When I was in India I met “yogis” or meditation masters who had remarkable powers of concentration.
Simply by focusing on their breath they could change their heart rate, raise their body temperature, and even walk on burning-hot coals.
In your daily life you probably don’t have the need or opportunity to walk on hot coals, but the power to quiet your mind gives you more control over your health than any pill or prescription.
Many of these yogis practice meditation. It’s easy enough to do on your own. There are even clinical studies that back it up.
Studies show meditation:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves sleep
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Improves immunity
- Helps with pain management
- Increases productivity
- Improves concentration
- Heightens learning ability and creativity
A study published by the American Heart Association (AHA) found meditation to be as effective as medications for lowering blood pressure. The study involved 111 men and women between the ages of 55 and 85 with hypertension. About a third practiced meditation for 15 to 20 minutes twice daily. A second group practiced muscle relaxation. The third group cut back on salt and calories and practiced aerobic exercise .
The meditation group showed the greatest improvement. Their systolic pressure – the top number – dropped an average of 10 points. And their diastolic pressure – the bottom number – fell an average of 5.6 points . The National Institute of Health (NIH) was so impressed with the results they granted $1.4 million for a follow-up study .
Meditation is safe and easy. The technique is exceedingly simple. The most natural object of meditation is your breath. For beginners, I recommend mastering your focus on your breath before you try any other object of meditation.
- Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit.
- Rest your hands in your lap and close your eyes.
- For the first few minutes, focus on the natural rhythm of your breath.
- At first, don’t try to change it. Just follow your breath.
- The next step is to gently make your breath, quieter, slower, deeper and more regular.
- If your attention drifts to other things redirect it to your breath.
- Try to meditate at least 10 minutes once a day. Twice a day is better.
1. Goad, M. “A powerful case for TM” Portland Press Herald: November 27, 1995.
2. Khalsa, D. S. Brain Longevity, Warner Books, 1997: 309.
3. “The Effects of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program on the aging process,” International Journal of Neuroscience 16 (1): 53¬58, 1982.
Dr. Al Sears is fast becoming the nation's leading authority on longevity and heart health. His cutting edge breakthroughs and commanding knowledge of alternative medicine have been transforming the lives of his patients for over 15 years.
Dr. Sears currently owns and operates a successful integrative medicine and anti-aging clinic in Wellington, Florida with over 15,000 patients. Over the course of his career, he has developed his own approach to heart health, longevity and anti-aging medicine - combining the best of modern medical science with natural holistic techniques and treatments.