Written by C. Y. Reininger
In recent years scientific research has revealed that meditation is not only a safe and simple means to promote mental and physical health, but it provides numerous benefits. Practiced in the Eastern world for thousands of years it has served millions who seek to calm the mind.
Whenever the human body and mind is faced with serious threats, it reacts with a fight or flight adrenaline rush: the pulse races, blood pressure rises, breathing speeds up and blood flow is increased to the muscles. We have inherited these defensive responses from an earlier time when fight or flight kept us alive. As life has evolved and we no longer face situations which require this response from our bodies, it no longer serves us today to freeze in panic, run for our lives or attack someone when we are caught in traffic or someone disappoints or mistreats us. So many situations are now beyond our control, yet if we do not confront each situation we end up in a permanent state of stress which we are learning affects every aspect of our lives.
Writer Hilary Reese tells us that just ten minutes of meditation a day can help us to reduce our stress and increase relaxation and contemplation. It also reduces anxiety attacks, and lowers levels of blood lactate. Meditation allows individuals to train their minds to induce a state of calm.
Recent National Centre for Contemporary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) - supported studies have been investigating meditation for:
American University found that transcendental meditation produced positive effects in a new two-year study of 250 college students at American University in Washington, D.C. Improvements in health, brain functioning, and cognitive development indicated in the study were impressive.
The University of Connecticut did a study of 106 at-risk adolescents who were able to reduce stress, anxiety, and hyperactivity after practicing transcendental meditation for a four month period.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles did a study with 103 patients with coronary heart disease. It was found that Transcendental Meditation reduced hypertension, obesity, and diabetes in these patients.
When I found myself overwhelmed by chronic pain from severe spinal problems, I was able to take advantage of the Yoga program involving meditation through a Multidisciplinary Pain Centre. When you discover that no amount of medication can take your pain away, you are left with the need to find some means of coping. My program of Yoga and Meditation helped improve my life. It takes a commitment for both yoga and meditation to be effective, but if you have ever needed to calm your mind in the dead of night when sleep will not come, and your mind is running through all of life’s challenges or you need to reduce pain or stress: meditation can change how you live your life. It can provide you with an island away from distress. It creates a state of deep relaxation and sense of wellbeing and is a gift bringing calmness any time, anywhere.
C. Y. Reininger
Join Sage in February for Meditation & Relaxation classes. Release stress and tension, calm your body and concentrate your mind. Classes teach breathing techniques, meditation and chanting.
Mondays, starts Feb 4th 1pm in Classroom B
Cost: $30 for 4 weeks
Must have 6 registered by Feb 1st. Classes will also be offered again in the spring starting April 22nd.