“Today’s Scientists are discovering a wide range of immediate and long-term benefits that can be derived from regular meditation practice”, said Paula Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (HHSHH). “Recent studies have shown that meditating for just 20 minutes a day for even a few weeks is enough for subjects to begin experiencing the many benefits meditation provides. That’s why the faculty at HHSHH encourages students to include the practice of meditation as an essential part of their holistic self-care program,” she added.
No one knows the exact date of meditation’s origin, however, Archaeologists and Scholars agree that it dates back about 5,000 years. Since the 1950s there have been hundreds of studies on the effects of meditation, which has become a growing subfield of neurological research. Technologies such as MRIs and EEGs are used to discern what happens in the body when one meditates, and how their bodies and brains change after meditating on a regular basis.
Although there are hundreds of types of meditation, most fall into one of two categories. The first, Focused Attention Meditation, is when an individual focuses his/her attention on something specific for the duration of the meditation session. This ‘something’ may be their breath, a mantra, visualization, part of the body or object such as a crystal or flower. Examples are: Buddhist Meditation, Chakra Meditation and Sound Meditation.
The second category, Open Monitoring Meditation, is a process of non-reactive observation of one’s moment to moment experience of their thoughts, feelings, memories, sounds, smells, surroundings, etc. Examples of Open Monitoring Meditation include Mindfulness Meditation, Vipassana, as well as some Taoist Meditations.
Regardless of the style, meditation provides numerous benefits to one’s Mind, Body and Emotional Wellbeing. As you’ll see from the lists below, just 20 minutes of meditation a day can make substantial changes that can dramatically improve your quality of life. (Note: These lists represent some but not all of the benefits with sources provided at the end of this post.)
Benefits to your Mind:
- Enhances cognitive skills
- Positively impacts creative thinking
- Better decision making and problem solving skills
- Increases memory retention and recall
- Improves mental focus
- Quicker information processing
- Diminishes effects of ADHD
- Helps you ignore distractions
Benefits to your Body:
- Improves immune system function
- Helps prevent Arthritis, Fibromyalgia & HIV
- Lessens inflammatory disorders
- Reduces premenstrual and menopausal syndromes
- Increases energy levels
- Improves breathing and heart rates
- Reduces recurrence of Asthma
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Improves longevity
- Increases relaxation
Benefits to Emotional Well-being:
- Enhances one’s self-esteem and self-acceptance
- Increases optimism and awareness
- Improves your mood
- Enhances emotional intelligence
- Helps develop positive social connections
- Reduces feelings of depression and loneliness
- Lessens feelings of anxiety & impulsivity
- Reduces fear and worry
- Helps prevent emotional over-eating or smoking
Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been serving residents in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 23 years. Offering day, evening and weekend classes, HHSHH’s staff of highly qualified Instructors have prepared more than 6,000 students for successful and rewarding careers as Massage Therapists and Holistic Health Practitioners. To learn more about HHSHH or the 80 + classes offered, please visit us online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.
Time Magazine, American Heart Association, HealthCentral, Bloomberg, NCBI, American Psychosomatic Medicine Journal, Journal of International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology, The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, NPR News, ScienceDirect (1), ScienceDirect (2), ScienceDirect (3), Medical News Today, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, HealthCentral, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics Journal., ScienceDaily, NCBI, PLOS One, Stanford School of Medicine, Sage Journals.