Posted by: manjitsandhu | March 1, 2011

Can Meditation Really Help a Cancer Patient?

There are a number of research studies that suggest that one of the reasons that cancer grows is because of the failure of the body’s immune system. As a result, many new studies aimed at stopping cancer are concentrating on changing or stimulating the immune system through a variety of techniques.

One of these techniques for bolstering the immune system is mediation. High levels of cortisone in the blood like gluco-corticoids can inhibit the immune system. These gluco-corticoids are released into the blood as a response to anxiety and stress. It is believed that regular meditation can not only reduce the anxiety suffered by a cancer patient but can make that patient’s body more able to resist the development of new cancer cells and fight existing cancer. One particular study on meditating and its effect on the immune system suggests, however, that meditating must profoundly reduce the patient’s anxiety and this level of relaxation must be sustained for longer than the ordinary period to be effective.

Besides the effect on the immune system, mediation can improve overall health and begin the healing of certain diseases like cancer. It does this by bringing on mental tranquility and physical relaxation. The many reported benefits of mediation include the easing of stress, tension, anxiety, and high blood pressure.

For cancer patients in particular, meditation can lessen pain, reduce the level of stress hormones in the body, and improve mood. When the mind is calm and the body is relaxed, a cancer patient may be able to get rid of the damaging effects of stress and tension as well as alter the negative way in which he or she copes with the disease that can often exacerbate their condition and shorten their life expectancy.

There is some scientific evidence that meditating can influence physiological changes in the body, including the reduction of gluco-corticoids mentioned previously. Other documented positive responses include lowered blood pressure and pulse rate. Some studies even show that some of these changes that meditating has on the body can slow down the growth of tumors. There are reports of increased survival rates in cancer patients who use meditation.

Patients should never rely on this type of therapy alone or look for it to be a cure. But experts will agree that the positive effects of meditation can promote wellness and quality of life.

You can visit our website for additional information.

Thanks for visiting us today.

Manjit Sandhu

Posted by: manjitsandhu | February 1, 2011

Can Meditation Really Enhance you Sleep?

You may already be aware of the uplifting effects that meditation can bring to your spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. You may have even used it as a tool to enhance your performance at work. But did you know that it can also be an invaluable boost when it comes to your night life? We’re not talking about your after-hours socializing either. Believe it or not, the regular practice of quiet contemplation can enhance and enrich your sleep.

It makes sense when you think about it. After all, meditation induces a state of mental and physical relaxation within a short period of time. After just a few minutes of intentional mindful contemplation, you may often feel amazingly revitalized, perhaps even like a new person. Unfortunately, however, the feelings of well-being and equilibrium that meditation produces are short-lived, usually quickly replaced by the ups and downs of daily life. As tempting as it might be to try, it is not physically possible to use meditation as a substitute for deep sleep. In fact, sacrificing shut-eye can lead to eating disorders, a decreased ability to concentrate, mood swings, and even physical or mental illness.

This is because quality, uninterrupted sleep has been shown to have essential physical benefits that we as human beings cannot live without. During rest, our bodies can devote their energies to healing, fighting disease, growing, producing new cells, and fending off the aging process. In addition, our overtaxed minds can wind down and have the chance to process the events of the previous day, particularly during the REM period of sleep. In short, sleep is the means by which we can become revitalized, refreshed, and ready for new challenges and experiences.

If sleep is the medicine that furnishes us with these benefits, meditation can be the sugar that sweetens its effects even further. Indeed, practicing meditation can provide the stress reduction and clarity that can summon sleep more quickly and help you fall even more deeply into the healing rest your body craves. When combined with good nutrition and exercise, sleep and meditation function as a dynamic set of health-giving tools. When used in concert, they can enable you to think, feel, and act at the highest possible level.

The next time you feel stressed or under the gun of a deadline, let the illumination you find in your meditation practice enrich your body’s and mind’s sleep-induced healing. Far from being wasted time, you will find that these hours of repose will uplift and renew you. By so doing, you will allow your body to heal your mind and your mind to heal your body.

You can visit our website for additional information.

Thanks for visiting us today.

Manjit Sandhu

Posted by: manjitsandhu | January 1, 2011

The Brain, Depression, and Meditation

Meditation, often used as a form of relaxation, alters the mind and body in unique and noticeable ways. Because of its positive effects on the brain and chemicals in the body, the use of meditation to treat disorders such as depression is on the rise. Understanding the brain’s processes as well as understanding meditation’s effects can help ease anxiety and sadness associated with depression.

What is Depression?
Depression is a chemical disorder in the brain. If left untreated, it causes listlessness, inactivity, sadness, and even suicidal thoughts in those it affects. Depression alters the brain and causes the chemicals to become imbalanced, which in turn affects the thought processes and body as a whole.

How Meditation Affects the Brain
Mindfulness meditation is grounded in the principal of the individual having full awareness of the present. Since its purpose intends to provide the patient with insight and understanding, meditation improves the attention span and demeanor of the individual. The left prefrontal cortex of the brain, where centers for creativity are housed, is directly aroused by meditation. Even after meditation is finished, self-awareness is increased and individuals report an increased ability to make decisions, deal with conflict, or understand one’s own feelings. When engaging in this type of meditation, the brain is positively affected because brain waves are altered.

More Scientifically Speaking

In short, here is how meditation affects the brain’s responses:
The amygdala, parts of the limbic system, are nuclei that control the brain’s “relaxation response.” The amygdala allows the body to feel relaxed and cause reactive brain waves to be altered across the brain. Beta waves, which are linked to stress and thinking, are reduced, and more Alpha, Theta, and Gamma waves take place. Positive feedback messages are communicated between the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus and amygdala, and patients view this new state of mind as “mental training” for daily life circumstances.

In addition, decreasing respiration that occurs during relaxation reduces electrical firing of neurons in the brain. Alterations of rhythms in the body allow the meditating individual to “take a step back” and observe situations in a slower, more central state of mind.

Visit our website for helpful details.

Thanks for visiting us today.

Manjit Sandhu

Posted by: manjitsandhu | November 1, 2010

What is the Best Time to Meditate During the Day?

Meditation is a fantastic way to relax, rejuvenate, and keep balanced, both spiritually and emotionally.

When to meditate is a personal decision, and sometimes as important as the decision to meditate in the first place.  When it comes to finding the best time for meditation you must first examine your daily schedule, then choose a time and place that allows for sustained and uninterrupted silence. Meditation thrives on the body’s ability to maintain a constant level of serenity.

Before you choose a meditation schedule, it is essential you find a tranquil environment. Some people choose to meditate in a sun room, a patio or a bedroom.  Others prefer the outdoors.  Whichever location you choose, you will see the best results if you are comfortable and consistent.  You may wish to add essential oils with calm scents (such as lavender or chamomile) or energizing scents (such as lemongrass or ginger) to further aid in relaxation or renewal.

Some people choose to meditate when they first arise.   The advantage to an early morning meditation is that the chaos of the day has yet to commence.  Other family members are usually still resting, the streets are not packed with noisy traffic and the newly risen sun can help to provide a feeling of peace and tranquility.  When meditating in the morning, consider choosing an energizing aroma which will help prepare you spiritually for the coming day.  Eating a light breakfast will help avoid the distractions caused by hunger.

Meditating in the afternoon also has distinct benefits.  During the day, a peaceful break helps to maintain energy and focus, and can provide the necessary push to finish daily tasks. 

Evening or late night meditation, immediately before bed, can also be ideal.   Meditating late can help you unwind from the stresses of day and prepare you for a sound, peaceful and energizing sleep.  However, before meditating at night, be certain you do not have a full stomach.  The digestive system (like all other parts of the body) tends to slow during sustained meditation.  In turn, this can cause an upset stomach and defeat the purpose of meditation.  Similarly, avoid meditating when overly tired or after using alcohol.  Meditating when you are very tired can cause a you to fall asleep unintentionally, before a full meditation period has been achieved.  Alcohol use dulls brain function; a person should aim to be completely lucid to achieve maximum relaxation and balance.

There is no “best” time to meditate — when is “best” is entirely dependent on the person.  Try different times so that you can find the best fit for your schedule and personality.  Remember that meditation should provide you with peace, renewal and balance.  As long as you find these are achieved, the time of day is of minor importance.

You can visit our website for additional information.

Thanks for visiting us today.

Manjit Sandhu

Posted by: manjitsandhu | October 1, 2010

Can Meditation Enhance Your Beauty?

Practicing meditation can enhance your beauty. Does that sound like a far-fetched claim? Not really, when you consider recent studies that show meditation has many physiological and psychological benefits.

When you think about the word “meditation”, even if you haven’t actively practiced it yourself, what might come to mind is a person sitting in a cross-legged (lotus) position with their eyes closed. What else would you notice about this person? Would they look worried, angry, sad or upset? Probably not. When we think of someone meditating, we think of them having a calm, peaceful appearance. Meditation involves relaxing the body and clearing the mind of relentless and stressful thoughts. Several factors such as pollution, a bad diet and overexposure to the sun can cause wrinkles and mar the elasticity of the skin. Stress is also a major culprit. So, when you practice meditation, you enter a serene state which doesn’t allow room for frown lines, pinched eyebrows and other facial expressions that indicate distress. Obviously you are going to look more attractive, relaxed and approachable.

Scientific evidence shows that meditation can actually transform how circuitry in the brain works. Using MRIs, neuroscientists showed that people who meditate frequently (like Buddhist monks) have higher brain activity in their left prefrontal cortex, which is an area of the brain region associated with happy emotions and positive thoughts. It is common sense that when you are happy inside, you have more self-confidence that shines through to the outside. And when you are self-confident and love and respect yourself, others will too and will be attracted to your beautiful inner glow. Also, allowing your mind and body to relax through meditation reduces stress hormones which can cause aging and other detrimental effects to your health. You look and feel younger, healthier and more beautiful.

Of course, to practice meditation you don’t have to be in the lotus position – you don’t even have to be sitting down. You can be standing, lying down or just walking somewhere peaceful. What is important is finding the best way to reach that state of awareness and non-attachment to thoughts and objects that cause suffering. The more you train your mind and body to be relaxed, the better you are to cope with real-world pressures. This builds your self-worth and makes you more at ease with people who will definitely notice and marvel at your beauty from within.

Whether in your personal life or in your workplace, change is inevitable. Nothing you can do or say will keep it from happening. Although you know intellectually that turmoil and transitions often lead to growth and new opportunities, you are at a loss. What techniques can you employ to help you cope with the stress that change always brings?

Many people choose unhealthy solutions to the mental unrest that comes with change. They drink heavily; they eat too much; some go on shopping sprees they can’t afford. Instead of going down these destructive and costly roads, you need look no further than the strength you already possess. Tapping into it through the power of meditation can enable you to transform your attitude toward change. In no time, you will be using the transitions in your workplace as a springboard to setting and achieving your own personal goals.

There is nothing magical or esoteric about meditation. Although it can take many forms, all types of intentional contemplation involve setting time aside for regular physical and mental relaxation. Whether you choose to verbalize a word or phrase, adopt a specific pose, or gaze at an image, the same principles hold. The object is to gently draw your focus away from the niggling details and anxieties of daily life, enabling clarity and peace to replace them.

Since the 1960’s when this discipline began to gain popularity in the West, scientists have been examining the effects of meditation. Numerous studies have suggested that those who meditate regularly experience a significant drop in blood pressure and stress levels. Many practitioners have also reported that meditation has brought about dramatic changes in their outlook, their behavior toward others, and their response to stress.

In short, meditation provides you with an arsenal of tools that you can use to reduce or eliminate the stress that change inevitably causes. Because it has taught you how to look within yourself for strength and clarity, you will be much less likely to fall into the traps of fear, negativity, and stagnation that change often causes. In marked contrast to many of your coworkers, you will exude an aura of calm and self-sufficiency that even your harried boss may notice.

If you were the supervisor of your department, would you put your trust in a worker who responded to the upcoming changes with bewilderment, anger and resistance? Or would you rather rely on someone who recognized the challenges, but continued to project an air of calm competence? By investing only a few minutes a day in the discipline of meditation, you can give yourself the lasting gifts of confidence, self-control and calm. This gift will bear fruit in countless ways in many aspects of your life. Why not treat yourself to the benefits of meditation? It will prove invaluable each and every time you must confront the change and transitions that are an inescapable part of life.

Visit our website for more details.

Thanks for visiting us today.

Manjit Sandhu

Meditation is designed as an overall positive experience that helps boost a person’s well-being. It is an ancient holistic practice that allows one to achieve benefit by reflecting on deep thoughts, past experiences, and future dreams. If these experiences or thoughts are negative, then meditating gives a chance for someone to reflect on past mistakes for the purpose of creating better paths for the future.

However, if you are still creating negative energy in your present, you will not reach your greatest benefits through meditation. Negative energy comes in the form of pessimistic thoughts, uncontrollable emotions, destructive actions, and poor health. A strong negative force will prevent meditators from concentrating fully and creating more positive experiences. Therefore, you will not benefit from meditation unless you also stop creating negative energy.

It is common for tortured souls to go into meditation to start filling in their empty holes. But they would only be digging a ditch if they were to try to meditate while living a life of decadence. Meditation involves an equilibrium where tension is relieved and focus is achieved. So the individual must keep all of his or her emotions and actions in check. The practice is not easy and it would not be any easier if the individual’s emotions lead to a nervous breakdown.

Many meditation practitioners also make the mistaking of continuing to follow a poor diet. Although food is not mental or spiritual, eating will directly affect a person’s moods. People who eat well have increased energy levels so they are more buoyant, active, content, and motivated throughout the day. They also have improved sleep, memory, and concentration.

Obviously, smoking is a large hindrance to the meditative requirements of concentration and purification. Similarly, overeating, particularly sugar, produces an overload of resources that throws the body off balance. This is why many practitioners also practice moderation and fasting.

You cannot succeed in meditation by living a highly tense, fiery life of destructive thoughts and emotions. If you do so, you will fail to reach your meditative peak and also fail to realize your fullest potentials.

In its purest form, golf can be termed meditation in action. As many who practice it will tell you, regular meditation improves nearly everything in your life. The conclusion many golfers are coming to these days is that meditation and golf can go hand in hand.

To the uninitiated, meditation means sitting in a dark room and doing nothing. Actually, meditation done correctly is excellent exercise for the body. When the body learns to relax in a meditative state, the energy in our body flows through us, instead of getting clotted behind tensed muscles.

When the body learns to breathe deeply and regularly, it uses and directs energy in a much more efficient manner. When our mind learns calmness, the body responds in kind, and becomes supple and gains endurance. The increased suppleness that meditation gives the body can aid in your stances. It can help you bend just that millimeter needed to sink your putt or avoid a hazard. Your swings can acquire more grace and power.

There is an old joke where a Buddhist Monk goes to the hot dog vendor and says, “Make me one with everything.” Isn’t this really also what the golfer strives for? Becoming one with the club, moving as one with directed force, to send the ball where they want it to go. Enhanced concentration manifested as observation helps sense the speed and direction of the wind, the height and direction of the grass, in short, anything between you and the hole.

Feeling more at peace, another benefit of meditation, will aid in recognizing the lessons golf teaches us, and to not just obsess about the numbers on a score card. Added serenity and concentration will help to block out any distractions. Some may find themselves not caring about or reacting to their golfing buddies’ clever comments, which for some can improve their game immensely.

The fact is, meditation is not a religion; it is a discipline, and a powerful tool that can enhance your inner and outer life and in the process help your game of golf.

You can visit our website for additional information.

Thanks for visiting us today.

Manjit Sandhu

Posted by: manjitsandhu | June 1, 2010

Can Meditation Replace Modern Medicine?

Interest in mind-body medicine has blossomed in the last decade. Leading hospitals now incorporate holistic medicine, spiritual care programs and meditation into mainstream treatment programs. As we see mind-body medicine crossing this threshold into routine care, we should inquire into its benefits and limitations, lest expectations of meditation become rooted in hopeful superstition rather than scientific fact.

Over 40 years ago the Beatles introduced a mystic named Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to the West. The result: a new respect for the healing power of the mind began to grow. The Maharishi encouraged his followers to eschew even allopathic medicine in favor of spending long periods in his signature form of meditation. Modern day followers of the Maharishi’s meditation movement continue to reject medication in favor of meditation and an Ayurvedic lifestyle. Insiders claim they no longer need asthma medications, anti-depressants and other maintenance drugs. Some make wild claims about their health, resistance to the aging process and longevity.

If only it could be so. Few peer-reviewed studies exist to support those more extreme claims. Indeed, history is littered with yogic mystics, some of whom have meditated for hours each day, who had only normal lifespans. We are left with the questions: can meditation replace medications? What is an appropriate place for meditation within the continuum of scientifically validated health care?

The answers are simple. The health of the body is dependent on wellness being realized on multiple physical, mental and emotional levels. When we are in a healthy, secure and stable mental and emotional state, our brain operates in a favorable parasympathetic mode. This facilitates healthy hormonal balances, optimal tissue repair, cellular reproduction and other functions essential to a healthy physical being. Conversely, when we are feeling insecure, fearful, or angry, the brain sends the body into a parasympathetic mode in which we experience a concomitant detrimental decrease in metabolic functions of digestion and elimination, inflammation and impaired immunity.

Meditation is a remarkably beneficial tool for taking the mind and body out of the detrimental stress-induced state and placing it in the healing state of sympathetic dominance – the body’s natural balance called homeostasis. In this state the body can repair itself, reestablishing hormonal balance and detoxifying as vital organ functions, digestion, and even natural immunity factors within the blood stream begin to surge. In this state, medications have the best chance to work quickly, cleanly and with minimum undesirable side effects.

Today, prescriptions are frequently written for ailments which we know have stress connections — IBS, depression, insomnia and eating disorders are all examples. Should we not also consider meditation as a supplemental treatment which can reduce health care costs and help avoid the often damaging side effects of more aggressive treatments?

Although meditation should not replace modern medicine, it is a profoundly beneficial adjunct that can significantly increase the effectiveness of standard, Western medical treatments. The Lancet, a respected British medical journal, reported that hypnosis (itself a form of meditation) accelerated post-surgical healing and reduced the need for pain medications. Long time meditators consistently report on the verifiable ways meditation has changed lives and health. With proven stress reduction and mood-elevating benefits, meditation is a logical addition to the wide spectrum of healing options that should be available.

You can visit our website for additional information.

Thanks for visiting us today.

Manjit Sandhu

Posted by: manjitsandhu | May 11, 2010

Coping With Grief – An Alternative Perspective

In generations past, many cultures viewed the grieving process as something to be endured in private. In fact, the strength of the bereaved was often measured by how well grieving people hid their sadness and sense of loss. Recent years have seen a shift in perspective, however. Today, grieving people in our society are often encouraged to “let it all out” by displaying their sadness and being free to shed tears when they feel the need. The reason behind this shift is that psychologists, psychiatrists, and clergy have come to the conclusion that bottling up and repressing emotions is not an effective way to deal with them. In fact, doing so can lead to serious difficulties which often do not manifest themselves fully for years.

As a more holistic approach to healing becomes widely accepted, meditation is gaining adherents as another way of helping a person journey through the various stages of grief. Although meditation has various forms and specific methods of practice, it can be defined in general as a discipline in which a person works to get beyond the thinking mind for purposes of relaxation, self-awareness, or a search for the divine. For one who is mourning the loss of a loved one, this practice can provide a sense of balance and inner peace that mere emotional release may not furnish. This tranquility comes, at least in part, from a very quantifiable process that occurs in the physiology of one who meditates. When full relaxation is reached, a person’s brain waves can be categorized almost exclusively in the alpha state, triggering the release of chemicals called endorphins. These not only lead to a feeling of well-being, but also contribute to boosting the ability of the immune system to fight off illness.

Many practitioners of meditation will stress that this discipline involves striving for inner balance and peace in the midst of a chaotic, frenetic, and sometimes anguish-provoking world. Therefore, direct expression of grief through behaviors such as crying would most likely not be discouraged. At the same time, the tempest of emotional release can be assuaged in a positive and healing way through the intentional calming and mental awareness that comes about through meditation. When combined, these ways of handling the loss of a loved one may well bring about the equilibrium the grieving person so desperately seeks.

You can visit our website for additional information.

Thanks for visiting us today.

Manjit Sandhu

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »