Some people still have a rather dismissive attitude towards meditation. They disregard the benefits that meditation offers, and say that those who practice it are hippies who don’t have a clue about real life and its responsibilities. For thousands of years, yogis have been promoting meditation and the benefits associated with the practice. It is only in recent years that modern medicine has begun to acknowledge what yogis have been teaching us for centuries regarding meditation.

The change in attitude of modern medicine came when research results proved that regular meditation actually does help the body produce more genes that help fight disease. They found out that people who practice regular meditation produce more genes that fight pain, infertility, high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis. The reason for this is simple. Meditation is used to fight stress. Stress leads to all kinds of health issues, diseases and ailments. It has been linked to ailments such as cancer, elevated blood pressure, depression, heart disease, asthma, headaches, obesity, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, gastrointestinal issues like IBS, and more.

So how exactly does meditation provide health benefits? Meditating requires a person to completely relax all parts of the body, breathe correctly, and clear their mind of all thoughts, focusing instead on the moment they are living. Meditation can help improve your health in the following ways:

• Research findings suggest that regular meditation seems to boost the immune system of people who are recovering from cancer. It also boosts the infection-fighting white blood cells in the elderly, increasing their resistance to tumors, viruses and infections.

• If you are well-balanced emotionally, then you are free of all neurotic behavior that results when the ego becomes stressed. Meditation helps you to clear your conscious mind of all emotionally-charged memories. This frees your mind and helps you to achieve emotional wellness. It means that your responses to everyday occurrences will not be tainted by things which occurred in the past.

• Are you and your partner trying to have a child? If so, you may be interested to learn that an Australian research team uncovered a link between meditation and female fertility. They found out that women who are relaxed are far more likely to conceive than those who are stressed. A Turkish study showed that stress also has an impact on male fertility. Stress reduces a man’s sperm count. It also makes his sperm less mobile than they otherwise would be. So if you really want to conceive a child with your partner, it is important that you remain relaxed. Meditation is excellent for relaxation.

• Do you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome? Research has proven that meditation can help with gastrointestinal complaints such as IBS. Meditating twice per day can help reduce bloating, diarrhea and constipation, all of which are symptoms related to IBS. Meditation is so effective that it is now recommended as part of the treatment for IBS in some parts of the United States.

• Elevated blood pressure is sometimes referred to as the silent killer. That’s because some people never find out they suffer from the condition until it is too late. You can reduce the chance of hypertension going undetected by having regular check-ups with your GP. However, meditation will also help you to keep your blood pressure at normal levels. High blood pressure is linked to stress. Meditation reduces the number of stress hormones in the body.

We live in a highly stressful point in time and in a very competitive world which has great potential to damage our health. Just five minutes of meditation twice a day can be all it takes to help you eliminate most or all of that stress, and safeguard your health. The next time you talk to someone who dismisses meditation as some kind of quackery practiced by people who live on the fringes of society, do not listen to them. Instead, try meditation for yourself and see what improvements it brings to your health and your lifestyle.

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