The Mind-Body Connection: How Meditation Can Impact Your Health
Jessica Leslie | | 0 comments
An integrative and holistic approach to health is becoming increasingly common in modern medicine as we understand how powerful the mind-body connection really is. Often, psychological issues affect us physically and vice versa.
Acknowledging that the ways in which working on our mental state can improve our physical health is one of the most effective ways to promote longevity and overall vitality.
Importance of Stress Relief
Stress-relieving activities such as meditation are a way we can simultaneously address both our psychological and physical well-being. Stress is known to increase levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which in large, constant amounts can release inflammatory chemicals, cytokines. Cytokines, when released too often, lead to symptoms such as depression, anxiety, increased blood pressure, fatigue, insomnia, and namely, chronic inflammation.
50% of deaths annually are due to inflammatory conditions. With 75% of Americans experiencing physical and/or emotional symptoms of stress daily, relaxation techniques are needed now more than ever.
Meditation is one of the most effective stress-relieving activities as it is linked to numerous health benefits:
Combats Symptoms of Stress & Chronic Pain
Because stress often manifests physically as inflammation, it can also contribute to chronic pain as is the case with rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, muscle pain, and more. Although inflammation is part of the immune response to address such issues, too much inflammation can do more harm than good and contribute to the pain being experienced.
The research behind meditation alleviating symptoms of stress is well-supported. In one eight-week study, mindfulness meditation was linked to reduced inflammation, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and other chronic conditions.
As stress and inflammation can strain and weaken the immune system, they can increase susceptibility to illness. Meditation can help relieve the inflammatory strain on the immune system, improving the body’s ability to fight pathogens and potential infections. In fact, there is a growing body of scientific research suggesting that meditation may help with cancer, asthma, frequent colds, and more.
Reduces Anxiety & Depression
A meta-analysis of approximately 1,300 people concluded that meditation can help decrease anxiety and promote mental stability. This analysis noted that meditation was particularly beneficial for those with high anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder.
Meditation is also known to combat depression symptoms. One publication reviewed treatments given to over 3,500 adults and found that meditation was effective in improving depression symptoms. Studies also show that regular meditation leads to a decrease in negative thoughts and improved emotional stability.
This is likely because chronic inflammation and the release of cytokines are linked to depression. By combatting stress and its subsequent reactions in the body, we can alleviate other issues such as depression and anxiety.
Meditation is often compared to “weightlifting” for your brain and attention span as it is very effective in increasing the strength and endurance of your focus. This benefit is almost immediate as studies show that people who simply listen to a meditation tape while completing a task improved attention and accuracy when compared to the control group.
Moreover, regularly practicing meditation is linked to reversing patterns in the brain that contribute to mind-wandering, worrying, and poor attention.
Enhances Sleep Quality
Research shows that nearly half the population will struggle with insomnia at some point in their lifetime. Meditation has been linked to sleep longer and deeper sleep for those struggling with insomnia when compared to those struggling with an unmedicated sleep condition. Experts hypothesize that this is because meditation helps the brain control and redirect thoughts that often “runaway” and lead to insomnia.
Moreover, meditation gives you regular practice in relaxing your body, releasing tension, and entering a peaceful state, similar to getting ready to go to sleep.
Decreases Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is often linked to stress and over time, high blood pressure can strain the heart and contribute to the narrowing of arteries, which can, in turn, lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Meditation is proven to help reduce blood pressure, especially in older individuals who are already suffering from high blood pressure. Experts believe this is in part due to the fact that meditation may help control blood pressure by relaxing nerve signals that coordinate heart function and blood vessel tension.
Starting Your Meditation Journey
Meditation can feel like an overwhelming journey to start alone, it can be intimidating to approach the concept of controlling and strengthening your own mind.
That is why Next Health has partnered with Scott Schwenk, a renowned meditation teacher who combines all different techniques to empower his students to truly be in the present moment.
Scott is offering complimentary 10-day access to the Complete Meditation & Breathwork Series to the Next Health Community ($200 value). Just use this link to sign up and start your journey.
Scott Schwenk’s teachings, through a mixture of Dharma talks, Meditations and Breathwork Practices, guide seekers to explore their deepest selves leading them to live their lives free from tension and full of trust.
Known for his hugely popular Wanderlust Festival workshops, his Unplug teachings, and online training, Scott has been catalyzing the inner evolution of others for decades: helping them to grow, transform obstacles into opportunities, and find Love within.
Scott spent several years living and studying in a Hindu monastery which introduced him to the core body of Tantric traditions which continue to flow through each of his teachings. Apprenticeships in leadership development, meditation and philosophy training, spiritual awakening and Vedic rituals were all part of Scott’s development into the thought-leader that he is today.
Scott’s teachings move through the core principles of Waking Up, Growing Up, Cleaning Up and Showing Up. These lenses can be used to allow willing participants to work through their adult ego development and access wider perspectives through consistent meditative practices.
Sign up for Scott’s free 10-day Complete Meditation & Breathwork Series here
Next-Level Stress Relief
Because stress can take such a toll on our mental and physical health, our medical experts recommend finding multiple ways to alleviate symptoms of stress in order to improve how you look & feel.
By taking a data-driven approach to your health with the Next Health Baseline Test, you can gain an understanding of the ways in which stress, diet, and other lifestyle factors are compromising your health.
Our licensed medical professionals will then empower you with the tools you need to feel like the healthiest version of yourself. One of our most popular relaxing & health-enhancing services is the Next Health Stress IV. This IV is formulated to improve your stress response, support adrenal function, and elevate your mood with body-balancing ingredients such as magnesium, vitamin C, folic acid, and more.
Call or text to book your appointment and experience relief from everyday stressors: (310) 295-2075