Meditation is when a person focuses their mind to a state of relaxation, or when an instructor helps a person to take their mind in that state of relaxation. Meditation has shown a lot of benefits when it comes to relaxing the body and releasing all the stress. Stress is known as a big factor causing damages to the body.

Aging is a progressive change that happens in the body, accompanied by a change in the state of health, making the persona to be susceptible to more disease. Almost everyone is afraid of aging, unfortunately, it is inevitable. People try so many things to stop aging which includes using certain drugs and experimental methods. It is so dangerous to try all these unproven things, and some can affect your health. The safest way is to go natural, with methods that have been used for many years.

Meditation originated in India, a very long time ago. The oldest documented evidence of the practice of meditation are wall arts in the Indian subcontinent from about 5,000 to 3,500 BCE, showing people seated in meditative postures with half-closed eyes. The oldest written mention of meditation is from 1,500 BCE in the Vedas. Vedas made it to paper, but it must be understood that the Vedas had been memorized and passed down as an oral tradition for centuries, long before they were finally written down. In fact, before Vedas there were 70 generations of meditation gurus and students that had existed up to that point.

Here's how we know meditation is medicine. It's because according to science there are four clear types of meditation. These include concentration meditation, guided meditation, open awareness meditation and mindfulness meditation. By the way, science studies the system, structure and behavior of many things, including our body.

Concentration meditation

This type of meditation focuses on “focusing” your mind on certain objects, eliminating all distracting thoughts. It is sometimes difficult when a person tries to bring all thoughts to the center, but it is an ability that can be enabled. There are some benefits like being able to block stressful situations, improving memory, not being bored easily, helping with patience and not making many mistakes. For maximum focus, one needs to find a quiet place, sit in a comfortable position. Set a time limit mind do not mind the time at that moment. It is also better to have your eyes closed. Some choose to do breathing exercises too or even add movements. Focus on one thing, the center.

While talking about movements there is also a moving meditation. It includes some stretches, which can be really beneficial for muscles and joints. Moving while breathing is a good combination, removes all that stress on the physical body and your mind too. There are many breathing techniques that also began in India and even yoga is used as a combination. Breathing meditation is a real thing. A constant combination of these techniques will definitely relieve stress and delay aging.

Guided meditation

This type of meditation is when an instructor helps a person and guides them step by step to reach that state of relaxation. As the patient reaches that free-minded state of no stress, the body starts relaxing, it heals itself in a way. Some people say that during this meditation the body also releases a beneficial hormone that further helps the body. Reduces stress, increases self-awareness, calms negative emotions, widens imagination, strengthens patience, helps to control anxiety, lengthens attention span, can help insomnia and improves physical health.

Meditation has been found to also improve blood circulation and lower heart rate. The instructor is not disturbing at all, they know how to guide your body and mind to reach maximum relaxation.

Open awareness meditation

This meditation needs you to be in tune with every sense surrounding you, every thought and your inside feelings. There is no channeling your mind to only one thing or the center. Thinking about all thoughts will allow everything to flow freely and you get better at healing in case of stressful situations. Hence this style is also used as medicine. Healing the mind by eliminating stress and results in delaying aging, prevents any comorbidities. Letting go of stuff is not only healthy for our mind but also for our physical body.

Mindfulness meditation

Here a person focuses on certain thoughts and gets in a state of awareness. It is known scientifically for treating depression and anxiety. Benefits may repeat themselves, whatever meditation you use, its beneficial. Mindful meditation improves boy pain, improves digestion, lowers blood pressure, improves sleep, self-regulation, self-awareness, better work efficiency and focused attention. People that have done this type of meditation also report on the benefit of not being impulsive eaters, which helps them improve their body health as they are now not addicts.

These are just a few of the meditations, there are a lot of meditations. Lots of names, from different cultures and religions. Meditation can be combined with other already mentioned techniques, breathing and moving. There is also Yoga meditation. Yoga is the most important method of getting yourself fit in both mind and brain. Anything that involves movement and changes in posture will definitely keep you younger. It also helps in adding bulk in muscles as you age and help strengthen the bone. Improves weight bearing even though you are old in age. Joints become more flexible. Inflammations get reduced a lot when you keep your blood flowing with these yoga postures. Menopausal women also get involved in these exercises; they get good results. Hot flashes are really reduced as those changes in hormones occur, even in men.

Yoga can be used as a pain-management tool for painful diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia or other musculoskeletal diseases. Since yoga is so adaptable, it can be practiced in a chair or hospital bed no need for a big space. It may also be a help to patients diagnosed with a terminal illness and to deal with stress.

Summing up the conversation about meditation used as medicine, there are examples of diseases and problems that can be treated with meditation. The medical benefits of meditation include healing psychosomatic disorders including asthma, rheumatism, gut problems, blood pressure, coronary artery diseases, diabetes, etc.

Meditation and the endocrine system

There are reduced blood levels of lactate, cortisol, and epinephrine. Meditation reduces sympathetic adrenergic receptor sensitivity, producing a decreased response to stressful situations. Increased levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), melatonin and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate. Meditation produces its anxiolytic effects by promoting GABA action in specific areas of the brain. For irritable bowel syndrome meditation helps with flatulence, belching, bloating and diarrhea. Athletes get an anti-inflammatory benefit, there is less increase in the CD8 + suppressor T cell response to strenuous physical stress, improving the immune system's helper to suppressor cell ratio. It also reduces post-traumatic stress. Meditation also helps treatment work effectively, patients with skin diseases get better quickly.

Meditation and changes in the brain

These are real changes that were found using imaging and electroencephalography. Meditation in general activates your brain to work on a higher level. It improves brain signals and part of the brain involved in attention, happiness and creativity. There is also good control of the autonomic nervous system. Meditation helps the better release of serotonin, a good neurotransmitter that affects mood and behavior. Other neurochemicals that are better released include dopamine, melatonin, arginine vasopressin, serotonin and gamma-Aminobutyric acid. Limbic arousal is reduced and therefore a person is able to cope with stress. Meditation and Psychology. The practice of meditation improves cognitive task performance, increases mental concentration, and reduces susceptibility to stress. Both subjective and objective examinations reveal that meditation enhances perceptual sensitivity. It improves the attitude and personality of a person.

Meditation is beneficial

Both scientists and people who have tried meditation have good things to say about it. It started a long time and is still one of the most natural techniques to maintain body health. No need to have a big space or room, just a small area to full stretch and sit. Nowadays people long for natural ways to get healthy, everyone is getting educated on how pharmaceuticals damage the body. Meditation is the way to go indeed.

(Article by Dr. Thiago Frere and Paulos Motaung).