Meditation Balances the Body's Systems
The mind, heart, and body can improve with regular meditation.
Meditation Changes Brain in Good Ways
Monks who practiced Buddhist meditation had evidence of significantly
greater brain activity, called gamma wave activity, in areas associated with
learning and happiness compared with those who didn't practice meditation,
according to a recent study. Gamma waves involve mental processes including
attention, memory, learning, and conscious perception. The monks also showed
higher activity in areas associated with positive emotions, like happiness.
"There's no doubt from the standpoint of research and my own clinical
experience that meditation can reduce both the experience of pain and help
people manage stress resulting from having pain," Chapman tells WebMD.
Meditation is a therapy offered in all comprehensive pain centers, he
How do you know if meditation is "working" - if your body is
actually getting that relaxation response? If you get feelings of warmth,
heaviness, and calm when you meditate, it mean that you've gone deep enough,
says Chapman. It you just can't reach that level, enroll in a class, he
suggests. "Sometimes it helps to have someone guide you, to help you know
when you're making progress."
If meditation just doesn't seem to work, move on to another relaxation
method, Benson advises. "Any practice that can evoke the relaxation
response is of benefit, be it meditation, yoga, breathing, or repetitive
prayer. There is no reason to believe that one is better than the other. The
key is repetition, but the repetition can be a word, sound, mantra, prayer,
breathing, or movement."