An Opportunity for Stillness
This post is an installment in our 52 Health Hinges series. Remember, “Small hinges swing big doors.”
Rest. Be still. Clear your mind of the clutter, and tune into what’s really important.
How does that sound to you?
Well, put down that smartphone, my friends, because you’re in luck.
Starting July 13, 2015, Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra are hosting a 21-day meditation experience called Manifesting Grace through Gratitude. It’s free to try; will you join me?
Deepak Chopra was one of my instructors at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He says, “Everyone thinks that the purpose of meditation is to handle stress, to tune out, to get away from it all. While that’s partially true, the real purpose of meditation is actually to tune in, not to get away from it all, but to get in touch with it all. Our body knows how to be still; we just have to give it opportunity.”
In his book, Anticancer, the late David Servan-Schreiber introduces us to the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, who is a former MIT biologist who developed a meditation program for medical patients; his program is now used in more than 250 hospitals in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Kabat-Zinn insists that spending time every day alone with oneself is “a radical act of love.” Like the great tradition of shamans, who always prescribe a ritual of purification to be performed alone, this reflective solitude is the essential precondition to harmonizing the inner healing forces of the body.
Practicing meditation has been shown to benefit cancer patients’ immune systems, which is critical for fighting the disease.
As Servan-Schreiber shares in his book, the research team of Professor Linda Carlson, PhD, studied breast and prostate cancer patients who developed a meditation program. After eight weeks, those practicing meditation reported sleeping better, feeling less stressed, and feeling their lives were richer.
There was also a measurable improvement to their immune systems; their white blood cells, including the very important natural killer cells, recovered a normal profile, making them more effective at fighting cancer. (Side note: you don’t need to be fighting cancer to benefit from a healthy immune system!)
In addition to immune system benefits, check out this article for 19 more mind and body benefits of meditation.
I’ve even seen a client reduce her Hashimoto’s antibodies considerably primarily through a strong meditation practice. I was in blown away.
Ready to give it a try?
Sign up for the free experience here, and commit to carving out time to fully participate.
According to Chopra, “The effects of meditation are cumulative, and setting aside as little as 15 minutes a day to retreat and rejuvenate is beneficial. Many schools of meditation prescribe 30 minutes of meditation twice a day, and as your meditation practice evolves, you can extend your time. It’s better to spend just a few minutes meditating every day rather than meditating for an hour a week.”
Servan-Schreiber MD PhD, David (2009-11-23). Anticancer, A New Way of Life, New Edition.