Did you know that meditating once or twice daily for 20 minutes at a time can have significant health benefits, especially for your heart? In fact, many people have started using meditation as a natural high blood pressure treatment.
Two methods of meditation have been scientifically proven to reduce the chances of heart attack, stroke - and add years to your life.
The idea that meditation has measurable effects on heart and general health is not well known by physicians and other healthcare givers. However, several exciting research findings have emerged recently on the very real benefits of meditation.
Much of this research has come from a research team at the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention who recently completed a study on 201 people with heart disease. These people were taught to practice Transcendental Meditation (TM) 20 minutes twice a day or alternatively, spent 20 minutes daily learning about health.
During a follow up just over five years, the group that meditated saw a 48% reduction in the combined occurrence of death, heart attack and stroke!
The second style of meditation is known as kirtan kriya - a 12-minute meditation consisting of repeating a ‘mantra’ aloud in a song, in a whisper and silently, while using repeating finger movements known as ‘mudras’.
A study from UCLA has shown that kirtan kriya resulted in different patterns of brain metabolism in practitioners compared to other general relaxation methods.
Further, PET scanning showed that this form of meditation led to some genes becoming more active while others became less active - resulting in production of fewer mediators of inflammation, along with increasing telomerase activity by almost 50%.
What is so interesting about telomerase is that a Nobel Prize winning group of scientists have shown a clear connection between increased telomerase activity and greater longevity.
Last but not least, the group taught kirtan kriya meditation also had higher scores on mental health, along with lower levels of depression.
Although more research is needed to confirm these results, why wait to begin these practices? With the powerful benefits of heart health and longevity, meditation is clearly a powerful preventive therapy with no apparent side effects - so why not start exploring meditation practices today?