Meditation, as we already know, is a practice of the mind and the body that helps increase self-control, reduce anxiety, induce physical relaxation, improve mental balance, strengthen the immune system and boost general health and well-being of a person.
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A number of researches, carried out around the globe, have helped us conclude that meditation is also effective in curing serious medical conditions, like high blood pressure, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and chronic pain.
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Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., and lead author of the meditation study conducted on 15 health volunteers at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre, says,
“This is the first study to show that only a little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation. (…) We found a big effect – about a 40 percent reduction in pain intensity and a 57 pe reduction in pain unpleasantness. Meditation produced a greater reduction in pain than even morphine or other pain-relieving drugs, which typically reduce pain ratings by about 25 percent.”
While relieving pain, anxiety, fatigue, nervousness, sleep and mood disturbances etc. meditation improves our quality of life.
Benefits of meditation for health and general well-being
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1. Reduces high blood pressure
According to a literature review and scientific study provided by the American Heart Association, there is evidence that practicing Transcendental Meditation as a complementary therapy, in addition to the standard treatment, can actually normalize high blood pressure.
2. Reduces menopausal symptoms
Programs based on meditation can be helpful in trimming down common symptoms of menopause. A scientific literature review of 2010 shows that practices like yoga, tai chi, and other meditation techniques help in reducing regularity and intensity of hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, stress, muscle soreness, pain in the joints, and other common menopausal symptoms.
3. Improves symptoms associated with anxiety
A scientific literature review of 2014 shows that mindfulness meditation practices improve anxiety, pain and depression. They also help in quality of life, in terms of, mental health.
4. Helps with irritable bowel syndrome
Though there isn’t enough evidence, some researches show that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, have found relief through mindfulness meditation. A review in 2013, of a scientific literature showed that meditation helped cure the pain of IBS in a number of patients.
Benefits of meditation for skin rejuvenation
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If one sits down to make a list of things that wreak havoc on their skin, they will certainly miss out on something that is, at times, solely guilty for all skin-related problems: Stress!
All of us are aware of the fact that a poor diet, bad skin habits and application of wrong beauty products, can ruin our complexion. But one key factor that most of us forget is stress. Stress is a skin killer. And so, taking a few minutes off, just to relax your mind and breathe deeply, can help rejuvenate your skin. No wonder, actresses are such huge fans of meditation, eh?!
Experts, from all over the world, believe that meditation has incredible effects on our complexion, among other things. Dr. Jeannette Graf, who is an M.D. and also an associate clinical professor of dermatology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, says,
“Meditation is great for everything. There’s nothing like it. For starters, it settles you so you’re in a state of deep relaxation and you’re breathing. Meditation helps every single cell in the body, and it helps your skin.”
She continues, saying,
“Stress worsens the conditions that harm the skin, so if you’re in a meditative situation that can help remove those factors, you’re already doing something to help your skin conditions. You’re also breathing deeply, so you’re adding oxygen to the skin, which is key to help boost the actions of the cells to act normally and with great health.”
Dr. Graf, like me, loves meditation, and with just a little nudge, she goes on to say that you don’t need a reason to love meditation, and yet, there are so many reasons. According to her,
“I can’t say enough about meditation. It’s not just limited to the skin: meditation helps calm the body and the mind and it can improve the overall health and condition of your entire being. Its effects aren’t just limited to the skin: it decreases your blood pressure; it reduces the body’s need for oxygen because your intake increases with each breath. It’s really amazing for you.”
The best thing about meditation is that you can start it wherever you are, like right now! All you need to do is take a few minutes off, and center your mind. Now focus on your breathing. Don’t try to drive out the thoughts that come to your mind. Just concentrate on your breath; each breath that comes in and each that goes out. This practice will help you regulate your body and mind just within minutes of starting it. And yes, you neither need candles nor a quiet room to do your meditation!
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Dr. Graf says,
“You don’t need to spend a lot of time doing it. First of all, a yoga class is a moving meditation, so find a yoga class nearby and pop in. Yoga is amazing for your skin.”
Many people are not sure whether they can sit for that long, eyes closed, only focusing on their breath. For those who cannot find time to go to a yoga class, Dr. Graf suggests,
“There are plenty of guided meditations you can buy online and via iTunes from places like The Chopra Center that are perfect. You can listen to them anywhere; they’re perfect if you want to practice anywhere you happen to be.”
So, through meditation you not only calm your mind, but also rejuvenate your skin. Doesn’t that sound great to you? If lowering the stress levels can help bring out the glow we have all been craving, I say we start meditating right now! I mean, after reading my post, of course! 😉
Benefits of meditation for hair growth
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Hair loss is caused by the excessive stress that a person has to go through on a daily basis. Most people approach doctors for help; they are willing to spend millions on artificial medicines, which are ineffective and may also have side effects. However, a solution that is natural and has only good after-effects is something people neglect. Yes, meditation helps in hair growth.
David Banks says,
“When you are stressed, your blood vessels constrict. Stress also makes you release all sorts of stress hormones, which can trigger your body to decide that skin circulation is not a priority and to channel blood away from the skin toward muscles and other organs in the body. Stress effects hair loss. As the blood vessels begin to constrict, it deprives hair follicles of the oxygen, minerals and vitamins it needs for healthy hair growth. Vitamins are instead directed to organs—like the heart, lungs and brain—that are needed for survival.”
Meditation can help a person lower his or her stress levels, effectually. This reduction in anxiety and stress levels contribute positively on the person’s overall well-being and health, subsequently inducing hair growth.
When a person is stressed, the head region does not get proper supply of blood. This happens because of the contraction of some vital nerves and blood vessels that are responsible for distributing blood to the head region. Once a person’s stress level is lowered, the balance of his or her blood supply is also restored.
Meditation not only helps in opening up contracted nerves, but also expands certain blood vessels so that more blood flows to the head region.
Meditation also improves our breathing pattern, which in turn, helps us relieve ourselves of the stress and tensions of everyday life. So when our breathing pattern is restored, the strain on the lungs that our tension and stress causes, is releases, and that helps in improving the blood flow to the head region. As such, hair loss is automatically reduced.
Along with meditation, you also have to look after the diet that you consume on a regular basis. Following a habit of balanced diet that consists of fresh fruits, greens, leafy veggies, pulses, cereals, sprouts, dairy products, etc. can give you all the nutrients that are necessary for hair growth. Also, you need to pay extra attention to ensure that your scalp is dandruff-free. Clean your scalp scrupulously, and maintain the same level of cleanliness for the towels and pillow covers you use.
Washing your hair with neem water, at least twice a week, will help you keep it completely clean. Massage your hair with coconut oil to make sure it isn’t dry, and brush regularly to improve the blood circulation in the head region.
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Try and keep away from using harsh chemical products on your hair. Nothing can help you in your efforts to reduce hair fall and induce hair growth if you keep using harsh products that damage your scalp and the quality of your hair.
I am sure after reading all these manifold advantages of meditation, you are all pepped up to give it a try, right? Well, consistency is key!
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