Meditation: How It Helps Your Spine
In this article, doctor Brent Wells explains how to use meditation for spinal health…
Meditation is better than medication, according to recent studies.
Meditation, which is the art of training your attention and awareness, could change your spinal health for the better. It’s a practice that has numerous benefits for your mind and body, including your spinal health.
Meditation is the practice of becoming aware of your body and mind during restful poses. The idea is to observe in the moment, in order to understand your mind and find positive states of being. It comes from the Buddhist tradition of transforming your mind through reflection.
One of the main positions used in meditation is sitting cross-legged, with your eyes closed and your body relaxed. It’s often accompanied by natural, deep breathing. You can also listen to soothing music or guided meditation tracks to get the effect of a relaxing environment.
Be sure when you practice meditation that you’re sitting in a comfortable position that doesn’t add pressure to your back or knees. Before you get started, check that you’re using correct meditation posture. This will help you reap the great spinal benefits of meditation.
Let’s look at the specific ways meditation can help your spine.
7 Ways Meditation Helps Your Spine
1. Meditation builds body awareness
Because meditation focuses on your attention and uses energy-building poses to help, it’s great for becoming more aware of your own body. Often you’re not even aware of what hurts up and down your spine, or you have general feelings of fatigue or illness but can’t pinpoint the problem. By meditating on a regular basis, you can inform yourself about the way your body feels. [try body scan meditation for this]
2. Meditation releases tense muscles
A key element of meditation is deep breathing. With deep breathing and calm presence, meditation can help you identify tension areas and then release that tension through your pose and breathing. Meditation is great for getting rid of the stress that you’re holding in your body, especially in clenched muscles.
3. Meditation improves posture
Meditation is also a good way to improve your posture and straighten up your spine. Because meditation involves sustained periods of holding your body erect, it can help correct bad posture by having you focus on your position during meditation. In turn, good posture helps you better release tense muscles. [You can improve your posture further by using a good meditation cushion]
4. Meditation reduces stress
In addition to physical benefits, meditation also impacts the mind. Because meditation works to relax muscles and restore the spine, it creates feelings of relaxation. In fact, studies show that those who do regular meditation show decreased levels of stress. This effect is also shown to decrease anxiety symptoms.
5. Meditation resolves spinal pressure
The practice of meditation also helps take pressure off your spine. This happens because of deep breathing, mindful focus and enhanced muscle function. By getting that deep breathing, blood circulation is promoted and the spine can get the oxygen it needs to better function.
6. Meditation boosts joint health
Since meditation helps increase blood circulation, this also helps your joints. When blood circulation is healthy and strong, your muscles work efficiently and use the optimal amount of energy. This makes your joints stay healthy because they don’t have to take on extra work; your muscles are doing everything they should.
7. Meditation reduces the perception of pain
Studies suggest that meditation helps manage pain perception and allows the patient to feel more positive about his/her condition. This boost is great for keeping you healthy, as your body naturally copes with pain. In terms of your spine, this is ideal for keeping aches and pains away in the long-term.
How To Use Meditation For Spinal Health
Meditation, no matter the type, is great for your spine for all the reasons we mentioned above. However, there are back-specific guided meditations if you’re interested in focusing on your spine. These guided meditations can help you cope with back pain and achieve lasting relaxation of your muscles.
Some patients use apps to help them meditate and track their meditations. While some apps focus on getting deep breathing, others are specific for pain management. In particular, Headspace is a popular meditation app that lets you customize your meditations.
Meditation could be exactly what your spine needs: a calm practice for bringing your mind and body in balance through mindful focus. Like yoga, it uses a mind-body approach to help your body relax and it restores your muscles and joints.
Meditation is one great way to keep your spinal health in check. If you’re looking for a comprehensive plan for maintaining a healthy spine, you can also consider seeing a chiropractic clinic. An expert chiropractic will look at all areas – diet, exercise, supplements, adjustments – to ensure that your spinal care plan is optimized.
One thing’s certain: meditation is a practice that can relax your spine and keep it healthy over time.
About Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his bachelor of science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998. He became passionate about being a Wasilla chiropractor after his own experiences with hurried, unprofessional healthcare providers. The goal for Dr. Wells is to treat his patients with care and compassion while providing them with a better quality of life through his professional treatment.
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Paul Harrison, Editor, THE DAILY MEDITATION.