Meditation comprises of techniques such as focusing on your breath, chanting mantras and detaching from the ongoing thoughts, focusing attention and bringing about a state of self-awareness and inner peace. Meditation and relaxation techniques are two types cultic and non-cultic, the later being developed for research and clinical use. The reduction and relaxation of stress which is claimed to be acquired from meditation may have several therapeutic effects along with a plethora of research papers to support these benefits.
For thousands of years, yogis and people practicing meditation have advised others to take a deep breath and relax. We all know that relaxation is good for us and mediation helps in melting away all the tension from your muscles and make all your worries vanish in the air. A comprehensive study has established that deep relaxation affects our body on a genetic level. People who practice relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation are more likely to have an increased number of active disease-fighting genes as compared to those who do not practice any form of relaxation. This is the reason why more and more people practice meditation on a day to day to the basis or go for a Meditation Retreat to revive themselves.
In particular, the genes known to provide protection against disorders such as infertility, pain, high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis get activated with regular practice of meditation. It was discovered that these changes were induced by the relaxation effect, which was just as effective and powerful as any other drug meant to improve the concerned situation but without any added side effects.
The health benefits of meditation and relaxation techniques are found to increase with regular practice. The more these relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing are practiced by people, the higher are the chances of them being free of health conditions such as arthritis and joint pain along with a stronger immunity, stable blood pressure and healthier hormone levels.
But how can these relaxing techniques have such powerful and wide-ranging impact on the overall health? It is a known fact that stress has a negative impact on the body, as it is linked to the secretion of Cortisol and adrenaline hormone which are released when a person is stressed. These hormones increase the heart rate and blood pressure, lowers fertility and weakens the immune system. On the other hand, the state of relaxation is connected to the higher level of feel-good hormones which help with the regeneration of cells and tissues. In contrast to stress-related effects, relaxation has opposite effect on the body which includes lowering the heart rate, enhancing immunity and helping the body to thrive.
Various relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing might be different from one another, but the biological effects they offer are almost similar to one another. When the body is in relaxing mode, the parasympathetic nervous system which is linked to better memory, digestion, immunity, etc. gets turned on.
With meditation, one is looking for a state of deep relaxation where all the stress is released from the body on a physical level and the mind is completely switched off. Though this effect cannot be achieved by laying around in your house neither you can force yourself to relax. The only way to acquire it is by learning effective techniques such as meditation, guided imagery, etc.