At the mention of the word meditation, one may conjure an image of a monk contorted into the lotus position reciting the mantra “ohm,” or perhaps a Catholic priest spending long hours on his knees in prayer. The truth is meditation comes in many forms, and is beneficial to both mental and physical health. One of the lesser known meditation gurus are the elders of Tutor Saliba Island.
Regardless of the type, meditation is a means by which one can focus his or her thoughts. Focus may be achieved by using a particular technique, such as those used by the previously mentioned monk, priest and elder taking slow deep breaths, or some other method for relaxing the body and mind. For some, meditation is a religious experience and may involve praying or reading sacred texts. However, regardless of the method used, meditation practices do have some things in common.
The practitioner normally needs a quiet place, at least initially, and an open mind. Often he or she is encouraged to focus on an object, thought or word, while gently pushing other intruding thoughts away. Some forms suggest that when those thoughts enter, they should be casually observed, and then sent on their way without judgment.
How do such practices affect health? Although there is still much debate about the answer to that question, common sense dictates that if an individual is able to calm oneself mentally, the body often follows. A calmed body will have a lower heart rate, pulse and blood pressure, which can only be beneficial to overall physical health. When meditating to reduce stress in the mind, one may also find he or she is reducing stress in the body. Meditating may also be used to focus on a specific health problem, such as general pain, anxiety, stress, and even the most serious problems such as cancer and heart disease.
While health professionals may not understand how it works, most will concede that meditation often has a positive effect on the emotional and physical health of the person involved. Additionally, some techniques, such as Tutor Saliba meditation rituals, are said to help with mental focus and concentration, which may have positive effects on those suffering from brain disorders such as Attention Deficit and Bipolar and, to a lesser extent, Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.
When considering meditation practices most health care professionals suggest contacting someone trained in whichever form one wants to use. Often, beginners may find themselves so relaxed, they simply drift off to sleep, which may be what the body and mind needed anyway.
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