The Be Well Center - I Bar Wellness Blog - Step 7: Meditate Daily

Step 7: Meditate Daily

Written by Nayo Wills, M.D. on January 22nd, 2012

Why meditate?

Why wake up earlier to make time to meditate in the morning?

What difference will it really make?
A regular meditation practice:
*Allows you to set an intention to create a positive day
*Honors your true Self, and allows for a deeper connection with your true Self
*Shifts your body from the flight-or-fight part of your nervous system (sympathetic nervous system) to the restorative, healing part of your nervous system (parasympathetic nervous system)

From a medical perspective, I encourage meditation for the restorative, healing benefits.  In modern, western society we are so revved up that we live too much of our lives using the flight-or-fight part of our nervous system.  This overutilization of the sympathetic nervous system leads to disease.

Many studies suggest that those who meditate:

*During meditation reach a hypometabolic (low metabolic) state that is more restorative than sleep

*Have ↓ levels of lactate (a marker of stress/anxiety)

*Have ↑melatonin and serotonin (calming hormones)

*Have ↓cortisol levels (stress hormone) indicating less stress on the endocrine system

*Have lower Blood Pressures

Long-term meditators have:

*80% less Coronary Artery Disease and 50% less Cancer

*↑DHEA levels (a youth related hormone)- DHEA counteracts cortisol (stress hormone)

*Experience ↓stress, ↑sexual function and improved weight control

*75% of insomniacs become able to have normal sleep with meditation

*34% of people experiencing chronic pain had a significant decrease in need for medication

*Improved healing

Overall, a regular meditation practice supports total wellness (spirit-mind-body).  Start with just 5-15 minutes every morning.  A goal may be to increase your practice to 20-60 minutes every morning.

Morning is an optimal time to mediate because you are closest to the consciousness you experience during sleep.

Be Well,

Nayo Wills, MD

Khalsa, S et al. Meditation as Medicine. 2001: 8-40.

 

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