The go-to solution, when sick, has been running to the doctor’s office and loading up on antibiotic prescriptions. It works, and this treatment seems to be the easiest and most convenient way to end the life of those sniffles, coughs and sore throats. As far as more serious conditions go, we still turn toward medicine for an answer, and that is quite alright. Science gave us the technology and intelligence to do these things, just as it has awarded our brains to heal without it!
What if we could completely rely on mindful meditation to cure our illnesses? As far-fetched as this may seem, it appears that we could be onto something-something much more than medicines, surgeries and concoctions. Cancer patients, for instance, could really benefit from a natural solution that works well without horrible side effects. Mindful meditation could fill this need.
Mindful meditation calms the inner being, bringing us closer to the enlightened being that is true self. Meditation works on the inside and shines through on the outside. There are things about meditation that we are learning, things that can change the way we understand healing and saving lives. Mindful meditation, through research, has proven to actually be able to change the structure of human cells. It’s true! Do you believe me yet? Read on…
A new study, conducted by Linda Carlson of the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Alberta, Canada, states that meditation can act as a placebo. A placebo is when a patient thinks they are getting treatment when they are really experiencing an improvement in health by thinking alone. Apparently, we are releasing the very chemicals we need when we feel enlightened.
Putting this theory to the real test, the study took 88 participants who were breast cancer survivors for at least 2 years, and divided them into three groups. These survivors averaged around 55 years in age. The study was to continue for 12 weeks, starting with a blood sample from each participant to catalogue the present condition of each test subject.
The first group participated in 90 minutes of self-awareness exercises per week, followed by Hatha Yoga once a day for 45 minutes, the second group met for 90 minutes just to discuss their feelings and emotions and the third group endured only one 6 hour session revolving around stress techniques. The first two groups actively participated in mindful meditation, while the third group concentrated on stress relief alone. Blood samples were taken again, at the end of the study, and results showed marked differences between the three groups.
So, we know what occurs – our mind basically controls our body. The question is, what area is affected and why?
One way to understand the effects of mindful meditation on the cells of the body is to study the telomeres. Telomeres are strands of protein located at the ends of chromosomes. They vary in length-shortening or strengthening according to various stimuli. After chromosomes replicate, telomeres get shorter, and after some time, they disappear altogether -the chromosome then degrades.
After studying the three control groups, it was found that those who went to weekly mindful meditation meetings (the first two groups) had retained their telomeres. Those who only endured the single 6-hour session had much shorter telomeres.
These studies, although they were short lived, shed light on the obvious connection between mind and body. With longer tests, we should be able to understand how to use these mindful meditation techniques to do drastic positive changes on the cell structure. It could be very possible to save lives through the power of the mind. When this time comes, there will no longer be a need for medications, invasive procedures and expensive doctor’s visits. Until then, we can stay hopeful-the power of positive thinking is quite powerful after all!