Physiological benefits of relaxation and meditation

  • Marked decrease in oxygen consumption, metabolic rate, respiration rate
  • Reduction in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Reduction in serum cholesterol, increase in skin resistance (an accurate marker of stress responses, decrease in blood lactate
  • Changes in electro-encephalogram patterns, including an increase in alpha and
  • Theta waves, (very relaxing waves) and coordination of waves
  • A reduction in epileptic seizure frequency
  • A suggested selective increase in blood flow in the brain
  • Reduction in cortisol levels, which may help to reverse the increased calcium loss and osteoporosis associated with high cortisol levels
  • Reduced thyroid hormone levels
  • Increased melatonin, which enhances immune function
  • Improved immune function through reversal of the immunosuppressive effects of stress
  • An addition to therapy for a variety of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, chronic pain, asthma, diabetes.

 

Psychological benefits of stress reduction

  • Decreased anxiety
  • Better pain control
  • More optimism, less depression as indicated by elevation of serotonin
  • Greater self-awareness and self-actualisation
  • Improved coping capabilities
  • Improved well being and as an addition to psychotherapy
  • Reduced reliance on drugs, prescribed/unprescribed, or alcohol
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced aggression and criminal tendency
  • Greater efficiency and output and reduced stress at work
  • Improved response time and reflexes
  • Improvement in perceptiveness of hearing and other senses
  • Improved concentration and memory
  • Facilitation of healthy change of undesired personality traits

Adapted from Dr. Craig Hassed’s book New frontiers in medicine – the body as the shadow of the soul Hill of Content 2001