Breathe: The Benefits of Meditation on Health

1. Controls blood pressure

According to yoga guru and nutritionist, Kerri-Ann Jennings, R.D., patients with hypertension who meditated regularly, reduced their blood pressure during and permanently the longer they meditated. In fact, research published by the British Medical Journal indicated that meditation lowered the body’s responsiveness to cortisol (stress hormones), which reduced the overall strain on the heart and arteries, safeguarding against heart disease.


2. Eases IBS
While the exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not so cut and dry, it still plagues almost 45 million americans with painful symptoms of loose bowel movements, cramps, and chronic gas. However, a series of studies conducted by scientists at New York’s State University found that daily meditation offered significant symptom relief to several groups of IBS study participants.

3. Promotes sleep

If you’ve ever tried meditation, chances are you were either looking to destress or sleep better.
Meditation is a practice that encourages total body and mind relaxation, a benefit that continues when it’s time to get some shut eye, according to researchers at Harvard Medical School. In fact, 2015 study findings published in the journal, Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine, found that study participants that practiced meditation fell asleep sooner, controlled anxious thoughts bette, and stayed asleep for lengthier durations compared to non-meditators.

4. Strengthens immune health
One study conducted at Ohio State University showed that regular mindfulness-based muscle relaxation exercises lowered the risk of breast cancer recurring. A different study at Ohio State monitoring meditation’s effects on elderly patients concluded that mindfulness and relaxation exercises practiced over the period of one month helped boost patients’ lymphocytes, those natural killer cells that improve the immune system. Consequently, the subjects demonstrated better resistance to viruses and tumors.


5. Lowers anxiety and depression

A large number of devoted mediators will tell you that they were drawn to mediation as a way to reduce stress. However, the benefits of meditation go deeper, also lowering reduce symptoms of patients with diagnosed anxiety disorder and clinical depression. In fact, scientists from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging & Behavior and Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, conducted an 8 week study on the effects of mindfulness meditation on 1,300 participant who were under high levels of stress. Yet the practice of regular meditation lowered their inflammation response and reduced the symptoms of stress-related conditions (i.e., PTSD, fibromyalgia, and IBS).