meditation health benefits

There is a small book I picked up by Vikas Malkani called, The Little Manual of Meditation, 15 Ways to Discover Your Inner Self.  Today I would like to concentrate on how meditation influences our physical health rather than how it influences our emotional and spiritual by sharing the following 11 very important benefits the author discusses in chapter 4, pages 44- 49:

Benefit 1:  Reduction of blood pressure – A study observing people with an average systolic blood pressure of 146 lowered their borderline high to normal blood pressure range after practicing meditation for several weeks.

Benefit 2:  Improved sleep – Those who meditate regularly tend to fall asleep quicker and sleep deeper, which mean they get a better quality of sleep and wake up feeling more energetic and calmer throughout the day.

Benefit 3:  Increased circulation to organs and glands – Relaxed blood vessels allow increased blood flow to the brain, which means we think more clearly.  This helps to prevent strokes.  Better flow of blood helps the digestive system to function better.

Benefit 4:  Balancing of the two hemispheres of the brain – Studies show that meditation has a balancing and harmonizing effect on the right (emotions)  and left (thinking) hemispheres of the brain.

Benefit 5:  Controlling Asthma - A clinical research reported that 94% of a group of asthmatic patients showed less air passage resistance after practicing meditation.

Benefit 6:  Reduction of mental tension – Up to 74% of all health problems are considered psychosomatic.  Meditation reduces stress which helps with the cure of many of these disorders.

Benefit 7:  Keeping you young – Meditation stimulates your hormones.   Hormone levels in those who meditate are similar to people that are 10 years their junior.  Meditation also causes a reduction in the production of stress hormones.

Benefit 8:  Reversal of ageing – According to a USA study, those practicing meditation for more than five years were physiologically 12 years younger than their chronological age.  Short-term mediators were five years younger than their chronological age.

Benefit 9:  Increased Alertness – A French study reported in their EEG studies that during meditation there is a unique combination of deep relaxation and increased alertness.

Benefit 10:  Optimizes brain function -  Reports published in the International Journal of Neuroscience claim that higher levels of EEG coherence, measured during the practice of meditation, are significantly correlated with an increased fluency of verbal IQ.

Benefit 11:  Decreases dependency on drugs – A study on the effect of meditation on drug use was done by Dr. R.K. Wallace and Dr. H. Benton and associates.  There were about 1,800 participants that were using marijuana, hashish or both.  After 21 months of meditation, only 12% continued the use of drugs.  When questioned why the mediators gave up drugs, the general response was that they enjoyed the profound feelings from meditation more than the feelings aroused by the drugs.