The Types, and Benefits, of Meditation

By Debra Rodzinak

The stress and distractions of every day life can leave you feeling frazzled.  Meditation allows the brain to shut out the stressors of the world and focus on the calm.

Nearly 10 percent of adults in the Unites States have tried meditation in the last year.  There are several different types of meditation types and health benefits.

Types of Meditation

During a typical meditation session, a quiet location allows for focus on a particular thought.  There are two common types of meditation: Transcendental and mindfulness.

  • Transcendental meditation – The person sits in a comfortable position and repeats a word, sound, or mantra.  The mind reaches a state free of thoughts that is peaceful. 
  • Zen Buddhist meditation - A type of mindfulness meditation, breathing is done in a precise manner.  The breaths are counted while a particular thought is focused on while the practitioner becomes aware of being in the moment.
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) – Used to address illness and chronic pain, MBSR requires the focus to remain on the breath as it enters and exits the body.  As thoughts creep in and distract the practitioner, attention is returned to the breathing pattern as the thought passes by.  A full scan of the body to assess and identify where stress is building up or present allows the body to intentionally relax those areas.

Health Benefits

The National Institutes of Health report that meditation is used to address stress and anxiety along with physical problems such as pain control and symptoms of chronic diseases. 

Some health benefits for meditating include:

  • Relief from depression associated with fibromyalgia
  • Reduction in stress from rheumatoid arthritis
  • Overall peace of mind

The benefits of meditation are numerous and should be tried.  If you are interested in meditation try this:

Sit comfortably in a quiet room and close your eyes.  Breathe calmly and with purpose to find a relaxing breathing pattern.  Once this is achieved, visualize a room in a huge castle.  Now, picture yourself in that room.  Look around and visualize a door.  Walk over to the door and open it.  Walk out the door without looking back.  Visualize the hallway and large courtyard of the castle.  Walk across the courtyard and out the gates.  Cross the bridge over the moat and keep walking.  As the huge castle starts to shrink behind you, picture the forest and pastures surrounding the castle.  Up ahead is a distant village.  Picture yourself walking into the woods, down a peaceful path and listen for the birds chirping as you meander down the path toward the village. 

The castle in your mind picture can represent some type of oppression you feel trapped in or a rut you seem to be unable to escape in the real world.  Meditating on escaping from this castle of your problems can help you feel a sense of relief and increase overall mental and physical health.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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