Meditation and the Media Part III

September 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm (Uncategorized)

This article will finish the one started last week and will deal with the effects of meditation on pain as reported in the article ay Dr. Oz and Dr Roizen in my local paper.

Two aspects of pain

Pain has both physical and mental dimensions. The physical dimension is the actual nerve reaction to a particular stimulus. Externally, this might be a cut or abrasion or a broken bone. Internally this might be some tissue damage or some organ malfunction. Whatever it is, some physical thing is out of order and the nerve endings are responding with a message of pain to the brain.

This part of pain is fairly straightforward and consists of the neural message to the brain that something is out of order.

The mental aspect of pain is by far the most complicated. It starts when the physical stimulus comes and then is interpreted by the brain according to the nature of the pain, past experiences, sensitivity to pain and a host of other mental and emotional parts of the exerience.

While meditation does not heal the abrasion, it is very important and effective at mitigating and managing the mental aspects of the pain experience. The next blog entry will deal more extensively with the mental and emotional aspects of pain as a separate topic. For the rest of this blog post, I will list three ways suggested by the article to use meditation skills to help ease pain.

Three Quick Pain Relief Tips

First is mindfulness meditation. We have talked about that in previous posts. Mindfulness is letting your mind focus on the present. Breathe slowly and deeply and focus your attention on the breath. Feel each breath go in and out of your lungs and fill all parts of your body.

This focus tends to increase blood flow, and lowers pulse and respiratory rate and will reduce the sensation of pain in your mind.

The second quick tip is to use guided imagery. This technique suggests that you focus your mind on a pleasant and happy scene or situation from your past. Remember a beach, or a park or a pleasant place that brings good feelings or memories. Live the memory as completely and fully as possible with all the sights, sounds and emotions.

The third quick tip is muscle relaxation. Close your eyes and focus your mind on a particular muscle group. Start with your fists. Clench them for 7 seconds or so, and then abruptly let them relax, and feel all the tension drain away out of your hands and arms. Repeat this cycle with every muscle group in your body. Arms, toes, calves, thighs, buttocks, stomach etc. and feel all the tension drain away from your body.

These three quick techniques are useful to divert your attention from the pain that you may be experiencing and help you manage your immediate circumstance.

They are also tools for beginning to learn to meditate. Go to the website for greater detail and I will see you next post.

Have a great and relaxing day!!

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Emotional trauma and stress

January 22, 2010 at 9:09 am (Benefits of Meditation, Uncategorized, Why do we meditate?)

After the discussion of stress in the last post, it may seem that we are somewhat doomed to be damaged by the stress monster. This is not true, but it takes direct action and desire on our part to manage these effects. Stress relief through meditation is clearly a beneficial path.

Emotional distress is also a damaging influence on our brains. Such emotional disturbances cause abnormalities on both structure and function of the brain. Again, from Dr Newberg’s research, emotional disturbance can impair memory storage and retrieval, impair social empathy and damage other parts and functions of the brain. The bottom line is that anxiety and depression wreak havoc on the brain. When we are emotionally distraught, we tend to take things out of context and react inappropriately.

Studies at the University of Wisconson show that those who dwell on distressing thoughts also have lower antibody counts and are more prone to infection and disease. A study at the University of Montreal indicated that failure to control negative emotion can have disastrous psychological and social consequences.

The good news is this: There is strong evidence that we can consciously interrupt these destructive neural processes through meditation. In the study at the University of Montreal mentioned above, researchers found that human subjects could voluntarily alter their mental processes and influence the electrochemical dynamics of neural circuits that promote emotional self-regulation.

The important thing to take from these studies is that streas, anxiety and negative emotion are damaging, which we all already know intuitively without studies to prove it, BUT we can change all that with meditation, positive imagery and relaxation. We have the power to repair our brains, form new neural circuits and create a beneficial nurturing environment in our hearts and minds.

What a wonderful and liberating piece of information to have! We have control in our own hands and we can use the simple tool of meditation to relieve stress, heal our minds and live more productive and clear lives of happiness and joy.

This, by itself is enough reason to engage in regular meditation. This doesn’t even count all the bodily health benefits of meditation and the great power for achievement which meditation unleashes in our intellectual and artistic endeavors. Meditation is truly a wonderful and powerful ability that we possess.

We fully discuss the great effects of stress relief, healing, personal achievement, learning and the creative process and finding yoiur own spirituality in the various books of The Power of Meditation series. You owe it to yourself to unlock your own genius potential!!

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Why Learn How to Meditate?

January 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm (Uncategorized, Why do we meditate?)

Why should we learn how to meditate?

This is a fair queston that I get a lot and it deserves a bit of discussion. I can think of many reasons why we should learn how to miditate. I will try in this short article to list those reasons and briefly describe a benefit associated with each of those reasons.

1.   Meditation is a simple skill. It is not difficult to learn to meditate. The essential skills can be taught in a few minutes. The benefits will last a lifetime.

2.   Meditation can be done anywhere without tools, equipment or any special set-up. Since meditation requires no special equipment or location, it is a skill that is truly portable. You can do it almost anywhere, and achieve the calming empowering benefits in minutes.

3.   Meditation can be adapted to the capacity and needs of every individual. The process of ‘learning how to meditate’ is different for each individual. The beauty is that meditation is infinitely flexible and will work its benefits and magic on everyone who is persistant and engaged.

4.   Meditation is a powerful tool. There are few tools that we can access that have the power of meditation. With it you can access your subconscious mind and program yourself to be anything that you choose to be. You can also achieve complete peace in yourself no matter what is going on around you.

5.   Meditation lets us understand the world in a different way. Often we develop views and opinions that are distorted because we are too involved with something, or because we lose perspective. Meditation can help us get a larger picture of the world and a more balanced view of ourselves and those around us. This increase in balance and perspective often allows us to solve problems, overcome obstacles and face challenges that seemed impossible.

 6.   Meditation will improve your health. Many studies show that when we regularly meditate, it improves our heartrate, blood pressure, circulatory and resparatory and nervous systems, among others. Many treatment programs for physical or emotional issues recommend meditation as a part of the healing or theraputic process.

The list of benefits from meditation is nearly infinite, and is as varied as the practicioners themselves. In a future blog post, we will describe benefits in more detail and list some specific examples. In addition to this short list of reasons, there are other questions that I am often asked with regard to learning how to meditate. I have listed a few below.

Q. When whould someone learn to meditate? A. You can learn to meditate at a young age. Young children at age 5 can be taught the basics of meditation consistent with their attention span. Meditation is a great way to build concentration, positive self image and a host of other good attributes in children.

Q. After I learn how to meditate, is that it? Do I need to do it regularly? A. Meditation is something we should practice regularly since your ability to meditate effectively increases with practice and the beneficial effects are cumulative.

Q. How long should I meditate? A. Start with 15 minutes, morning and night. If you can’t make that much time, then start with 5 minutes when you get up and 5 minutes when you go to bed. The payoff will be so good that you will find more time.

Q. Am I too old to learn how to meditate? A. You are never too old to learn how to meditate. It is true that the brain becomes less flexible with age, and that the new neural pathways associated with meditation form more slowly, but this is no barrier. Meditation will have its beneficial effect on everyone, regardless of age.

If you want more information on the amaing power of meditation, then click here!

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Holiday Stress

November 30, 2009 at 2:33 pm (Benefits of Meditation, Uncategorized, Why do we meditate?)

Stress is always with us.  It can be a motivator or an inhibitor and either helpful or harmful as we live our busy lives.

While it is a bit simplistic, we can think of stress as an ‘energy source.’ There is ‘good stress’ or positive energy that helps us move forward and accomplish things and there is ‘harmful stress’ or negative energy that drags us down or gets in the way.  Both kinds of stress seem to increase with holidays and other special occasions in our lives.

Having deadlines, project milestones, or events can help us get done what we want to do. These external or internal measures can mark progress and provide satisfaction as we move through a task, or check off things from a list that we want to do. 

Examples might be: a shopping list for our friends for a holiday, or the upcoming publication of a report at work.  The excitement of shopping for someone, or the anticipation of a birthday or special event can produce pleasurable feelings  and motivate us to wait in a line, or seek out that exciting gift or card.

The feeling of relief or accomplishment when a big report or project is complete also provides a sense of intense satisfaction even though there might have been extra hours, late nights and serious work involved.

On the other hand, the stress of having too much to do with no relief, no way to meet others expectations, the pressure of feeling obligated to provide a ‘holiday experience’ for friends or family can be the source of irritation, anxiety and depression.

If there has been some bad history with a particular holiday or work situation with a colleagues or a certain boss, then normal satisfaction can be replaced by dread, fear of failure and an expectation of ‘more bad stuff to come.’

Meditation is a simple and powerful way to sort out the good and bad stress sources in our lives. It is also a very powerful and helpful practice to add greater enjoyment to the positive influences and to manage and eliminate the negative ones.

Regular meditation allows you to be more ‘in control’ of your emotionsal reactions and hence your emotional well being. The practice can also assist you to identify activities and situations in your life that are hurting you emotionally – and more importantly – formulate strategies to manage or eliminate the harmful things.

Whle there are many strategies to manage busy lives, holiday pressures, difficult work situations and hectic schedules, meditation is one of the fastest and most efffective tools to accomplish these goals.

I have written a full course on how to learn to meditate and discover your own ‘power of meditation’ which is presented on the website by clicking the link above. This course can show you how to understand and manage your stess levels.

Check it out, and leave your comments on the course, or perhaps suggest other tools and strategies that you have found helpful on managing the harmful stressors in your life.

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The Placebo Payoff

November 19, 2009 at 11:01 am (Benefits of Meditation, Uncategorized)

Just reading an article in today’s paper about the benefits of ‘placebo therapy.’ This type of therapy is practiced regularly by doctors and accounts for at least 32% of the benefits of all drugs or pills given to patients.

What it means is that even when a patient is given a sugar pill, if they believe that the pill will help the condition, the body actually creates neurological and physiological changes that benefit the body and speed healing.

This simply demonstrates that the body is the healing engine and that medical procedures, while helpful and sometimes necessary, only set up the most favorable circumstance so that the body healing system can do its job. 

The natural healing system is a coordinated group of organs, enzymes and chemical processes in the body that do the healing of everything from physical to emotional trauma. This healing process is an innate characteristic of the body, which tends to heal itself of any breaches or problems. Belief or a will to heal has a powerful stimulant effect on this natural process.

Meditation is a great activator of the healing system. By meditating regularly, the calmness brought about by meditation increases both the speed and effectiveness of several body immune and healing systems.

In additon, combining meditation with the visualization taught in ‘Meditation – The Amazing Journey Within’ can lead to dramatic improvements in health and healing from any physical, emotional or spiritual disorder.

Every passing year, the evidence mounts in the medical world that the power truly is in our minds and bodies to heal the things that afflict us. This new information is really exciting for those of us who meditate!!! And a good reason to start if your have not yet felt the benefits of this age old process!!!

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Maiden Voyage – First Post!!!

November 17, 2009 at 3:21 pm (Uncategorized)

This is the first post in my new blog dedicated to the Power of Meditation. This amazing power rests within each of us and can be the source of unlimited ability and accomplishment. What a payday!!

We each already have the power to control our lives, eliminate stress, attract anything we desire and live lives of fulfillment and prosperity!

I have recently finished writing several books on the subject of meditation, and I invite you to check out the results at my website http://www.thepowerofmeditation.com Please take a look at the material and download the free report. I think you will be amazed at the number of applications that meditation will have in your life.

These books are the results of 35 years of intensive study of the mind body connection, martial arts and meditation and a lifelong interest in the workings of the mind. I have certainly found meditation enormously beneficial to me in both physical, mental and spiritual ways over the years.

I have also seen this practice benefit the students that I have had over the years in practically every area of their lives!!  How cool is that? 

I was just reading this morning about the connection between back pain and stress, and realized that my back pain which I have had intensively for 2 1/2 months is absolutely related to some stressful events in my life. What a wonderful liberating reality. Because if it is stress related, then it is also meditation curable!!! I can’t wait!

I would love to hear from you and have you describe your successes with this wonderful power, since there are relatively few people who meditate regularly. Helping others discover their own ‘amazing journey within’ through the power of meditation would be such a gift to anyone.

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