It may surprise some that you can meditate for health and savings. There are mountains of studies regarding the many health benefits of meditation. One study (1) that summarizes others breaks down the benefits into five categories. The first is stress reduction, which affects almost every system in our bodies. The sympathetic nervous system is calmed, which reduces the cortisol and adrenaline that are correlated with stress. Meditating facilitates relaxation for sleep or before a stressful event.
Transcendental Meditation also lowers the risk of heart disease and has been known to lower the incidence of strokes, heart attack, and death compared to non-meditators. The study reports that through T.M., heart disease can be lowered by nearly 50% and high blood pressure can be managed also. I know too many middle-aged people who are on hypertension medications, and fail to follow other healthful behaviors like exercise, sodium reduction, and meditation. TM is apparently the only meditation practice that has been proven to lower blood pressure and to get approval from the American Heart Association. Its benefits also help manage depression, in that mood becomes more stable, and also lowers anxiety.
The financial benefit of reduced medical expenses seems a little confusing at first. But, “Inpatient days decreased by more than 50% in every age category, children, young and older adults and out-patient visits were reduced by 47% to 69%. Surprisingly, admissions for benign and malignant tumors dropped 55%, heart disease by 87% and more than 30% for infectious diseases. (1)” Less doctor visits and medications simply means we save more money.
These figures are too meaningful to overlook and can apply especially well in retirement. In order to understand this, both inpatient and outpatient visits dropped because meditation reduces our response to pain. For us to see a doctor outside of our routine visits, we usually need to feel discomfort or distress. Tumors and infections tend to drop as a result of an improved immune response, while lower heart disease from deep relaxation is already documented. The conclusion is that stress and anxiety compound or even create health problems that we normally would not have.
Taking 15 to 20 minutes once or twice a day to meditate is an enjoyable period of calmness in a hectic day. I meditate in the morning for alertness and at night for relaxation. I go to the doctor so little, I’ve had no need for insurance for over 20 years. L.J. www.creativeretirementforwomen.com
(1)Garcia, M.(6-10-0213) “Five reasons transcendental meditation is good for your health” voxxi.com. Retrieved on 2-11-2014 from: voxxi.com/2013/06/10/transcendental-meditation-tm-good-for-health/