Mainstream medicine has conditioned many of us that when we have a physical problem, the first thing we should reach for is a pill or a prescription or even worse, surgery. But what if you could help yourself? For free?

And no, we’re not talking about mysticism or some trendy diet with no evidence behind it.

We’re talking about a strategy that has been used for thousands of years across hundreds of cultures. We’re talking about meditation. Here are two surprising physical benefits that you may not know about meditation:

  1. Relieving Tension Reduces Pain

If you are suffering from chronic pain or an injury or even fatigue, one of the worst things you can do is tack on unwanted, added mental stress. However, in many cases, this is exactly what happens:

We don’t feel great. So we’re upset. Being upset affects our lives. So we get depressed. Then we get stressed about being depressed and hurt. And the downward cycle continues.

Using guided meditation, you can end that cycle (or stop it before it starts). By using breathwork and finding your proper mantra and mindset, you can calm your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, relax your muscles and as a result, decrease the pain you may be experiencing.

  1. Increase Blood Flow

When you feel tense, nearly every cell in your body adjusts accordingly. Stress hormones are released, nerves fray and blood flow restricts. This is a terrible state to be in if you’re dealing with mental or physical pain. By practicing a regular meditation technique, you can zone in on a positive mindset with regulated breathing and thinking.

Once you’ve reached this state, your body will release endorphins, AKA, hormones that will make you feel good. When you notice this positive change, blood flow will likely increase throughout your body, including areas that are giving you trouble. This increased blood flow will bring with it increased healing.

If you’re looking for a primer on how to start meditating, here is a link with a step-by-step plan from our own Functional Medicine Nurse, Carissa Raver.

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