Meditation: Ohm Yeah
Are you part of the meditation buzz? It seems to have really picked up momentum recently and for good reason. There is growing evidence for the benefits of meditation. Whether you are an expert in the “ohm” with serious mediation skills or a novice, it is worth your time! You might feel a bit out of your league when it comes to mediation, but with so much information at our fingertips it’s never been a better time to learn how. Your brain, nerves, muscles, heart, lungs, immune system and close friends will thank you!
It’s true we should do it more, but with the hectic lives we all lead, we tend to breathe from our chest, shallow and racy. When we are in a constant state of stress, our body diverts attention toward essential organs and tissues for survival. We tend to have slower digestion, less use of our important deep muscles for posture and stability because the body is always ready to get away or get to that next activity, meeting or soccer game. When we take time each day to focus on breathing from our diaphragm, we bring balance and calm to the body and it no longer looks to get away but instead to relax and savor the day!
Meditation for your Health
Who needs Airborne when you’ve got meditation? Yes, regular meditation has been shown to boost the immune system function. Mind-body therapies can reduce markers of inflammation. (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/asset?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0100903.PDF) With winter around the corner, you can add meditation to good old hand washing to help keep you healthy this cold and flu season.
Meditation for Pain Management
Pain got you down? Guess what! Meditation can help significantly in pain management. This is starting to sound like a bad infomercial, but it’s true!! A recent study showed that meditation involves endogenous opioid pathways. Meaning it provides an analgesic effect and this is promising for therapeutic implications. (Sharon et al. Am J Med. 2016). Combined with movement therapy, meditation may be a viable alternative to pain meds for those who suffer from chronic pain. It has also shown good pain control in patients with provoked vestibulodynia (see previous blog for info on vulvodynia) in combination with physical therapy. (Goldfinger, et al. J Sex Med 2016).
A little positivity goes a long way. When we take time for ourselves, with a focus on reducing stress and clearing our mind, we bring a bit of self love and positive outlook to our lives. And yes, that’s a big part of adding meditation to our day – bringing the love and acceptance to us. Taking time for yourself says, “I love me,” and that feeds that lovely brain of yours with lots of good juju. Positive brain means better health overall. Not to mention, your friends and family will greatly appreciate it!
About 2 years ago, I decided I needed to practice meditation and see just how difficult it was. At first it was hard, but like any new activity I found that the more I practiced the better I became. The better I became the more I realized what a valuable addition to my life it had become. It really feels amazing to find even just 5 minutes (because with 3 kids who am I kidding, it’s about all I’ve got) for myself. With the many apps available to us, it is easier than ever to start a meditation practice and feel the good vibes flowin’ through.
Check out this link with some great apps (many free) to get you started on a new journey that will feel absolutely amazing and have fantastic benefits to your health and wellness.
Sarah Dominguez PT, MSPT, CLT, MCS
This blog is here for your help. It is the opinion of a Licensed Physical Therapist. If you experience the symptoms addressed, you should seek the help of a medical professional who can diagnose and develop a treatment plan that is individualized for you. If you enjoyed this blog, check out our website at foundationalconcepts.com for more blog entries and to learn more about our specialty PT practice, Foundational Concepts. Follow us on Twitter @SarahpelvicPT or @Jenn_pelvic_PT and like us on Facebook/Foundational Concepts for updates.