As a branch of Chinese medicine, meditation has been used for promoting healing in China for centuries. More often than not, Eastern practitioners promote it for its ability to relive stress and manage other stress-related ailments. In the United States, people’s views on the practice differ. However, researchers have shown that African Americans undergo more stress than the Caucasians. Little wonder the exercise is common among the African American communities and homes than those of their Caucasian counterparts. In this article, you will learn more about the traditional healing technique, experts’ perspectives, its benefits, how it works, and how to get started.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is an exercise, practice or art that helps people sense and feel the moment without interpreting or judging it. Better put, it is a mental exercise that teaches people how to slow down their racing thinking, rid their minds of negative energy, and eventually calm down. By deliberately focusing on your present mind, you acknowledge your ideas, feelings, and sensation without any form of judgment.
While the techniques vary from one specialist to another, the practice involves deep breathing and awareness of the body and mind. As a newbie, you may practice it unaided or get a specialist to assist you – it is your call! Still, there are programs that help people get started. Also, there are instances where people use candles, essential oils, and mantras during the sessions. To be clear, props and preparations are not necessary in the art. However, you may have a need for them if you like them.
Promoting Healthy Living with Meditation
In the United States, the type known as mindfulness sitting meditation (MSM) is common among Chinese American women. Although there are not enough studies in the public domain support its efficacy, practitioners believe that it helps cancer patients manage the ailment. In one report, researchers found that 24% of Chinese American women used MSM to treat cancer. Today, oncology nurses recommend the exercise for treating the disorder. In fact, this is common among cancer patients those who present with higher symptoms of distress.
Aside from the Chinese American women, other Americans are increasingly turning to the exercise to balance their body systems. Health experts attribute its growing popularity to the generally held belief that it can help with stress relief, improving heart health, enhancing rest and sleep, improving the mood, resolving pregnancy problems, and boosting immunity. Studies have also shown that it helps with depression, diabetes control, and high blood pressure. In short, many cardiologists believe that the exercise can ameliorate any disorder that stress can worsen.
Although many people consider the practice an Eastern healing technique, scientific studies have demonstrated that its efficacy transcends races. In one study, researchers applied brain scans known as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) on people who practice it. The outcome shows that there is a significant rise in heart rate and metabolism. Plus, there are other studies carried out on Buddhist monks, which indicate that the exercise has positive, long-lasting effects on the brains. In fact, the report shows that the healing technique improved their attention, memory, learning, and perception of consciousness.
Step-by-Step Processes of Meditation
To get started, you should follow this step-by-step guide
- Get comfortable: First, you need to get a quiet and conducive place for your practice. Afterward, you should consider sitting on a chair, floor or mat. You can also sit with your head, neck, and back straight. However, make sure that your sitting position is not stiff. While at it, ensure that you put on some loose clothes so they don’t distract you. Keep in mind, nevertheless, that there is no dress code for it.
- Time yourself: Get a low-sounding alarm and time yourself. The reason is that many people tend to lose track of time. And to be honest, it is not their fault. The chances are that you will fall in love with the exercise. More importantly, be aware of where you are and get up gently. You can start with a 5-minute session and increase to 15-20 minutes per session as you continue with the exercise.
- Focus on breathing: Pay attention to your breathing and then the sensation of air moving around you. As you breathe, you can raise and lower your belly at intervals. You should also focus on the temperature change that happens when you inhale and exhale.
- Your thoughts matter: You may wonder, “What typically goes through people’s minds as they go through the session?” Guess what, you are not alone. Here’s the catch though: You need to understand what goes through your mind as you go through the session. Also, you should never suppress or ignore those thoughts. You should also imagine your thoughts as clouds in constant motion and observe them as they change. Yes, you should keep repeating the process.
- Be in control: Finally, you can make the mistake of losing concentration. Nobody’s perfect!! It often happens when you worry, fear, hope or become anxious. Therefore, you need to pause and observe your mind and then return to breathing without judgment. Don’t be hard on yourself whenever you feel like you derailed. It is normal to go off the track, but you have to refocus on the present by returning your breath. Just take control!
Does meditation promote healing? Yes, it does. Sure, you have learned how it works. It is advisable to make the exercise a daily routine, as it helps balance your system. Admittedly, you may have a tight schedule some days and no time for it. However, one thing you need to always keep in mind is that it has enormous benefits. So, those perks should be enough for you not to skip the exercise for anything in the world. But then, if you cannot observe it every day, do it whenever you can. Specialists structured the exercise in different ways, including body scan, sitting, and walking. A popular type of mindfulness meditation is Vipassana medication, which is more common among Buddhists. For more insights into how to get the most out of it, feel free to contact our specialists now.
- Woods-Giscombe CL, Gaylord S. The cultural relevance of mindfulness meditation as a health intervention for African Americans. J Holist Nurs. 2014 Sep; 32(3): 147-0.
- Wong C. What is mindfulness meditation? https://www.verywellmind.com/mindfulness-meditation-88369. Revised April 08, 2021. Accessed January 05, 2022.
- Liu S, Qui G, Louie W. Use of mindfulness sitting meditation in Chinese American women in treatment of cancer. Integr Cancer Ther. 2017 Mar, 16(1): 110-117.
- Davis JL. Meditation balances the body’s system. https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/transcendental-meditation. Reviewed March 1, 2006. Accessed January 7, 2022.
- Mindfulness exercises. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/mindfulness-exercises/art-20046356.
- Bob K. Meditation as traditional Chinese medicine. https://www.thereikirefuge.com/2019/01/meditation-in-traditional-chinese-medicine/ Revised January 11, 2019. Accessed January 06, 2022.
- Shapiro E, Shapiro D. Mindfulness & meditation: What’s the difference? https://medium.com/thrive-global/mindfulness-meditation-whats-the-difference-852f5ef7ec1a. Reviewed May 8, 2017. Accessed January 9, 2022.Treating Back pain with AcupunctureCupping Therapy
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