"Meditation is simply about being yourself and knowing about who that is. It is about coming to realize that you are on a path whether you like it or not, namely the path that is your life." ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Please allow me to introduce today's guest poster, Eric Stevenson, a health and safety advocate who resides in the Southeastern U.S. He is a blog follower who volunteered to share important information with you today about the importance of meditation. Thank you, Eric. Feel free to leave your comments below for Eric's review. Eric, you are welcome back any time to share more on this important health topic.
I highly recommend incorporating regular meditation into your daily life. Sarah Ban Breathnatch, author of "Simple Abundance," writes "it is the mortar that holds mind, body and Spirit together." I personally have found meditation to be a useful tool as I confront a busy daily routine. Meditation allows me a chance to find peace. Please welcome Eric Stevenson...
Meditation is more than a pastime. In fact, it is acknowledged by the National Institute of Health as a complementary therapy for those suffering from chronic illnesses like cancer. Though many may think that the state of the mind is irrelevant to the process of physical healing, studies are showing that meditation can significantly improve both the physical and mental well-beings of those suffering from cancer.
Meditation plays an integral part in cultural customs around the world, especially in China, Japan, and India. The art of meditation began to grow in popularity in the West around 1960 when the transcendental Meditation guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, brought his meditation method to the United States. In the 1970’s, an Australian psychiatrist named Ainslie Meares performed studies on the usefulness of meditation in improving the use of the immune system and in shrinking tumors.
Meditation types vary greatly. Tai chi, qigong, and aikido are all traditional Asian methods that involve movement. Forms of mediation that require little or no movement include transcendental meditation and mindfulness meditation. Transcendental meditation involves repeating a mantra, a meaningful word or phrase, over and over again. This can be done silently or out loud. Mindfulness meditation encourages a patient to let thoughts and sensations pass through the mind without judging them.
Meditation as a complementary therapy can help to ease the chronic pain of those suffering from cancer and other illnesses. For example, symptoms of mesothelioma are often subtle and may be latent for 20-50 years. Because of this latency, this particular lung cancer requires extremely aggressive treatment. Meditation can improve the quality of life and increase mesothelioma life expectancy for patients undergoing aggressive treatments by increasing immune system capabilities and reducing anxiety. Meditation also results in the reduction of cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cortisol levels in the blood.
Meditation is not recommended as standalone treatment for cancer and other chronic illnesses. If meditation is to be routinely practiced, it is important that patients discuss that possibility with a physician. Meditation is often advised as a complementary form of therapy, meaning that it ought to be practiced along with traditional and prescribed methods of treatment for optimal results.