There’s no doubt that meditation is becoming increasingly popular amongst us. We as a society, have grown to develop an understanding of how much it can really benefit our lives. Although it has taken a while to adopt into the mainstream, people are starting to figure out their own variations of meditation. Most recently, there are now studies that explore the idea of meditation for digestive health, but how?
What is meditation?
Meditation was discovered thousands of years ago. Some scholars believe that the inception of meditating began in India, however, some believe it was China.
Regardless, the known practice of meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts, so that you’re momentarily in the present. It’s used to increase awareness of yourself and surroundings, and many people believe that it can be an effective way to decrease stress and increase concentration levels.
Some people find themselves using it to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance (true thing. Google it).
So, does meditation work?
There have been, and still, are many studies being conducted to investigate the benefits of meditation and whether it actually works.
Some research suggests that meditation may physically change the brain and body and could potentially improve many health problems and behaviours, such as high blood pressure, certain psychological disorders, and pain.
A very cool thing worth mentioning is that meditation could also be responsible for slowing down the aging process in the brain.
Awesome, but what about people with digestive health problems?
Modern science has recently discovered a variety of ways meditation can help, other than mental and physical pain. For instance, it can help people with digestive problems such as cramps, bloating and gas – all symptoms we experience from IBS or IBD. Let’s explore the various ways in which it can eliminate these symptoms:
- Meditation melts away stress and anxiety: The gut is one of the most affected biological processes that is affected when under an intense amount of stress and anxiety. When it is in stress mode, our body momentarily stops functioning as well as they normally do, which impacts digestion in becoming secondary to ‘fight or flight mode’. This can create havoc on the gut, causing inflammation, acid reflux, ulcers, and even allergies. By calming the mind and body, our stomachs will be able to digest our food a lot better.
- Meditation sends signals to the digestive system: Breathing deeply while focussing on the mind will create many benefits. These practices will help the stomach and intestines, as the blood oxygen levels and circulation are multiplied during meditation. This helps ease digestion and only progressively becomes better as you practice more and more.
- Meditation can change the mindset: If your digestion problems are stemmed from a poor lifestyle or eating habits then meditation can help change those patterns. It melts away emotional conflicts that might be tied up to the poor diet choices, specifically if you’re eating high fat, high sugar foods. Sometimes life can desensitize our choices, which is why meditation can bring us back to the present moment in practicing good health.
So how do you start meditating?
Find yourself a quiet room with little to no distractions and start practicing. We can offer you some of the best app recommendations to guide you through meditation:
- The Mindfulness App: Great for beginners and the gurus. There are plenty of options to get you started and you can even tailor some of the guided meditation to suit your needs
- Headspace: This one really targets calmness, wellness and balance back into your life. Give it a shot before bed. It will immediately put you at ease
- Calm: The novelty of this one is that it offers a sleep stories section where famous actors share calming/boring stories with you that help you relax, or nod off to sleep.
So if you’re new to it all, give a shot! Don’t expect immediate results as the true art of meditation can take a while to critique, but once you’ve mastered it and integrated into everyday practice, you should start seeing some beautiful transformations.