3. Why Meditate? The Physical Benefits

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Transcript

One of the motivating reasons to meditate is that learning to calm our minds can lead to success in all aspects of life, physically, socially and globally. let's address the physical first. The latest research is that up to 90% of visits to the doctor's office are stress related. So finding a way to reduce our stress will save our health and our time. In fact, according to Harvard researcher, Herbert Benson, MD, the body's natural self repair mechanisms are deactivated every time your body is under stress. Part of the reason is that stress produces cortisol which inhibits certain immune cell functions.

So anything that can reduce your stress can enhance your health and meditate does just that. You've probably heard many of these reasons before but a little more inspiration can't hurt. Meditation has been proven to reduce mental tension and improve outlook, help lower blood pressure, strengthen the heart, decrease heart and respiratory rates, increase blood flow, help you sleep better. Reduce intensity and length of allergy and asthma attacks, manage chronic pain boosts brain power, slow down age related brain atrophy. Also, natural killer immune cells, known as NK cells are a type of white blood cell which sends self destruct messages to tumors and virus infected cells, including cancer cells. It's known that stress, aging and pesticides can reduce our nk count.

Meditation increases NK cells Pain reduction. New research from England helps confirm that meditation can also reduce our perception of pain. Since a great part of pain is our anticipation of it, and perception of it, this is a huge benefit. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers found that a little over a half an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce the experience of pain. While morphine and painkillers can typically reduce pain ratings by 25% the Wake Forest study found a 40% reduction in pain with meditation. Meditation also boosts our brain power.

In recent studies, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles found that people who meditate regularly have less age related atrophy in all areas of the brain. Eileen looters, one of the UCLA Researchers states that regular meditation over the years may slow down aging related brain atrophy, perhaps by positively affecting the immune system. Meditation appears to be a powerful mental exercise with the potential to change the physical structure of the brain. I think most of us would really enjoy that. In our next lesson, we'll look at the social benefits of meditation.

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