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The Story of my logo and the Future of Healing Arts

My Mother and have been blessed to have visited Hawaii a few times. On our first trip, we visited Maui. We were driving around and exploring when we came across a park with lots of cars parked. We decided to have a look.

We found a hiking trail with no description or signs. We are both Air signs, so naturally, we had to find out what was on the trail. We walked for several minutes when we came across these stones.

We spent several minutes staring at the stones wondering who set this up, why? Would it fall over? I took a picture because I loved how these stones were perfectly balanced. Away we went to enjoy the Hawaii sun.

The past 5 years, this picture always give me peace. If these stones could stay balanced, can’t we all? Although I’ll never know the mystery of who created this and why, this image is in my brain when I think of staying centered, remaining calm, and not letting the outside world toss me off my lava rock.

The future of Healing Arts

I am a practicing physician, working full time in Internal Medicine. I am also a Reiki Practitioner. I have been wanting to create a space I can combine both of these, and share my knowledge and experience to those who want to find their own inner balance.

I am creating courses covering topics in Functional Medicine and Reiki. My first course can be found here Starting Your Own Meditation Practice.

I will also be providing ways to work with me personally. I am offering 30 Minute and 1 Hour Reiki Sessions. Most exciting, I am developing a Functional Medicine Program for those ready to dive deep and find their own path to healing and balance.

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Creating Your Meditation Practice to Heal Chronic Pain

Chronic pain from various diagnosis is the most common issue I treat in my medical practice.  This finding is confirmed by studies showing that “one in 10 adults in the general population report chronic widespread pain with possible sociocultural variation.¹”  The options for patients suffering from chronic pain remain limited.  I have been advising my patients that starting a meditation practice as part of the treatment plan in dealing with chronic pain. Patients with the diagnosis of Chronic Pain from any source typically are being treated  by a number of specialists and practitioners.  They are often spending significant hours weekly pursuing and receiving medical treatments. My biggest worry with patients is that if opioids are being used, without a clear endpoint for treatment that the opioids will become needed for a long duration.  Reliance and dependence on opioids for chronic pain creates a host of issues separate from the original source of the pain.

In this post, I am offering my recommendations to approach adding meditation as a treatment regimen for those suffering with chronic pain.

Deciding on a Meditation Instructor, Course, or Free Resource

Cost

Starting a meditation practice can be done for free, but there may be reasons to invest in formal training or a course.    Working one on one with a Yoga or Meditation Instructor may be the most expensive option, but this will also provide the best way to initiate or continue your practice.  One on one work is not mandatory, but for those that are used to pursuing care in this fashion it will be easy to start working with someone.

Least expensive will be finding free meditation resources online.  This is a perfectly fine option.  I often recommend free online resources knowing that my patients may be spending thousands of dollars on healthcare monthly.  Naturally, you won’t have the benefit of one on one attention. Using a free resource such as YouTube allows you to try meditation without investing any money.

Time

I strongly recommend that someone who is new meditation to start with short intervals, no more than 5 minutes.  In the 21 Day Meditation Challenge at Healing Arts Health and Wellness, the majority of exercises are under 6 minutes.  Longer meditations can reap more benefit, however, physical comfort must be considered.  If you have chronic pain, you will have to recognize that the beginning of your meditation journey that your physical needs may limit you to short intervals which is perfectly fine. Luckily, technology has provided so many ways to pursue a structured meditation course.  This will be ideal as it will take away guessing at what meditation to do next, but may require some time to perform daily.  

I recommend assigning a specific time to meditate and possibly treating it like a doctor’s appointment.  This will help to train your mind and body that this time is sacred and intentional.  My own observation is that different types of chronic pain seem to do best with meditation at various times.  If you are suffering from chronic joint pain from arthritis, starting your day with mindful movement may assure increased energy and reduced pain for the rest of the day.  Chronic neuropathic pain, such as diabetic neuropathy typically benefit from evening or night practices.  Settling the nervous system prior to bedtime is a fantastic way to calm the pain of neuropathy.  Patients taking chronic opioids should consider an evening practice, particularly if you are taking opioids more than every 8 hours.  Opioids disrupt your sleep, and when possible it is best to avoid them at bedtime.  Having a relaxation plan to reduce the need for nighttime opioids can help to improve sleep quality. 

Special Considerations for Meditating with Chronic Pain

Once you have decided how you still start your meditation journey, also consider if it may be worthwhile to invest in any special equipment.  One example is you want to use a special chair designed for meditation. Finding a comfortable position will be top priority.  If you are dealing with chronic pain from the lower back, laying down with your legs supported may be your best option.  If your chronic pain comes from neuropathy in your legs and feet, it may feel better to elevate them.  If you have chronic neck pain, having support under your head and neck with a special pillow may be needed.

Getting Advice from Your Physical Therapist

Likely if you are suffering from chronic pain, you are under the care of a physical therapist.  This is an invaluable resource as they will understand the physiology and challenges you experience with your pain.  I would recommend asking your physical therapist for guidance for positioning yourself in your meditation practice at home.  Your physical therapist will likely have useful solutions that can eliminate any barriers in getting started.

Preparing Yourself for Your Meditation Practice

Finally, make your meditation practice as pleasant and sensual as you like.  Consider adding aromatherapy in the form of high quality essential oils.  You may want to invest in candles or nice lighting.  A warm blanket also helps the body relax.  Covering your lap with a warm blanket during a seated practice really helps in relaxing. Also reduce distractions as much as feasible.  This may mean putting your phone on Do Not Disturb.  You may want to let household family members know that you wish not to be disturbed during your meditation practice. Review your medications with your physician. Are there medications you may want to avoid before meditation? Are there medications you may want to consider taking to help you be comfortable with meditation? Would you benefit from adding heat therapy or cold therapy at that time as well?

Chronic pain is difficult, frustrating, and currently has little rapid solutions in our current care models.  Adding meditation is a low risk, high yield activity that augments the treatment plan for any chronic pain diagnosis.  I have created a 21 Day Meditation Challenge, a 21 day course that will allow you to try multiple meditation types in short durations. This course will be a way to start your meditation journey easily.

21 Day Meditation Challenge

Click the link above to learn more about the 21 Day Meditation Challenge


References:

1. Mansfield, K. E., Sim, J., Jordan, J. L., & Jordan, K. P. (2016). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the prevalence of chronic widespread pain in the general population. Pain, 157(1), 55–64. https://doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000314

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Chakras In The Human Body

In my previous posts, I have mentioned the energy centers of the human body that are described in the practice of Ayurveda.  Chakra is actually the Sanskrit word that would translate to  “wheel”. The human body includes seven important chakras and also many minor chakras. These 7 chakras start from the bottom of the tailbone and finish on the top of the head. The root (1st chakra) has the slowest revolving speed while the crown (7th chakra) rotates the fastest.  When these chakras are unhealthy, unbalanced or clogged up, illness and disease can develop more easily.  This leads to overall poor mental and physical health.

Stimulation for each chakra comes from its individual and complimentary color.  These chakra colors consist of the 7 colors of the rainbow; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. 

Chart with Endocrine System and the Chakras

Chakras

Chakras have a clear connection among themselves and also the condition of its corresponding organ.The following are the 7 chakras and their related organs in the body:

  • 1st chakra (root) – connected to large intestines, anus, has some effects on kidney functioning
  • 2nd chakra (naval) – connected to the reproduction system, sex gland, testicles, urinary system, bladder and kidneys
  • 3rd chakra (solar plexus) -connected to gall bladder, spleen, liver, small intestine and stomach
  • 4th chakra (heart) – associated with the heart and arms
  • 5th chakra (throat) – associated with throat and lung area
  • 6th chakra (3rd eye) – associated with the face, nose area, eyes and brains.
  • 7th chakra (crown) – related to the whole being, not corresponding to any particular organ.

According to Dr. Gerber, “anatomically, each major chakra is associated with a major nerve plexus and a major endocrine gland.”1.

The practice of modern medicine trains practitioners to treat every individual disease as a standalone illness. We rarely appreciate the interconnectedness of the endocrine system, the energy system and our emotions.

According to Dr. Gerber, “anatomically, each major chakra is associated with a major nerve plexus and a major endocrine gland.”1.

1.Gerber, R., & M.D., G. R. (2001). Vibrational Medicine: The #1 Handbook of Subtle-Energy Therapies (3rd ed.). Bear & Company.

Understanding the location of the Chakras helps when you’re dealing with a condition such as insomnia or reaching a healthy weight

I also have audio content available through my podcast, and which I have previously discussed chakra blocks and insomnia as well as chakra blocks and weight gain.

If you are at a place in which you are curious about your body, starting with an understanding of the Chakra system is an important tool. You can easily began to understand how stress leads to adrenal stress, or how holding anger in the abdomen can lead to diabetes.

If you’re interested in learning more, please follow me on social media. If you’d like to be notified notified about my latest offerings, including my courses on meditation and Reiki.

1.Gerber, R., & M.D., G. R. (2001). Vibrational Medicine: The #1 Handbook of Subtle-Energy Therapies (3rd ed.). Bear & Company.

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Meditation as a Lifestyle

We are learning in times of crisis that some things are out of our control and our best way to recover is by tapping into our inner strength and healing.  It seems counterintuitive that sitting still and looking inward helps to cope with the ever changing external world.  I believe that having a personal meditation practice can help to create a lifestyle in which you can recover from the challenges that life throws at you.

I started my meditation journey 20 years ago when I accidentally discovered yoga in a discount book store.  I was in medical school, and at the time, I did not fully appreciate what a treasure I had discovered.  

Meditation can become part of your lifestyle.  There are so many reasons why I believe it’s worth carving out the time for this, allow me to share a few of these.

Sustainable energy

As we move through life we’re all aware of things that can add to our energy and make us feel alive such as laughter, love  and joy.  We’re also aware of things that deplete us such as anxiety, dealing with energy vampires, or depression. We have to consider what we feed our minds and our bodies.  We want pure, clean fuel to keep our energy going.  Meditation can be energizing.  Giving your brain a few minutes of rest and closing your eyes even for a few moments is wonderful.  When you slow down your breath and let your diaphragm work to its fullest capacity, you allow the oxygen level in your blood to rise.  Your brain will love that feeling, trust me.

four rock formation
Photo by nicollazzi xiong on Pexels.com

Self-care is mandatory

We are all learning during the pandemic of 2020 that while we have systems in place to provide care those systems are getting depleted. and one way or another we almost find a way to take care of ourselves. Self-care is no longer an option or a luxury. It is mandatory for survival.

I believe meditation can be part of a healthy, holistic lifestyle. It is a perfect compliment to a lifestyle that revolves around self-care and healing. Meditations, in combination with having a reliable care team, a healthy whole foods diet, and movement of the body that feels good is a powerful combination.

Resilience when avoidance of pain is not possible

During the year 2020 everyone was affected in one way or another. We have all been affected either personally, emotionally, financially and physically.   We are learning that there are times when pain is unavoidable. We are learning that sometimes we must find a way to recover from what has happened.

I have personally heavily on my personal meditation practice to help me during times of uncertainty.  Meditation has helped to calm some of my anxiety related to uncertainty. 

I have created a 21 day Meditation Journey you may want to consider if  you are wanting an introduction to meditation, or would like to have support in developing a daily practice of meditation.  Sign up for my newsletter if you would like updates.

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Why Learn Reiki

Self Empowerment

I have noticed over my years of medical practice as well as Reiki practice that those individuals that feel that they have some control in their treatment overall do better. There are so many reasons that as individuals we often feel that we don’t have any say so in our destiny. When it comes to your health, both physical health and mental/emotional health, playing an active role can make the difference in how you do in the long term.

In my medical practice I seek to find ways to empower patients with knowledge and resources. This can be difficult but I feel that it’s always worthwhile for every patient to understand what medicine they’re taking, what treatment they’re getting, and the risk and benefits.

I am offering a Reiki course through my website as another tool to empower individuals to get in touch with themselves. Unlike many of our medical treatments Reiki has little to no risk. likely the worst thing that can happen is you simply lose interest or don’t complete the course. It is such a simple healing modality there is no reason that many more individuals don’t learn it. I am hoping to help spread the word by offering a course.

Improving Your Intuition

One of my favorite side effects of becoming attuned Reiki is having a sharpened sense of intuition.  Being in touch with your inner voice not only makes your life easier but more enjoyable.   Why not empower yourself with a gift of being able to sense changes in your own physical, emotional and energy body in a way that you make better decisions in your care? It is not likely that you’ll develop psychic abilities, but one of the best benefits of being a Reiki practitioner is that the inner quiet that you have allows you to have an openness and an awareness that can help your entire life.

Contagious Positivity

I have been keenly aware of contagious diseases for many years as a practicing physician. The pandemic of 2020 has taught all of us of how a contagious entity can change our lives. Positive forces can also be contagious. Think of a baby’s response to a laughing adult.  A baby doesn’t understand what you’re laughing at; he is just simply responding to your energy and loving it. As a Reiki practitioner we are all tasked to try to spread our positivity as much as possible with our own practices and by teaching.

Casual Miracles

I’ve seen some pretty interesting things in my time as a physician and a Reiki practitioner. In my Reiki practice I witness events that I would simply call miracles. The more that I practice Reiki the more I see these miracles happen. I’ve come to expect miracles. In these modern times I don’t think there’s anything wrong with inviting miraculous energy into our lives.  Tuning in to higher frequencies of Reiki, it is much easier to invite miracles into our lives.

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COVID 19 Prevention and Immune System Support You can do now

The Novel Coronavirus known as COVID 19 has made us all take stock of our health, our families health, and global health. It is tempting to feel helpless as this pandemic sweeps across the globe. We are not helpless.

Science is making rapid progress bringing us hope. Until we know the entire population will have access to the vaccine, we must be vigilante in protecting our health.

There are simple steps you can take now to strengthen your immune system. Particularly, if you in a position of caring of others as well as yourself.

I am going to give some recommendations that I follow in my own practice for drilling down to how strong your immune system is. I will also cover steps you can take now to help your immune system work even better. These tips aren’t just for those that have not been infected. If you are recovering from COVID19, its important to strengthen your immune system as there are still more infectious threats.

Know Your Health History

We are now aware that chronic illnesses increase you chances of contracting COVID and getting much sicker than COVID. You want to know you health history and the status of each chronic illness you are dealing with.

  • Age greater than 60
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Heart Disease (Hypertension, Congestive Heart Failure for example)
  • Being a Current Smoker
  • Cancer1

1.Zabetakis I, Lordan R, Norton C, Tsoupras A. COVID-19: The Inflammation Link and the Role of Nutrition in Potential Mitigation. Nutrients. 2020 May 19;12(5):1466. doi: 10.3390/nu12051466. PMID: 32438620; PMCID: PMC7284818.

Naturally, it’s not that you will cure any of these diseases. They are chronic, and took many years to develop. Helping your immune system means you want to know the status of each of these issues that are treatable.

DiseaseNumber to Know
Diabetes MellitusA1C-90 Day Blood Sugar Average
COPDFEV1-Stage of Lung Damage Present, Oxygen Saturation
Heart DiseaseBlood Pressure, Pulse
CancerWhite Blood Cell Count
Numbers to Know for Chronic Diseases

Once you know these numbers, you will want to make a goal to improve them. Diabetics that have controlled blood sugars will overall do better than having high blood sugars.

Know Your Inflammatory Status

COVID does its damage to the body by causing a cascade of damages through acute inflammation. Our immune systems are designed to create inflammation in order to fight infection. We are learning that having a baseline inflammatory system increases a person’s risk of becoming critically ill with COVID.

Chronic Inflammation in the body can come from diseases, untreated metabolic issues, elevated cholesterol, autoimmune diseases, or cancer. Having chronic inflammation in the body before a major threat means the body has more challenges to overcome.

Inflammatory MarkerWhat it Means
ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate)Elevated levels means there is infection, damage or overall inflammation in the body.
C-RP (C Reactive Protein)General inflammatory marker that can be used to detect disease or monitor chronic illnes.
HDLLarge cholesterol particle that when it’s low can mean overall poor metabolic function and inflammation.
TriglyceridesElevated levels mean metabolic disturbance and inflammation
VLDLSmall, dense cholesterol that may elevated in chronic inflammation
FerritinMarker used to check for anemia, can be elevated in chronic inflammation.
WeightObesity has been shown to increase risk of death from COVID

These inflammatory markers can be easily checked in blood work. Many are part of typical panels that are drawn in yearly labs. Knowing and monitoring these numbers is a great way know if you are treating your body well. Inflammatory markers will respond positively when the underlying condition, such as diabetes, obesity, or high cholesterol.

Know Your Nutritional Status

There is a temptation to feel that if your weight is normal, or if you are overweight that your nutritional status is good. Unfortunately, being overweight often increases your risk of being malnourished. Having low levels of needed nutrients in your body not only increases you chances of infection, but also of cancers and advanced aging.

Lab/MarkerRisks of Disease or illness
Vitamin DLow levels increase risk of contracting COVID, bone disease, and cancer.
Vitamin B12Low levels can damage nerves and brain health
PotassiumLow levels usually in a diet poor in fruits/vegetables; can worsen high blood pressure
BUN/CreatnineMarkers of kidney function. Even small elevations require a workup.
AST/ALTTest for liver function. Elevated levels may be marker of metabolic disease
Protein/AlbuminMarkers of protein levels, which help the body heal and recover.
MagnesiumElectrolyte that helps blood vessel function and can help in blood pressure control.

What You Can Do Now

I recommend gathering records you may already have and reviewing those. Consider discussing with you primary care physician if you’ve recently had these numbers done. If you haven’t seen your doctor, get established when you can.

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The Best Gifts are Free

We usually think of winter in North America as the Holiday season. Gifts are exchanged as part of Christmas traditions to show gratitude, affection, or unfortunately, to keep from hurting someone’s feelings.

2020 has been an difficult year in so many ways. Many people are struggling financially due to the pandemic. Many do not have income at this point. Many people are grieving the loss of family and friends. Many are serving as caretakers and are overextended in their roles, unable to provide adequate self care.

I am witnessing suffering on many levels as a doctor and Reiki practitioner. I see that this year, the most important gifts are not material at all. We all love a store brought gifts, but in this time of social isolation I believe the best gift we all have to offer is our love and support. Here are some simple ways you can share your gifts:

Ways to Share Your Gifts

The Most Important Gifts to Give:

  • A phone call with someone you haven’t’ connected with recently
  • Teaching someone by phone how to use video technology to stay connected
  • Running an errand for someone quarantined
  • Offering your services for free if you are a Reiki healer, especially for distance Reiki
wrapped with ribbon gift box placed on table
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

 I found that the guests best gifts I have received from others were rarely material. they were time spent, attention, or simple recognition or what I was going through. if you’re feeling like you have nothing to give you might just want to stop and have a look and make sure that’s true.

Offering my services as a physician to help others understand their medical issues is often one way I can help. although I feel like this takes no effort sometimes simple advice can help people go a long way. As a Reiki practitioner, I found that offering distance raking particularly to hospitalized coronavirus patient can bring so much ease to the family and the person going through it.

 If you’re considering learning reiki, please sign up for my newsletter period I will be making available a Reiki course online where you can start your journey and develop your skills as a healer. this is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself and for others.

As an email subscriber you will have access to my blogs, podcast which could be found at this link, email newsletters, and also I am active on social media at the following links. I hope we can keep in touch because I am very excited that soon I will be releasing my first course for those that want to learn Reiki in the comfort of their own home. Next paragraph on my website you can also find resources such as ebooks that will hopefully be helpful to you and your own journey.

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The 5 Reiki Precepts

If you’ve been reading my blog, or any information online concerning reiki, I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that there are five precepts that keep reoccurring. When I first learned regularly I was so pleased to learn at this simple and effective framework the structures your mindset when you’re first learning Reiki.

Since learning Reiki I find that the five precepts working every aspect of my life. They’re very simple and knowing these can help in any way not only in Reiki.

I noticed that the five Reiki precepts involved three positive actions that you want to do more of and two negative actions that you want to do less.

Photograph Charlyce Davis

Reiki Precepts We Want to do More

  • Work hard
  • Be kind of others
  • Be grateful

When you read these three positive actions, it’s so simple to realize that there really is no reason not to do these. the concept of working hard simply means that you apply yourself wholeheartedly to whatever you’re doing. So if you’re working do your best. If you’re being a good friend be the best friend. If you’re taking care of yourself taking exquisite care of yourself.

Being kind of others as well is one that there really is no reason not to attempt. Being kind to others can be grand gesture such as gifts or going out of your way to do something for someone. Sometimes being kind is simply the recognition the person you’re interacting with maybe going through suffering you can’t imagine. If you’re driving in your car and a driver cuts you off, maybe they’re rude yes, but maybe they’re on their way to the hospital after receiving bad news. In any case, sending them kind thoughts doesn’t hurt.

Gratitude is an emotion that’s easily overlooked. And just like with kindness, you can’t have grand gestures of gratitude but even a small one such as appreciating a sunrise or the night sky goes a lot and lifting your mood as well as the mood of others around you.

Reiki Precepts We want to do Less

  • Do not worry
  • Do not get angry

The actions that we wish to do less of which are do not worry and do not get angry are easy to realize that for the most part we really don’t need to be worrying or getting angry.

 I treat many patients that are suffering from anxiety. Clinically anxiety can be crippling and life-altering and needs to be discussed. What’s interesting is that many of my patients often don’t want to be on medications but they want to learn how to manage their anxiety. The basis of anxiety for the vast majority of these people is the habit of worry. Worrying or hanging on the thoughts of what could happen can be a habit that you learned to feed. With some training, therapy, and meditation you can unlearn The chronic habit of worry and this is worth the effort.  Worry thoughts that circulating your head set you up to feel the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Anger can be a catalyst for . However, depending on the setting and how you use the anger it may also feel negativity, overall lower your vibrations, and reduce your quality of life. I think it’s nice to recognize what might be driving anger and work on changing that rather than embracing the anger as a pure emotion that leads to reactions that hurt others.

If you’re interested in learning more, or if you’ve decided you want to pursue Reiki please sign up for my newsletter period I am going to be making available an online Reiki course that I am very excited about.

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Your Energy Centers, Your Endocrine System

I have created podcasts discussing how blocks in your energy centers can lead to issues such as insomnia or weight gain. In this post, I’m making the charts available for review along with the PDF’s to download. Below you’ll find pictures you can screenshot as well as downloadable PDF’s. Sign up for my newsletter for more information.

Chakras and the Endocrine System

Chakra Blocks and Insomnia

Chakras and Weight Gain

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The 5 Best Meditation Techniques for Beginners

The 5 Best Meditation Techniques for Beginners

Meditation is something that many of us want to do well to gain the benefits associated with the practice. Unfortunately, for many of us, the constant mind chatter can make it frustrating to sit down and meditate for any period. If you are starting out with your meditation practice, here are five great techniques that can get you started on the path to mindfulness.

Technique #1 – Breathing Meditation

This is one of the best techniques if you are just starting out in your meditation practice. It is an ancient and powerful technique that is extremely effective. By just paying attention to your breathing, you give your mind a point of focus in a relaxed way. To start this technique, get yourself in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and slowly begin to observe your breathing. Pay attention to how it feels as you breathe in and out. If you find your mind starting to wander, just bring your focus back to your breathing.

Technique #2 – Mindfulness Meditation

In mindfulness meditation you become fully present in the moment by paying attention to the sensations in your body. Start the practice by focusing on your breathing, then allow yourself to become aware of the other sensations running throughout your body. You don’t want to analyze or judge the experience; you simply want to observe.  

Technique #3 – Mantra Meditation

By repeating a sacred word, like “aum” or a meaningful phrase, you can bring your mind into a state of tranquility. With this technique, you can either repeat the mantra out loud or repeat it to yourself silently.  

Technique #4 – Walking Meditation

If you don’t think that you can sit still for an extended period, you can try the walking meditation technique. This can be done anywhere. You simply have to focus on your body as it moves. Focus on how your arms swing, how your legs are lifted and extended, and how your feet rise and touch back down on the ground. If your mind starts to wander, bring your focus back to the movement of your body. 

Technique #5 – Empty Minded Meditation

Photo by Charlyce Davis

Empty minded meditation, allows you to be aware without having to have a specific focus. To practice this technique, sit quietly in a comfortable place. Close your eyes and let your thoughts freely float in and out of your mind. Observe each thought as they enter your mind without any attachment or judgment.

These five meditation techniques are simple enough that you can start your practice today, or enhance an existing one. 

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3 Physical Benefits of Regular Meditation Practice

As meditation has become more popular in our culture, scientists have
begun to study the many physical benefits that can be gained through
regular practice. Practicing meditation helps to slow down your breath,
quiet your mind, and find peace. Along with its numerous mental benefits,
practicing meditation on a regular basis can be a useful alternative to
medical treatments for a variety of health concerns. Here are three physical
benefits that daily practice of meditation can have on your life.

Reduced Pain

If you suffer from chronic pain, meditation has been shown to help. Various studies have discovered that if you can focus and calm your mind and body, you have the capability of controlling the pain. Meditation makes it possible for you to face the common symptoms that are associated with chronic pain, like muscle tension, sweating, and irritability. 

Practicing mindfulness meditation will enable you to come to terms with the pain that you are experiencing, instead of just running away from it. Taking the focus away from your pain will enable you not to experience as much of it. Meditation helps to shift your attention away from the illness and into the moment

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Meditation has been proven to help lower blood pressure while allowing the body be less responsive to the hormones that cause stress. When you enter into a relaxed meditative state, the brain releases more nitric oxide which is responsible for the regulation of blood pressure levels, the improved functioning of the immune system, and the enhanced functioning of the central nervous system.

Conditions like stress affect the rate at which your heart pumps blood. When you practice meditation regularly, your heart rate decreases, allowing blood to circulate through the body more efficiently. This helps keep your cardiovascular system in shape, allowing the rest of the body to function with ease and enhances your ability to handle stressful situations.

Strengthens the Immune System

Recent studies show that meditation helps to increase the activity of ‘natural-killer cells’ in the body. These cells are responsible for killing off bacteria and viruses that find their way into our body. With regular practice, you can strengthen your immune system, which will result in the reduced risk that you’ll become ill and enhance your overall health and well-being. 

There are many physical benefits that you can gain from meditation. Engaging in daily mediation will help you improve your overall health, leading to living a healthier life. 

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The 4 Best Meditation Postures for Beginners

Meditation is meant to bring you clarity and relaxation. Unfortunately, for many beginners of the practice, sitting for long periods can get downright uncomfortable, leading to an ineffective session. While the standard lotus or cross-legged position is the most popular positions used in meditation, some alternative positions are suitable for beginners or anyone who suffers from back pain.

The Astronaut

The astronaut posture is essentially an inverted sitting position. Rather than resting your back against a chair, you lie on the floor with a chair supporting your legs. To give your head and neck some extra support, place a pillow under your head. Place your hands on the floor beside you and begin your session.

The Corpse

The corpse position is extremely gentle on the back and is useful for people who have a problem keeping in an upright meditation position. It is also suited for guided meditation and pure light visualization. To get into this pose, simply lie down on your back, on either a bed or the floor. Rest your hands beside you with your palms facing upward. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, removing your socks and shoes. If needed, place a pillow under your head to support your neck. 

The Prayer

This is an alternate pose to the traditional kneeling position. It can get extremely uncomfortable kneeling, unsupported with your rear resting on the back of your heels for an extended period. Instead, you can use a kneeling bench with a padded, sloping top. The kneeling bench tilts your back forward slightly, taking the pressure off your lower spine when you assume the position. To keep your knees from feeling the pain, place a cushion or zabuton between the floor and your knees to prevent bruising.

The Sleeping Buddha

Like the corpse pose, the sleeping Buddha is suitable for beginners, as well as those with back and joint pain. To get into this position, lie your side on a flat, horizontal surface. Place one hand under your cheek for a little bit of support. Rest your other hand lightly on the side of your body. Bend both your legs slightly, resting them on top of one another. Place a pillow between your knees and thighs to prevent your upper leg from rotating forward.

Practicing meditation is a great way to bring about self-awareness and healing into your life. If you are just beginning and aren’t able to comfortably sustain the traditional meditation postures, try these four alternatives.  

 

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The Top Mental Health Benefits of Meditation

Over the last several years, more and more people have started practicing meditation as a way to stave off stress and health problems related to stress. When you start practicing meditation on a regular basis, your brain’s physiology changes. This mental shift helps to decrease the harmful effects of stress, mild depression, and anxiety. Here are the top three mental health benefits of practicing meditation on a regular basis.

Preserves the Aging Brain

Various studies of the last several years have revealed that when you are in your 20s, your brain begins to decline. This reduction in volume and weight continues throughout your life. Practicing meditation on a daily basis can help prevent many of the neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia. It can also help to stave off the cognitive decline that comes with age. 

Meditating regularly can also help to increase the protective tissues in your brain. When you engage in meditation, you’re introduced to states of intense relaxation and concentration which leads to the growth of new cells. This helps to protect against shrinkage of your grey matter.

Reduces Stress

One of the main reasons why people practice the art of meditation is to find relief from depression, stress, and anxiety. Regular meditation practice helps to reduce the levels of stress and depression, both physically and mentally. When you experience stress or a sudden threat, your body enters into a flight or fight mode. This leads to an immediate rush of adrenaline, which can cause an increase in your blood pressure, pulse rate, and increase blood flow. Meditation helps to relieve these symptoms of stress. 

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Training your mind through the various meditation techniques works to increase the mental resources that can help you address stress and depression-related symptoms. The mind becomes clearer, more focused, and calmer, which automatically leads to the reduction of stress.

Improve Attention

In just over a decade, researchers have measured a decline in our average attention span, from 12 seconds to only eight seconds. That’s a whopping 33 percent decrease, and just one second shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. Practicing meditation can help improve your attention span, by optimizing the flow of sensory information that your brain takes in. Meditation helps to make your brain much more efficient at processing information.  

If the hectic pace of today’s 24/7 society has your mind reeling, starting a regular practice of meditation can help. With just ten minutes a day, you can start seeing a reduction in your stress levels and an increase in your overall attention span.