery disease.

The next article indicates that mindfulness meditation should be considered for use by surgical patients to help reduce anxiety and stress.

When people think of meditation, they usually picture a person sitting quietly, eyes closed and doing nothing. For some, that prospect seems pleasant. Not so for others. The good news is that many options are available to people who do not like to sit still.  One of my clients who suffers from anxiety, enjoys woodworking. When he is absorbed in a woodworking project, he has no anxiety. That could be true for gardening, knitting, playing music, etc. For others, it might be walking, exercising, or doing a meditative martial art, such as Tai Chi.

If you would prefer the sitting-still meditation, be aware that this includes a massive number – some say thousands – of types of meditation. It may be connected to a specific religion or not. And it may not matter. However, what does matter is that you meditate in a way that does not produce problems. Unfortunately, some practices that are called meditation can be confusing.

Fortunately, I can help in that area. I learned transcendental meditation in 1971, and have practiced it on and off since then. I teach mindfulness meditation as part of my therapy work, as well. For this and other reasons I am confident that I can help anyone who wishes to learn to de-stress through meditation, if that person is willing and open to learning and to change.

As you probably know, you can meditate using an app, or by watching a video on the internet. However, if you would like a live in-person experience in relationship with an experienced professional, please give me a call. I can be reached at (219) 309-3928. It would be a pleasure to work with you on this wonderful practice, and to see how it could change your life for the better.

For more thoughts, click here, Yes, You CAN Relax

Thanks for reading!