In recent years, meditation has become an increasingly popular practice for people looking to improve their mental and physical health. And while some may view meditation as simply a way to relax and unwind, there is actually a growing body of research that suggests that meditation can play a powerful role in healing.
One of the key ways that meditation can help with healing is by reducing stress and anxiety. When we experience stress, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol that can have a number of negative effects on our health, including impairing our immune system and slowing down the healing process.
But the benefits of meditation don't stop there. A decrease in serum cortisol can in turn help to support our body's natural healing mechanisms. Studies have also shown that meditation can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which is a key factor in many chronic diseases and conditions. In addition, meditation can improve our overall mood and sense of well-being, which can have a positive impact on our mental health and overall healing process.
A study published in the NIH Library of Medicine, used a group of medical students to study the effect of mindfulness meditation on stress by using serum cortisol. The average serum cortisol levels before mindfulness meditation was 381.93 nmol/L (SD 97.74) and became significantly lower after mindfulness meditation 306.38 nmol/L (SD 90.95). The study concluded that meditation may decrease the risk of diseases that arise from stress such as psychiatric disorder, peptic ulcer and migraine. Accordingly, the study suggested that, for optimal outcomes, mindfulness meditation should be used in combination with standard treatment for many kinds of illnesses and conditions.
Of course, it's important to note that meditation should not be viewed as a replacement for traditional medical treatment. However, when used in conjunction with other therapies, meditation can be a powerful tool for promoting healing and wellness. If you're new to meditation, there are a variety of resources available to help you get started, including guided meditations, classes, and apps. Whether you're dealing with a physical injury or illness, or simply looking to support your overall health and well-being, incorporating a regular meditation practice into your routine may be just what the doctor ordered.