Can Meditation Heals The Body?
The benefits of healing meditation extend beyond the structure and function of the human brain.
It works like this:
Since the 1970’s research has found that meditation changes the way the body works. Mindfulness induces a ‘hypo-metabolic’ state that is similar to hibernation. The benefits of achieving this state are that it helps to heal and prolong the life of the cells in the body. Oxygen consumption decreases, and the body enters a relaxed state.
More recently, the understanding of the human gut microbiome has helped explain how this happens. The digestive system houses trillions of microbes that manage the gut lining, and immune system. Stress, known to have a measurable effect on gut microbes. Meditation helps regulate the gut microbe stress response, reducing chronic inflammation states, and maintain a healthy gut-barrier function.
The gut-microbiome not only shape the immune system but the expression of DNA and genes. Epigenetics works via leaving tags on genes that make them express more or less. Studies show that meditation has a downregulation of pro-inflammatory genes (RIPK2 & COX2) which regulate inflammation.
The effects travel right through to the brain. These genes even were found to increase the response time of the brain to stress cortisol when challenged with speech and mental calculations in front of an audience.
Meditation and healing leaky gut, Intestinal permeability is linked to autoimmune, inflammatory digestive conditions, type II diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
When you reduce stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine through rest and relaxation, eating mindfully, and meditation, these tight junctions can heal.
The gut microbiome releases the majority of the body’s neurotransmitters. Meditation helps regulate the stress response, thereby suppressing chronic inflammation states and maintaining a healthy gut-barrier function.
Meditation and healing IBD, IBS, and digestive disorder.
The gut-brain axis is a critical factor in healing chronic digestive disorder. Healing meditation for gut or digestive diseases is now supported by research.
Several studies have found that stress management techniques and other psychological interventions can help patients with irritable bowel syndrome. The results are confirmed at least in the short term. Evidence for inflammatory bowel disease is less apparent. Some studies have, however, suggested potential benefits and none has shown negatives.
Mediation can heal and reduce chronic inflammation.
Research has found that many chronic diseases are due to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation causes a set of genes to be activated in the body.
Leaky gut or intestinal permeability is linked to many digestive, autoimmune, and metabolic disorders are all associated with the presence of inflammation. A group of researchers has shown that mindfulness can produce the opposite gene activation as inflammation. Meditation to heal injuries, A 2006 study of the use of imagery by injured athletes in the injury recovery period. They concluded, “The implementation of imagery alongside physical rehabilitation should enhance the rehabilitation experience and, therefore, facilitate the recovery rates of injured athletes.” Meditation to reduce and heal chronic pain the perception of pain is connected to the state of mind. In stressful situations, pain can be elevated. Studies show that meditation may help reduce the perception of pain. One study that compared the fMRI of people with four days of mindfulness meditation training and others had not. Meditating patients reported less sensitivity to pain. FMRI revealed increased activity in the brain centers known to control pain.
A study of 3,500 regular meditators in 3,500 people found decreased complaints of chronic pain. In patients with terminal diseases, researchers found meditation may reduce chronic pain at the end of life. Meditation to sleep better and reverse insomnia
Nearly half the population do or will struggle with insomnia or sleep disorders. Meditation may help relax the body to prepare for sleep and reduce ‘runaway’ thoughts that may lead to insomnia. One study of 54 adults looked at meditation to heal chronic insomnia. They found healing meditation a viable treatment for the test group.
Another study found participants who meditated fell asleep sooner and stayed asleep longer, compared to those who did not meditate. Meditation to help maintain weight loss, Anxiety appears to be an impediment in people trying to lose weight. Researchers found that meditation was effective in reducing anxiety at the phase of weight loss maintenance. Meditation to reverse high blood pressure
High blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attack and strokes.
Meditation may help reverse high control blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals that can produce tension in blood vessels. A study of 996 volunteers found that when they meditated by concentrating on a “silent mantra” lowered blood pressure. Meditation to prevent and reverse dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Improvements in attention and clarity of thinking may help prevent age-related memory loss. The research:
A review found that multiple meditation styles increased attention, memory and mental quickness in older volunteers
Mindfulness practice can at least partially improve memory loss in patients with dementia.
It can also help control stress and improve coping in those caring for family members with dementia.
Meditation helps manage ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). In a study with 50 adult ADHD patients with mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. They found:
- Reduced hyperactivity, reduced impulsivity and increased “act-with-awareness” skill, contributing to an overall improvement in inattention symptoms.
Meditation applications in schools may a positive impact on learning outcomes and development.
- Meditation to fight drug and alcohol addiction
Research has shown that meditation may help people learn to increase willpower and control emotions when healing addictive disorders.
One study looked at 19 recovering alcoholics. Those taught meditate found that participants who received the training got better at controlling their cravings and craving-related stress. Meditation to reverse and beat eating disorders
Meditation may also help you control food cravings. A review of 14 studies found mindfulness meditation helped reduce emotional and binge eating. For eating disorders, meditation has shown early promise in small studies in beating thought patterns. Meditation as a therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Evidence supports the use of mindfulness in treating depression associated with PTSD. Mindfulness was compared to treatment as usual or psychoeducation and was shown to have a benefit in healing PTSD.