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Why does meditation work?

Yogi Cameron Alborzian
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

Each of us is born into this world being predisposed to suffering. We suffer whenever we rely on the world beyond ourselves (our possessions, our relationships, our opportunities) to make us happy. We could suddenly get a windfall of cash and be happy, but when everyone asks us for handouts we then consider that windfall to be a burden. The situation hasn't changed, only our perception of it has. When we rely on the outside world for happiness, we become victims of our own perceptions of that world which then taints our experience. Our mind wants us to be in control through those perceptions, but ultimately, it is only the divine light of our spirit that can make us happy.

When we focus our thoughts repeatedly and continually, we can train the mind to not be as susceptible to the fickleness of the outside world. Sitting in a state of concentration and then meditation relieves us of the burden of the mind and helps us to find the supreme joy that emanates from our spirit.

 

No one is entirely sure, but there are good theories.

It has something to do with relaxing the body's mind and body, which decreases the intensity of pain. It also appears to be connected to the body's chemical responses.

Pain is the brain's response to the body's nerve signals, so the mind can alter that to a degree.

During meditation, the brain releases endorphins, which can counteract the brain's response to pain signals-thus making the pain more bearable.

Meditation also increases activity in the endocrine and nervous systems, which help to regulate the body's reaction to disease and injury-which could explain in part why patients who meditate heal faster.

Over time, meditation enables people to control the response that their brain makes to chemical signals. It may even allow them to control which chemicals are released and interpreted by their brains.

Whatever else it does, meditation makes managing pain easier.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.