Meditate yourself healthy
October 7th 2008, 12:33
In today's fast-paced society, more and more people are turning to meditation to help deal with the stresses and strains of everyday life. But meditation is more than just a way to switch off and relax. As the latest research shows, this age-old technique is in fact a powerful tool that's proving to be beneficial for an array of health conditions - from insomnia and anxiety to cancer and heart disease.
Although there are individual differences among meditation techniques, they all share some core features. The following is a simple basic technique.
- Sit in a comfortable position either crosslegged on the floor or in a chair. Be sure to sit up tall, keeping the spine straight, the shoulders relaxed and the chest open.
- Rest the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Lightly touch the index finger to the thumb. Relax the face, jaw and belly. Let the tip of the tongue rest on the roof of the mouth just behind the front teeth. Allow the eyes to lightly close.
- Breathe slowly, smoothly and deeply in and out through the nose. Let the inhaled breath start in the belly and rise gently up into the chest. As the breath slows and deepens, let go of any thoughts or distractions, and allow the mind to focus on the breath. Feel the breath as it moves in and out of the body - through the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs. Feel the body as it rises and falls with each breath.
- Keep your awareness and attention focused on the body and breath. If external thoughts intrude, let them gently pass by, and return the focus back to the body and breath.
- Practise this for 10-20 minutes.
- To end, gently let the eyes blink open, and inhale, bringing the palms together in front of the chest, then exhale and gently bow. Take a moment or two before resuming your usual activities.
Meditation is the subject of the Mind Health report in the November issue of 'What Doctors Don't Tell You'. It will be with subscribers on Saturday November 1st. If you would like to subscribe,please click here.