Meditation is the practice of thinking deeply or focusing one’s mind on getting a period when using the goal of evoking feelings of relaxation and inner peace.
It’s an ancient practice that’s been around for hundreds of years but has gained a resurgence in recent years, as researchers study it to determine its effects on health.
A range of studies has established several benefits to Meditation, including using it for being a tool in managing chronic illnesses.
Meditation and Mental Health
Considering Meditation is targeted on calming the brain, it may be natural to assume that this strategy can assist reduce warning signs of depression and anxiety.
While it is not a universal cure, many individuals suffering from these mental illnesses find some relief in practicing Meditation. And there’s scientific proof to back the benefits.
A meta-analysis published in March 2014 within the journal JAMA Internal Medicine discovered that mindful meditation programs over eight weeks could help ease warning signs of depression and anxiety. (1) Researchers from Johns Hopkins reviewed greater than 18,000 studies and realized 47 trials met their criteria for well-designed research. Overall, data on 3,515 participants were collected.
Another study, published in June 2016 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, showed that mindfulness-based therapy was as effective in preventing depression relapse as antidepressants for all those with recurrent depression. (2) Yet the authors note that the findings were dependent on a limited range of trials and could use to get replicated. Furthermore, there is no way to share with yet which patients may be helped by mindful Meditation, and that may respond better to medication.
If you’re on antidepressants, One must confer with one’s doctor before making any changes to one’s treatment plan. The health care provider can also assist One in determining if Meditation is a proper tool that will help One manage a mental health condition.
Meditation and Heart-healthy living
Lately, there’s been an increasing interest in the effects of Meditation on heart-healthy life. Lowering the intensity of one’s stress, which Meditation can aid with, can assist keep blood pressure in check, and help the heart.
Research published in September 2014 inside the American Journal of Hypertension showed that people who practiced yoga, which contains aspects of Meditation for eight weeks, saw a very slight drop in blood flow compared with those who don’t. (3) Still, while it’s suspected which the benefits were because of both physical activity and stress reduction, there was no way to separate each to measure the impression of each.
Mladen Golubic, MD, Ph.D., a health care professional at the Center for Lifestyle Management at the Cleveland Clinic in Lyndhurst, Ohio, points to more research, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, that found transcendental Meditation may have the possibility and this reduces arterial pressure. (4) “Even in patients with difficult-to-control arterial pressure who likely will be two or three medications, randomized clinical control trials have showed that after they learn and practice transcendental meditation, they could improve their blood flow and in reality, a few of them could get off medications sometimes.”
How Integrative Therapy May help Drop one’s Systolic pressure
In 2017, the American Heart Association (AHA) issued its first-ever statement on Meditation, saying the procedure may reduce the likelihood of cardiac disease. (5) Previous to producing the report, a committee of experts analyzed 57 studies on different “sitting meditations,” namely mindful Meditation and transcendental Meditation. The people don’t look at Meditation that incorporated physical workouts, such as yoga, since exercise itself has been confirmed to benefit one’s heart muscle.
Even though the research suggested there appears to become a link between Meditation and decreased danger of cardiac disease, the AHA emphasizes that further research requires done. People should highlight proven lifestyle modifications to reduce heart condition risk, to include a healthy eating regimen, workouts, smoking cessation, arterial pressure control, and managing cholesterol levels. At this point, Meditation should be viewed as a further boost toward cardiovascular health, the AHA says.
Meditation as a Treatment for Chronic Pain
Just like the nation continues to be afflicted by the opioid epidemic, researchers want alternate strategies to help patients find relief from chronic pain. One technique they usually have used is mindfulness meditation, and there’s some research to suggest it will probably help.
Research published in March 2016 within the Journal of one’s American Medical Association found mindful-based stress-relief therapy helped improve symptoms into adults with chronic lower back pain. (6)
Another study, published in March 2016 among The Journal of Neuroscience discovered that mindful Meditation could help ease chronic pain by applying a different pathway in the human body than just that addictive opioid painkillers use that. (7)
Dr. Golubic notes that meditation practice, besides yoga, seems to decrease inflammation in white blood cells.
“The higher inflammation One will have, the better pain One have,” he says. “How aspirin, ibuprofen, each one of other NSAIDs, work is they inhibit those pain mediators which get inflammatory.”
If Meditation reduces inflammation, this will likely function as the mechanism that reduces pain, he explains.
More studies must on the old Meditation on chronic pain, but researchers say it is encouraging that it literally could be an alternative or supplementary therapy.
Meditation and Cancer
There’s a reason to believe Meditation can assist cancer patients. Some research implies that Meditation can even change one’s body upon the cellular level. Studies published in November 2014 among the journal Cancer revealed that the telomeres — the protein caps by the end of DNA strands that protect chromosomes — of breast cancer patients who practiced mindfulness meditation stayed the same length over the three-month study period. (8)
In comparison, participants who did not mediate had shorter telomeres over now. While scientists still are looking to learn about the health impact of telomere length, they think longer ones have protective benefits against disease.
Meditation might also help cancer survivors have to cope with the emotional distress that always accompanies the condition. Research published in April 2015 among the journal Cancer found that mindfulness meditation reduced stressed and slightly reduced problems of depression in breast cancer patients. (9)
“Just being diagnosed with cancer is stressful enough, but then going through most of the treatments as well going through all the tests and worrying if
cancer seems to reappear back, that’s all additional stress,” Golubic says.
How Meditation Can change Sleep
Meditation promotes relaxation, so it seems logical that practicing it would encourage good Sleep. And there’s a scientific research that backs claiming up, too.
Studies published in April 2015 among the journal JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that participants who practiced mindfulness meditation had less insomnia, fatigue, and warning signs of depression at the end of a six-week program than individuals that doesn’t practice mindfulness meditation. (10)
As stated by the National Sleep Foundation, Meditation has been known to decrease the utilization of the help of sleeping pills. Furthermore, combining Meditation with cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) shows up to improve Sleep faster than CBT-I alone. (11)
Meditation plus the Gut
While researchers are still attempting to comprehend better the relationship connecting the mind and the gut, they believe there is a connection where one plays a vital role in the other.
Stress seems to exacerbate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and irritable bowel diseases (IBDs), like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fatigue that can include both conditions can also cause stress, so scientists are functioning to locate techniques to help break this vicious cycle. One particular way is Meditation.
An account published in August 2015 within the journal PLoS ONE found that the relief response that comes from engaging in such activities as meditation, yoga, and repetitive prayer significantly improved symptoms of both IBS and IBD, reduced anxiety, and improved overall standard of living. (12)
Similarly, a study published in April 2017 in inside the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics showed that people with ulcerative colitis who practiced yoga meditation reported a rise in energy levels and overall health and reduces in disease activity. (13)
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How Meditation Can Help Manage Illness | Everyday Health. https://www.everydayhealth.com/meditation/manage-illness/