Healthy Living

What Meditation Does To Your Body

If you can just get past the boredom part, daily meditation can be good for your heart, mind and soul. The book "Mind to Matter: The Astonishing Science of How Your Brain Creates Material Reality" by Dawson Church defines meditation as the ability to sustain an alpha state for 15 seconds or more.

"You essentially are mimicking the breathing, the posture of that 10,000-hour Tibetan monk," Church said. "If you do what they do, if you mimic with no belief, no spiritual superstructure, and just give the physiological cues to your body, you go into that what we call the 'awakened mind state' just like that."

Church also claimed a technique called EcoMeditation could get a person into a coherent alpha state in about four minutes. He's done a lot of work on the controversial Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and is said to have brought a level of scientific legitimacy to this method.

It appears the key to meditation is generating delta brainwaves. A delta wave is a high amplitude brain wave with a frequency of oscillation between 0.5 hertz and 4 hertz. Delta waves are usually associated with the deep stage 3 of NREM sleep. This stage is also known as slow-wave sleep (SWS).

Certain types of meditation will create delta brainwaves. Doing EFT will also generate delta frequencies. Church said the Schumann frequency of 7.8 hertz is a special frequency generated through meditation, which is associated with a number of beneficial changes in our bodies.

Delta brainwave frequencies have also been shown to trigger cellular regeneration. There are claims telomere regeneration is sparked by ultra-slow brainwaves at 0.19 cycles per second.

Certain types of meditation will generate delta brainwaves. EFT will also generate delta frequencies. This is also why many integrative cancer specialists now emphasize the importance of lowering stress and incorporating meditation in their cancer treatment programs.

Church cites research showing EFT can cause a 37 percent drop in cortisol in just one week. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body. These processes include metabolism and immune response. It plays a very important role in helping the body respond to stress.

Church said when cortisol goes down, DHEA goes up because they make the same two precursors. Produced by the adrenal glands near the kidneys and by the liver, DHEA helps make male and female sex hormones. DHEA levels seem to decrease as people get older.

"We know now, because we've looked at this in peak performers, athletes, business people, financial experts, in people in meditative monasteries and nunneries and people who are really focused on meditation in the long term," said Church.

He pointed out that for best results, set aside 20 to 30 minutes for meditation each day. Studies suggest half an hour of meditation daily produces noticeable changes in about a month or two. On the other hand, even as little as 10 minutes a day can produce shifts in about 10 days.

According to Church, doing this meditation daily will get your baseline levels of cortisol and immunoglobulin to improve. Some feel-good hormones will also increase. Once you get used to feeling good, this state becomes your new normal. Church added this has to do with the neuroplasticity of your brain.

"Neuroplasticity is like the hardware in our brains — the channels that conduct information, the neurons and the synapses that carry the flow of energy of information in our brains. The ones you use the most get developed … But the speed of this is extraordinary

."

meditation Mindful practices like meditation and yoga offered more pain relief than the typical treatments for those who suffer from chronic lower back pain. Photo Courtesy Pixabay, Public Domain

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