10 Ways Meditation Impacts Health
Here are ten surprising facts you might not know about meditation.
Meditation reduces stress - According to integrative medicine experts, stress reduction is one of the most important benefits of meditation. Stress goes hand in hand with depression, anxiety, and insomnia because it triggers the release of cortisol, the stress hormone.
Meditation can slow down or prevent some neurodegenerative diseases - Studies show that meditation slows the progression of these disorders after just eight weeks, and it may prevent the onset of these issues in people who practice regularly.
Meditation can help lower your blood pressure - Meditation helps you relax which triggers the production of nitric oxide in the brain to lower blood pressure. Patients who participated in meditation regularly for three months may even reduce their blood pressure enough to decrease the amount of medication they have to take.
Meditation can improve your memory - A study conducted by neuroscientists at the Harvard Medical School was the first to confirm that meditating regularly leads to an increase in cortical thickness of the brain. In a later study, it was also discovered that those who practice mindful meditation for 30 minutes each day have an increase in the gray matter of the hippocampus after only eight weeks.
Meditation improves neuroplasticity in the brain - According to research conducted at the University of Wisconsin by neuroscientist Richard Davidson, people who meditate regularly have higher levels of gamma wave activity, which gives them better control of their thoughts and reactivity. Studies also show that higher gamma wave levels also improve neuroplasticity, which is the brain's ability to adapt to environmental input, both structurally and functionally.
Meditation can be more effective than prescription painkillers - Meditation calms the somatosensory cortex in the brain. It also triggers activity in other parts of the brain. This effect can decrease the intensity of pain by 40% compared to 25% for prescription painkillers. People who meditate regularly also have a higher pain tolerance than those who don't.
Meditation can help you make decisions easier - People who meditate often have higher amounts of gyrification or folding in the cortex of the brain. The creates additional surface area which enhances neural processing and supports decision making.
How often you meditate is more important than how long you meditate - Consistent meditation for short periods is all it takes to achieve notable improvements. Ten to twenty minutes a day is enough to give your body some protection against stress.
Meditation can improve heart health - According to the publication, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, meditation can play a significant role in boosting heart health. In their long-term study that took place over five years, participants who chose to meditate regularly had a 48% reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.
Meditation can improve your attention span - Teachers are beginning to catch on to the benefits of meditation for improving the attention span. Meditation is now being taught in classrooms across the country, as well as by individuals who want to improve their focus and stay on task for longer periods.
Meditation can make you kinder - A 2008 study by the American Psychological Association showed that meditation reduces brain inflammation by decreasing cytokines. Similar to its effects on reducing anxiety and stress, it also increases feelings of kindness and love in the brain.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Use our Meditation Elixirs to open up new possibilities and abilities with meditation.
Quantum Physics Remains a Threat to the Status Quo
In 2005, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University Richard Conn Henry published a paper in the journal Nature titled "The Mental Universe." In it, he writes the following:
A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a "mental" construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: "The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. The universe is immaterial--mental and spiritual.The underlying idea he's getting across with this statement is that in some way shape or form, consciousness is directly intertwined with what we perceive to be our physical material world, and that the nature of reality is made up of non-physical "stuff."
Dr. Jessica Utts, the Chair of the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine and a professor there since 2008. A paper published in Frontiers of Neuroscience Emphasizes:
Research on parapsychological phenomena (psi) is being carried out in various accredited universities and research centers throughout the world by academics in different disciplines trained in the scientific method (e.g., circa 80 Ph.D.s have been awarded in psi-related topics in the UK in recent years). This research has continued for over a century despite the taboo against investigating the topic, almost complete lack of funding, and professional and personal attacks (Cardeña, 201). The Parapsychological Association has been an affiliate of the AAAS since 1969, and more than 20 Nobel prizewinners and many other eminent scientists have supported the study of psi or even conducted research themselves.So why is there such a strong resistance? Could it simply be that the implications with regards to the findings within these realms are too great? When physics changes, so do global paradigms and the perceptions people have of our world. Some discoveries literally have the ability shatter the way we perceive our modern day world, and perhaps change the way we live and even have us question the way we live.
Despite the unrivaled empirical success of quantum theory, the very suggestion that it may be literally true as a description of nature is still greeted with cynicism, incomprehension and even anger." (T. Folger, "Quantum Shmantum"; Discover 22:37-43, 2001)
The "quantum double slit" experiment is one that has been used to examine the connection between physical matter and human consciousness. It brings up what's known as quantum uncertainty which is defined as the ability, "according to the quantum mechanic laws that govern subatomic affairs, of a particle like an electron to exist in a murky state of possibility — to be anywhere, everywhere or nowhere at all — until clicked into substantiality by a laboratory detector or an eyeball."
A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Essays explains how this experiment has been used multiple times to explore the role of consciousness in shaping the nature of physical reality. It was published by Dr. Dean Radin, who you will see in the lecture below. He's the chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. He produced incredible results: Human intention, via meditators, was able to actually collapse the quantum wave function. The meditators were the "observer" in this case.
In fact, as Radin points out in his lecture, a "5 sigma" result was able to give CERN the Nobel Prize in 2013 for finding the Higgs particle (which turned out not to be Higgs after all). In this study, they also received a 5 sigma result when testing meditators against non-meditators in collapsing the quantum wave function. This means that mental activity, the human mind, attention, intention, which are a few labels under the umbrella of consciousness, compelled physical matter to act in a certain way.
"Observations not only disturb what has to be measured, they produce it. We compel [the electron] to assume a definite position. We ourselves produce the results of the measurement."
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Use the Quantum Balance Crystal that balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain, assisting to bring new perceptions and understandings to life.
The Ancient Art of Breathing
The limbic system first appeared in mammals about 150 million years ago, during the late Jurassic period. It's the part of the brain that handles the fear response, thanks to an almond-shaped mass of gray matter called the amygdala. This part of the brain tells the rest of the body that it's in danger, triggering either the fight or flight response, triggering the sympathetic nervous system. Adrenaline courses through the bloodstream. Heart rate and breathing quicken and blood pressure rises. The hypothalamus prompts the pituitary gland to pump out hormones that trigger the release of cortisol. The body pulls blood out of the extremities and into the core muscles and organs it needs to either fight off a threat or flee from it. Growth and digestion are both halted since neither functions are critical in the moment.
"It's natural and even sometimes beneficial to have a stress response," Sims says. "But we want to find balance. When we are constantly stressed, our bodies aren't doing what they are supposed to do. It's why we see a lot of digestive issues that are strongly linked to stress," says Shannon Sims, the Department of Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University in Oakland, CA.
The antidote is stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system nicknamed "rest and digest" — brings relaxation to the body, and breathing is one of the best ways to do it. One full breath can be enough to stop that biological process. That's because while we typically only breathe into the top quadrant of our lungs, the bottom quadrant is where "all that oxygenation is happening." Using the bottom of your lungs, located just above the belly button, helps oxygenate your blood and your brain. Taking full, long breaths also cuts down on the variability in time between heartbeats.
"Heart rate variability is a marker of resilience," Sims says. "If we can improve our heart rate variability, we can improve our reaction to stressful things in our life."
The breath is the only system in the body that can be both automatic and voluntary. We don't have to remember to breathe, but we can consciously change the speed and depth. Even so, the seemingly simple act of breathing may take practice.
According to Sims, the sweet spot is inhaling for four to six seconds and matching your exhale. However, some research suggests a short inhale and longer exhale better stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and is, therefore, more effective in calming the stress response.
3 BREATHING TECHNIQUES TO REDUCE STRESS
1. Box breathing is a four-step de-stressing technique that Navy SEALs use to calm their stress response. To practice it:
2. The 4-7-8 breath relaxation exercise uses a similar approach, using the theory that a longer exhale produces a more potent psychophysiological calming effect.
3. Diaphragmatic breathing focuses on moving the breath into the belly or lower lungs. To start, sit or stand with your back straight and place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Inhale through the nose for six seconds while keeping your chest as still as possible and expanding the breath into your lower lungs. Then, exhale for six seconds.
In one small study of eight people, published in the Journal of Neurophysiology, researchers used fMRI scans to reveal that voluntary or controlled breathing engages a different part of the brain (the frontotemporal-insular cortices) than automatic breathing (the cingulate cortex). "Breathing is so incredible because of this psychophysiological relationship," says Sims. "Just one breath is so magnificent."
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Use our Clean Sweep Clearing Spray just prior to breathing exercises for an instant stress relief.
Health & Healing Hack of the Week
This is an ancient technique of using the imagination to manifest or actualize a desired state or circumstance. The bridge, if you will, from the imagination to the temporal world is our ability to FEEL. What we feel is what manifests as our experience--not the other way around. We are not feeling as a result of our experience. We are experiencing as a result of what we feel. It's this confusion that blocks and confuses all of us incarnees down here on Planet Rock. By understanding this basic concept, it's then a simple matter of consciously FEELING what you want to experience. And in short order, it WILL come to pass. This is because we've already started the motion of sub-atomic particle-waves and force fields necessary to bring whatever it is to physical manifestation by our feeling. There is time in there, the amount depending on the depth and consistency of feeling. And that is where the skill comes in. Feeling prayer is a skill, requiring mindfulness, imagination and desire. All of those things most of us have been mis-informed as to how to use, even though they are our most powerful standard equipment. -- From 25 No Cost Health & Healing Hacks by Boyd Martin)
Quantum Healer of the Week
Susann Taylor Shier
Susann Taylor Shier is the founder of Soul Mastery™ and a highly established, internationally acclaimed author, spiritual counselor, intuitive healer, medium, and conscious channel. She has helped tens of thousands for over twenty-seven years, combining her exquisite connection to the divine with her training as a psychotherapist, inspiring the revelation of each person's inherent spiritual wealth to flourish and thrive. Susann has a rare gift of catalyzing the luminous bridge between your soul and your current reality to foster a life of joy in an easy, practical way. She is here to bring the Blueprint, based on Love, back into our world and hearts. She's devoted to using her abilities to inspire and uplift every life she touches. Using the Akashic Records and her intuitive wisdom, she empowers you to live authentically, and access your true power, passion and purpose to create meaningful contributions in your life and the lives of others. Through private sessions, trainings and rejuvenating retreat adventures in glorious vortexes around the globe, Susann brings you into the potent, magical connection with your soul gifts, strengths and purposes, while assisting to dissolve your soul challenges that keep you from your true fulfillment. Her four books: Soul Mastery - Accessing the Gifts of your Soul, Soul Radiance - Bring Your Soul Riches to Life and Soul Reunion - The Return Home From Separation -and A Soul's Journey to Sacred Love serve as the foundation for her unique, profound work. WEBSITE
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