September 19th, 2009 9:56 PM by Lehel Szucs
The Secret Benefits of Guided Meditation - By Nigel Coates ***------------------------------------------------------------The secret benefits of Guided Meditation are the subtle effects that happen quietly in the background without your conscious awareness.
The first term I will introduce is Homeostasis. (Just read it slowly and that is how it is meant to sound)
Homeostasis is when the different systems of the body work together to regulate the optimal conditions for you internal function. And to put that more simply... It's the body striving for 'balance'.
Now, the body is made up of 11 major organ systems. I will run through them here to give you a better idea of the complexities involved in this process. (1) integumentary - (skin), (2) skeletal, (3) muscular, (4) nervous, (5) endocrine - (hormones), (6) circulatory, (7) lymphatic - (disease defense), (8) respiratory, (9) digestive, (10) urinary, and (11) reproductive.
Every second of your existence is monitored and continual adjustments are made to each and every system.
Yes, the Human body is Amazing!
Practically... when you eat, your body must create specific enzymes and focus blood flow for digestion to occur. When you go for a run, your body must regulate your temperature or you will overheat. If you tread on a rusty nail, several body systems must work together to repair the injury site and protect you against infection. The practical examples are the easiest to imagine.
But let's consider stress. Although stress is not a physical influence, think when you have been faced with a deadline, or financial concern, or relationship conflict... and you will know this stress definitely affects your function. The body must continually monitor and adjust to a variety of influencing conditions.
Homeostasis is in continual motion to keep you balanced.
The second terms I will introduce make up your autonomic nervous system. The two divisions are the sympathetic and parasympathetic. Too much of a mouthful? Well try this. You are either in 'Fight or Flight' mode... Or 'Rest and Digest' mode...
The easiest imagery to help with the explanation is from a time long ago. A caveman had to Fight to kill his dinner, or Flight from a predator so that he wasn't dinner. Adrenalin was pumping through his body either way. That is operating in the sympathetic nervous system. Then, when all was quiet and he sat in his cave poking his fire with a stick for entertainment... he could really unwind. And with no job, no bills and no phone he could have really relaxed! The parasympathetic mode of operation.
But in the hectic world we live in today - many of us remain in 'go-mode'. It is common and acceptable to feel stressed out. How many times have you said, 'I Need a Holiday!' and for half a second pictured yourself on a tropical beach before real world concerns smothered you again. You don’t have the time, you don’t have the money, and how could you get rid of the kids!
But if you function in Fight or Flight mode for too long the body starts to get worn out. It's a proven fact. Placing too much continual stress on the body can lead to poor health - both physical and emotional. It's easy to get trapped in a downward spiral. Even though you don't feel good, you try to do just as much when you were 100%. But you don't do it as good, it takes longer than before, you make silly mistakes and create more work for yourself... We have all been there. The further trap many of us fall into is to try even harder. We put in more effort, work longer hours, and sacrifice the few of life's pleasures we have for what we call the necessities. It’s a slippery slope. Burn out and disease can be the body's way of demanding rest. Unfortunate but true.
So back to Homeostasis... The balance of the body. The balance of the influences in your life. There will always be times when you need to Go-Go-Go. And they are often the most exciting and fun times of life. But how do you Rest and Digest? (And that's not sitting on the couch after dinner rubbing your full belly.)
When do you dedicate yourself time - to escape from the stresses of the day?
Well taking time to balance is best in frequent doses. They can be short - but frequent respite from stress is very important. Committing to regular practice is giving yourself the opportunity to life your life to the best of your ability.
Meditation is a great way to assist homeostasis. In a short Guided Meditation your mind follows the words of the story so you are given time away from your regular day. While your mind is entertained and your body relaxed, the 11 systems can focus on keeping you happy and healthy. With practice, it only takes a minute to relax into your healing parasympathetic nervous division.
Some results of meditation are obvious and immediate. Your breathing is deeper and constant, you feel lighter and refreshed... But the many deeper benefits of meditation work secretly in the background; for Longevity and Good Health.
Either way, Guided Meditation is good for you. Don't just 'remember' that balance in your life is important... Practice It. Take 10 minutes now to improve your life.
Go here to download a free Guided Meditation for body balance.