Through the advancement of scientific studies, the advantages of meditation have gone well beyond the traditional subjective aspects of lowering stress and feeling healthy. The antiquity of meditation presented a forceful and compelling argument for further study among the medical community. Since 1500 BCE, meditation has been discussed not only as a spiritual exercise but as a way to provide certain healing effects.
Until recently, these effects were not scientifically proven; however, within the last 30 years, multiple studies have provided conclusive scientific evidence of the advantages of meditation.
The truth is, meditation in fact does lower stress not only as a general sense of well-being, but through a scientific study that proved meditation lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Increases Brain Function
A study in 2008 by the UCLA School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Jenna, proved that gray matter within the brain increased in the hippocampal and the frontal lobes through the use of meditation.
Another study published in 2006 in Neuroreport, found that cortical thickness was increased in the brains of those patients that practiced meditation. This supports the notion that meditation helps stave off brain deficiencies from aging processes and help support increased focus and attention spans.
Meditation has also enabled subjects to better moderate not only their own social interactions, but also their own perceptions of themselves. A study conducted at Stanford University and published in 2013 established a correlation between meditation and compassion cultivation. Essentially, meditation provides increased compassion and better moderation of self-control when dealing with others.
Another study from the journal of Psychological Science proved that meditation helps individuals conquer blind spots in regards to their own flaws and provides them a new perspective regarding their personal reality. The perspective helps them identify not to diminish or amplify beyond reality.
Makes Us Healthier
A study in the Journal of Neuroscience published in 2011, found a correlation between reduced pain perception and those that practiced meditation. In fact just 80 minutes of meditation training was able to cut pain perception by patients in half. Another study found that patients that participated in meditation found pain less unpleasant due to the fact that their brains were focusing on the present; therefore, blunting the effects of the pain.
Another study published in the Psychosomatic Medicine journal, proved that meditation boosts the human immune system and creation of antibodies. Three other studies also found that meditation reduces inflammation at a cellular level by also reducing stress level hormone releases.
Multiple studies in multiple fields have provided results that prove meditation enables a happier state of mind. Meditation increases positive emotions allowing better self-control and enabling increased compassion, which enhances the effect of a happier life. Different studies have also proven that through meditation depression can be mitigated, decreased or entirely eradicated.
Those suffering anxiety have also experienced lower levels of anxiety through consistent practice of meditation. As already stated, meditation has also been linked to lower stress levels as well. Through a combination of effects, meditation provides multiple channels of psychosomatic changes to enable an increased state of happiness and satisfaction.
The advantages of meditation have been proven repeatedly over the course of the previous few decades. It has now come into the mainstream of medical practice and treatment programs to provide alternative therapies for a variety of ailments. Ensure your medical professionals include the benefits of meditation as part of your treatment program by earning a meditation certification.
Dominick L. Flarey is the President of the American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc.