You may have heard that meditation contributes to mental and physical health. How does it work?
Stress is linked to many physical imbalances. Research has shown that regular meditation greatly reduces stress. Hospitals all over the country now teach meditation and creative visualization to their patients to improve response to treatments and achieve a faster recovery rate. Through the reduction of stress, there is a lower incidence of these common imbalances.
Although there’s a some recorded history about meditation, the root of meditation travels back to ancient times. Researchers believe that primitive hunter-gatherer societies may have discovered meditation and its altered states of consciousness while staring at the flames of their fires. Over thousands of years, meditation evolved into a structured practice. Indian scriptures called “tantras” mentioned meditation techniques 5000 years ago. (meditationcenter.com)
Buddha, “one of history’s major proponents of meditation,” and a major meditation icon, first made his mark around 500 B.C. His teachings spread across the Asian continent. Separate countries or cultures adopted different forms of the word “meditation,” and they each found their own unique way of practicing it. Buddhist- and Hindu-based Easter-style meditation practices are still the most popular today.
Meditation was spread to Western society thousands of years after it was adopted in the East. It finally started to gain popularity in the West in the mid-20th century. In the 1960s and 1970s, many professors and researchers began testing the effects of meditation and learned about its multitude of benefits.
|Common Physical Imbalances Caused by Stress||Physical Benefits from Lowered Stress|
Immune system weakness
|Normalization of blood pressure
Increased cardiovascular efficiency
Faster recovery from illness or injury
Relief from insomnia
Reduced use of alcohol and cigarettes
Normalization of weight
Improved resistance to disease