Life is full of ups and downs. And everybody tends to get overwhelmed at times. But there are many ways of dealing with stressful situations and other things that happen. Some people go to the gym to workout. Others meet up with friends and enjoy a nice meal with lots of conversation. But sometimes it comes down to what we can do by ourselves, for ourselves. Many things are beyond our control. However, we can take responsibility for the state of our mind and meditation is a wonderful tool that helps us do that. Acupuncture helps us get into a very calm and meditative state which helps us relax. Our acupuncturists at Balance Within in encino would be happy to answer any questions you may have about how acupuncture can help you get into a more meditative state and relax your mind and body.
Meditation has been around for millennia. The earliest written records of meditation come from the Hindu traditions around 1500 BCE. Other forms of meditation developed in Taoist China and Buddhist India around the sixth and fifth centuries. The exact origins are subject to debate. But regardless of the origin, meditation practices have stood the test of time and are used all over the world.
Meditation is a way to transform the mind. Meditation practices can increase concentration, emotional positivity, clarity and a sense of calmness. When one is stressed and is suffering from anxiety acupuncture along with Meditation can also give the ability to see the true nature of things around us. There are many different forms of meditation, but they all have the same purpose, to calm the mind and help us find our center. When we engage in a particular form of meditation, we learn the habits and patterns of our minds and then we can actually change old habits. Acupuncture, being an energy based medicine, helps us get into a meditative state during a treatment. This is why it is so important to get regular treatments in our busy lives.
Scientific research tends to focus on two types of meditation, mindful meditation and focused-attention meditation. Through the use of MRIs, scientists have developed a more thorough understanding of what actually takes place in our brains when we meditate. The most dramatic effect is that our brains stop processing information like they normally would. The frontal lobe, which is responsible for reasoning, planning, emotions and self-consciousness, tends to stop functioning during meditation. The parietal lobe, which processes sensory information, slows down. The thalamus, which is the area that focuses our attention by interpreting sensory information, actually shows a slowing of incoming information. So all of these things combined, allows our brains to relax. Combining meditation with regular acupuncture treatments allows our mind to slow down, which in turn relaxes our body. When our mind and body are relaxed, it is more difficult for diseases to arise. This is why acupuncture and meditation is a preventative based medicine. If you have more questions about how acupuncture can help your mind and body relax and be more stress free, please do not hesitate to call our encino acupuncture office and speak to one of our acupuncture specialists.
Meditation is a practice of focusing our attention and being aware of when it meanders and because of this, meditation can improve our focus when we are not meditating also. It’s a lasting effect that comes from regular meditation practices.
Another positive effect of meditation and acupuncture is that it allows us to have less anxiety and stress. The more we meditate and receive acupuncture treatments, the looser the connections of certain neural pathways become. The area of the brain that triggers strong reactions becomes less “tight” and in contrast, the frontal lobe strengthens, allowing us to more easily look at things rationally. For example, sometimes when we experience pain, our minds go to the worst possible scenario and we become anxious. The more a person meditates, the more rational their thinking becomes and thus the feelings of anxiety decrease.
Probably the most studied benefit of meditation is compassion. People who practice meditation regularly have been shown to have more empathy. The part of the brain that processes emotional stimuli, the amygdala, normally slows down during meditation. But just like the aforementioned lasting effects of meditation, compassion and empathy are also affected long-term. Thus those who practice regular meditation tend to look at others differently and show them more understanding and compassion.
Memory is another area that is helped through the regular practice of meditation and acupuncture. Studies have shown that those who meditate and get acupuncture are able to adjust the brain waves that screen our distractions and therefore increase their productivity. Part of this is because meditation and acupuncture actually increases the amount of grey matter in the brain. The greater the amount of grey matter, the more positive the emotions, the less age-related diseases affect us and the less our cognitive functioning decreases.
Over time, meditation and acupuncture can greatly improve the quality of life in numerous ways. Researching the different forms of meditation and acupuncture is the best way to get started. Try as many as possible and go with the one that resonates best with you. Your body will definitely thank you. If you have any more questions about how our encino acupuncturists that specialize in helping with anxiety and helping the mind and body slowdown please give our office a call.