This page is called Meditation for Health, but it could just as easily be called Meditation and Illness,
… as its main focus is to look at how meditation can help us recover from illness or surgery more effectively,
… and to prevent new illness occurring.
We need to look quickly at history, to see how this idea developed.
First let’s consider Hippocrates, who lived around 400 B.C. and is one of the most important “Fathers of Medicine”,
…(and who is credited with the Hippocratic Oath that is sworn by all newly qualified Doctors).
He recognized that treatment for any illness could only be effective if the emotional and spiritual state of the patient was taken into consideration, and that the patient’s mental attitude was of paramount importance for health.
Somewhat as is illustrated in this picture, –
In other words, healing could only occur with a completely integrated approach, where it was important to consider the body, mind and spirit together in order to prevent or cure disease or illness of any kind.
This was also the normal practice in all of the healing systems of Asia and the Middle East, and was also accepted as fact in the West, for more than 2000 years –
…up until just over 200 years ago.
At that time, recent scientific and medical inventions,
… such as the microscope and the stethoscope. –
… and rapid advances in surgical techniques,
… and the discoveries of bacteria, and later antibiotics.
– Led to a split in the belief systems about illness and disease, and a wholesale shift to a more “Scientific View” of these processes.
Thus the whole focus of healing became centered on Science and Technology, and the Mental, Emotional and Spiritual aspects of illness were pushed to the side and not considered at all any more.
They were considered to be only included in the new fields of Psychology and Psychoanalysis – and therefore were labeled as being somehow “not real,” …as they were not based on the new easily measurable sciences of Biochemistry and Physiology and so on.
In fact this was truly a case of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater,” and it wasn’t until the 1920s and the Second World War,
… that Physicians began to realize the impossibility of separating the Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual influences of all illness and disease.
Let’s look at how this happened.
A famous researcher in the 1920s – Hans Selye – was able to prove that stress and physical and mental discomfort had a profound effect on health.
At roughly the same time, other researchers were confirming that this was true,… and also began to recognize the very important role that the Mental, Emotional and Spiritual parts of us played.
Later, in the Second World War, when Morphine was in extremely short supply,
… it was found that many wounded soldiers experienced a huge relief from pain after receiving injections of saline (i.e. salt and water),
…while at the same time believing that they were actually receiving Morphine.
What we now call the “Placebo Effect,” and is very well recognized.
(It has been established that up to 35 percent of the power of any medication can be caused by this placebo effect).
In other words, –
All aspects of health and illness are very much connected to our mental, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Research about this has clearly shown that one single thing has the most important and profound effect on our balance of health – STRESS!
Stress affects us in very important and far reaching ways – for example; –
Stress lowers our resistance to disease – in almost every way possible.
Stress slows our recovery from disease or injury, and slows wound healing.
Stress increases our need for pain killing medications after injury or surgery.
Stress affects our mental and emotional wellbeing in every way.
Stress worsens our risks for Coronary Artery Disease and therefore Heart Attacks.
Stress worsens bad side effects from anti-cancer treatments such as Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy.
Stress increases the risks of depression, suicide, and broken marriages.
Stress affects all our relationships in a negative way.
Or in other words – and as has been said many times before; –
*******STRESS KILLS !*******
So what can we do about it ?
In the last 50 years or so there has been a tremendous amount of research done on many forms of “Mind/Body Intervention Techniques.”
These include any technique that includes the wellbeing and integration of Mental, Psychological, Emotional and Spiritual Factors as they interact with and affect Physical factors. –
… leading to a more complete and well functioning individual in every way,… and therefore making that individual more efficient in dealing with Stress and Illness.
Many of these different techniques have been extensively studied – including Psychotherapy, Yoga, Biofeedback, Hypnosis, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and many others – and of course, including Meditation.
It has been found, that in all of these different techniques, there was a definite reduction in the effect of Stress – but one thing shone out above all others: –
That was that Meditation was the cheapest, easiest and quickest to learn, and therefore could be considered to be almost certainly the best of the available Techniques or Therapies for the majority of people!
Therefore – to summarize everything that we have discussed above –
… Stress is the Number One severely bad influence against our Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual wellbeing, both on a short-term and a long-termbasis, –
… and Meditation is one of the very best techniques to deal with it !
Of course Stress is also the Number One cause of Heart Attacks in all the world, (and especially in the U.S.A.) –
…. to learn more about all aspects of this potentially lethal disorder specifically, click here to go to www.preventing-a-heart-attack.com
A researcher in England, Dr Adrian White of the Department of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, stated;-
“There is increasing evidence that meditation is a useful and…. a powerful therapy,”
Another researcher, Roy Masters, has said; –
“The link between meditation and health is now widely recognized even by the most conservative and mainstream of Western medical experts.
The positive effects of meditation on physical and, – to some extent, – mental health, are easily observable and quantifiable.
… Equally important, though less obvious, are its effects on spiritual health.
….Physically, meditation has been shown to –
… lower cholesterol,
… reduce the airway constriction of asthma,
… alleviate digestive problems,
… help manage chronic pain,
… speed healing and boost the auto-immune system.
Many of these are symptoms exacerbated by stress and anxiety.
Meditation is especially effective in relieving these mental and emotional maladies.
Help for depression, anger management, addictions and compulsive behavior are also known benefits of meditation.”
Which brings us to the whole focus of this page !
… To be healthier in every way,
… To have better Immunity and resistance to disease of any kind,
… To heal quicker after injury and Surgery,
… To experience fewer side effects from Cancer treatments such as Chemotherapy,
… To improve the odds against us experiencing Heart Attacks,
… To decrease the risks of Depression or Suicidal Behavior,
… To deal better with all aspects of Substance Abuse,
… To have fewer problems in Relationships,
… and to lead Happier and Healthier lives.
To make these positive changes we can use Stress Meditations as a very effective, safe, cheap and easily learned tool.
So how can I help with this ? –
Simply, by offering two powerful and effective Stress Guided Meditations for you to use, that will improve your health and wellbeing in every way.
The first is as a Completely Free Guided Stress Meditation Script that I give on my page of the same name (click on this word – Stress – to go there and check it out !)
But because this is a quite short Stress Meditation, I have also created a much longer Pre-Recorded Stress Guided Meditation,
… that is available both as a CD and as an MP3 download,
… and you can learn about it and its availability by clicking here on my CD and MP3 download page
This brings us right back again to the beginning of this page, where the headline was – Meditation for Health.
In other words – if you want to be happy and optimize your health in every way – then:- –
MEDITATE FOR HEALTH !
I guarantee that meditation will improve your health if it is done on a regular basis.
However it can be difficult for you to have the incentive to start learning meditation if you are sad or depressed, so it would be important for you to try to improve your happiness quotient before you begin, and then once you have been meditating for a while this aspect will take care of itself.
For some excellent tips on how to do this, click on the link to go to www.unlock-your-happiness.com where the author gives you tried and true techniques, which are well explained, and largely drawn from his own experience, to start you on the road to a happier life.
The site also offers a free online DIY health course called the Self-Health Plan.
(But don’t forget the physical side of health – it is equally important to exercise as well !)
As we have seen that from ancient times there has always been great awareness of the importance of the interconnected links between the health of the body and that of the mind.
The Romans had an appropriate saying which summarized this: –
Mens Sana in Corpore Sano
which translates as; – A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body, in other words, you cannot have one without the other.
For an excellent general overview of living in a state of physical fitness, click on this website; – www.fitness-living.com