Archive for the ‘Guest Posts’ Category

postheadericon 6 Meditation Tips for Beginners

We all know how difficult it can be to meditate, especially if you’re a particularly busy or stressed out person. But whether you’re new to meditating, or if you’ve been having some trouble meditating as of late, here are six tips that will not only help you meditate, but help you feel more relaxed as well:

1. Be consistent

Try scheduling in some meditation time every day, or even twice a day if your schedule permits. Also, try to meditate early in the morning before you have your coffee rather than late at night or after you get off work as you will tend to be in a quieter and more relaxed state of mind. This may mean you’ll have to wake up a half hour earlier just to meditate, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

2. Listen to instructional CDs or podcasts

There are countless CDs and tapes that are available to purchase that can help provide you with a step by-step process on how to meditate, and you can also check out some podcasts that are available on iTunes as well.

3. Focus on different parts of your body

One of the most effective methods in helping with the meditation process is to focus on the various parts of your body, starting with your toes, feet and legs, and then working your focus up to your torso, chest, neck and forehead.

4. Stretch before meditating

Before you start meditating each day try to stretch beforehand to help loosen your muscles and tendons before you sit for a long period of time. This will force both your body and your mind to become more relaxed and thus make the meditation process incredibly easier.

5. Focus on your breath whenever you get frustrated

If you find yourself starting to get irritable and frustrated when you’re trying to meditate, then be sure to bring your focus back to your breathing to help you feel more centered.

6. Listen to music

Try listening to some relaxing, soothing music, or you can even try listening to your favorite band or musician. You can search around online or in a music store for CDs that play sound of nature, or you can even try listening to some classical and/or instrumental as well. If you’re going to listen to a song by your favorite band or artist, then try not to pick a song that is too upbeat and heavy and pick something that is more relaxing and mellow instead.

postheadericon Meditation Shown To Help Reduce Pain

A recent study published in the April 6 2011 edition of the ‘Journal of Neuroscience’ shows that meditation can have a very significant pain reducing effect on the brain.

15 volunteers who had never meditated before were given four twenty-minute meditation classes. Before and after this training, the volunteers brain activity was examined using a special type of imaging, called arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging (ASL MRI).  During these scans, a heat device was placed on the volunteers legs in order to induce pain.

The scans taken after meditation training showed that all 15 volunteers pain ratings was reduced. Decreases ranged from 11 to a massive 93 percent.

“This is the first study to show that only a little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation,” said Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., the lead author of the study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

“Meditation produced a greater reduction in pain than even morphine or other pain-relieving drugs, which typically reduce pain ratings by about 25 percent.”

This study also showed that meditation significantly reduced brain activity in the primary somatosensory cortex, an area that is heavily involved in creating feelings of where and how intense a pain is. The scans taken before meditation training showed high activity in this area, but when the volunteers were meditating, activity in this region could not be detected.

The research also showed that meditation increased brain activity in other areas such as the anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula and the orbito-frontal cortex.

“One of the reasons that meditation may have been so effective in blocking pain was that it did not work at just one place in the brain, but instead reduced pain at multiple levels of processing.”

This is exciting news as many pain relieving drugs contain negative side effects which can hamper a patients recovery. There is now a proven drug free alternative that has no negative side effects. Meditation only has the positive side effects of increased health, happiness and relaxation. Just one hour of meditation training made all the difference, which shows how incredibly accessible meditation really is.

This shows that you don’t need to be some sort of meditation guru with decades of experience to make a positive impact into your life. However it is likely that with even more experience, even greater results can be achieved.

Thank you to Jon Rhodes DHyp of HypnoBusters Hypnosis and Gastric Band Hypnotherapy for providing us with the article above.