The thought of meditation used to overwhelm me. I imagined Monks on a mountain overlooking a scenic landscape and thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to turn my thoughts off?!”
What I didn’t realize, was that meditation is not about clearing the mind. It’s about giving your mind something to focus on.
Meditation helps regulate the stress response, thereby suppressing chronic inflammation states and maintaining a healthy gut-barrier function. Not only do yoga and meditation alleviate stress and anxiety, a common cause of digestive issues, but they can also ease symptoms like
In one study, a one-year follow-up for those who were taught Relaxation Response Meditation for IBS and IBD found that many of them continued to show significant additional reduction in pain and bloating.
Another more recent pilot study looked at the impact of Relaxation Response Meditationon the expression of certain genes linked to inflammatory response, cell growth, proliferation, and oxidative stress related pathways – all things associated with digestive issues and inflammatory bowel disease
If you are new to meditation, try the following sequence below:
Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes (unless you are driving!), notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
If you want to start adding it to your daily practice, consider apps like Headspace and Calm.
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In great health,