Meditation has become a popular health practice. People who practice it experience a wide range of wellness benefits, including stress reduction, relief from anxiety and depression, improved energy and a relief from chronic illnesses.
There are numerous studies that demonstrated the positive impacts of meditation practice on human physical and mental well-being.
Meditation helps enhance energy flow
Human beings are energetic beings as much as physical and biochemical beings. When we can maintain vibrant energy, our biochemistry and body structure will take care of themselves.
Meditation is the best energy practice. By practicing meditation correctly, we can enhance our physical and mental energy, stay younger and more productive.
Learning how energy affects our health will help us understand why practicing meditation benefits our health and wellness.
Energy in Chinese medicine perspective
Ancient Chinese medicine is based on its knowledge of human energetics. The therapeutic modalities in Chinese medicine, like acupuncture and herbal remedies, focus on treating energetic imbalance.
Human energy, known as Qi, pronounced as chi, in Chinese, is the same as the modern concept of the power of electrical currents in a human body that controls physical and mental activities.
Like blood circulating in the blood vessels, human energy moves inside and along the energy channels, known as Jing Luo, often translated as meridians. Modern medicine focuses on electrical activity in certain areas, like the brain, heart or muscles. Chinese medicine focuses on how human energy channels connect the entire human body through their comprehensive network.
How human energy interacts with nature
Our body generates qi from air and food, it is important these fuels are clean and complete. If you are breathing contaminated air and eating unhealthy food, your body will not be able to create the energy it needs to function. Your generators will break down.
Our energy is also affected by constant interactions with the energy of our environment and is sensitive to seasonal changes and local climate.
Just as spring is the time of new growth, spring is also the time we should take up new projects or habits that require more energy. And just as winter is the time when life recedes and sleeps, so too should we take the season to look inside ourselves and conserve our limited energy.
How emotional distress affects the energy flow and our health
Our human energy is highly sensitive to thoughts and emotional distress. Thoughts and emotions are manifestations of human energy.
Modern medical science talks about how chronic stress creates disease, largely because it floods our body in hormones that activate the fight-or-flight response and shut down our rest-and-digest cycle.
Ancient Chinese medicine is concerned with this same issue and has learned that emotional distress is the primary threat to human health.
Ancient Chinese medicine connects specific types of emotion with corresponding energetic systems and meridians. For example, anger upsets liver/gallbladder meridians and contributes to conditions such as migraine, IBS, fibromyalgia, insomnia, and depression.
While modern medicine talks about the contending roles of the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) and parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) nervous systems, Chinese medicine talks about how emotional distress causes the qi to move in the opposite direction, causing heartburn, nausea, coughing and wheezing.
Emotional distress also blocks the flow of qi and constricts meridians, causing pain, blood stasis, and tumor.
Practice meditation to settle your mind
From the Chinese medicine perspective, maintaining the sufficient, free flow of qi in the right direction is key to health and longevity. And to do that, you need to maintain the right state of mind.
Since Meditation practice helps enhance and balance our body energy, it is one of the best ways to help settle our mind and alleviate the cascade of consequences the mind can trigger throughout the body.
Human beings are energetic beings as much as physical and biochemical beings. When we can maintain vibrant energy, our biochemistry and body structure will take care of themselves. By practicing meditation correctly, we can enhance our physical and mental energy, staying younger and more productive.
There are numerous types of meditation, and they share some standard techniques. Understanding the basic concepts of ancient Chinese medicine, we can appreciate why these practices are essential for effective and efficient meditation and why the following techniques are critical to meditation.
Two Key factors of meditation
First, keep our minds present
First, we need to keep our minds present to the moment when meditating. Human beings tend to become emotionally distressed when they think about things beyond their control, things that happened in the past or that may occur in the future.
We are more relaxed when we can live in the way we want, and that is only ever possible through the present moment. Our qi also moves most freely in open meridians when free of emotional distress.
Keeping our minds empty sounds easy but is extremely difficult to do. Today's people have so much on their minds, and it is almost impossible to keep these thoughts away.
At times, the more we try to stop thinking, the more thoughts come in. My advice to overcome this challenge is to disown any thoughts you don't control. This will help not react to or participate in those thoughts.
Second, sitting straight, preferably with legs double-crossed
Second, sitting straight, preferably with legs double-crossed, or standing with arms in certain positions is essential in meditation. By doing so, the body's energetic networks are best connected. The flow of Qi is most smooth, and the exchange of energy with nature is most effective.
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