It’s the simple things. My eye doctor recommended an eye mask for my dry eyes. I purchased a simple mask you heat up in the microwave.
I heated my mask, climbed into bed, covered my eyes, and fell asleep. The soothing heat put me into sleep mode, totally unexpected. For years, I’d been watching TV to relax before bed but not anymore.
In actuality, considering the mind-body connection, it shouldn’t be a surprise. The relaxing heat calmed my mind and my body. It solved my dry eye problem, too.
The mind-body connection in disease and healing is pseudoscience, according to medical experts, isn’t it? Not any longer. Mind-body medicine research departments and programs are prevalent at primary medical schools.
In the 1980s, stress studies indicated a connection between high stress and poor health. Researchers pursued this thread, conducting thorough, widely reported studies in the 1990s. Mind-body medical research blossomed in the 21st century, gaining recognition from the medical community as legitimate.
Mind-body medicine treatments lag the research gains. What can you do if treatment options are lacking in your area? Meditation, yoga, and Pilates can strengthen your mind-body connection to improve your health.
Meditation gets a medical seal of approval. Several studies prove its benefits. You relax your entire body by relaxing your mind, resulting in a slower metabolism and lower tension.
Meditation can lower blood pressure, boost your immune system, relieve PMS symptoms, and help people cope with chronic pain. That’s impressive for something so easy to learn. But meditation takes practice to be effective.
It doesn’t take much time, a few minutes each day, but you need to do it every day. There are different types of meditation and apps to guide you. Choose one that resonates with you. You won’t do it otherwise.
The meditation method most well known and popular in western culture is mindfulness. Its origins in Buddhist teachings, mindfulness requires you to pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through. You aim to recognize any repeating thoughts but not dwell on them.
Some of the benefits include increased concentration and awareness. You don’t need a teacher. Mindfulness practice requires only you.
In many religions, spiritual meditation is essential. It’s like a prayer but emphasizes silent reflection and attunement with your God or the universe. It’s common to use essential oils to enhance the experience.
Focused meditation relies on one of the five senses. You can focus on your breath, music, or an object during this practice. It’s not for beginners, as holding focus for long periods is tricky.
You will find mantra meditation in the Hindu and Buddhist religions. You use any repetitive sound to clear the mind. I’ve found this type of meditation most helpful, as I find it simple to focus on a few words.
Yoga and Pilates
Are you looking for a workout that brings serenity and improves your muscle tone? Yoga and Pilates are both easy-going workouts. Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and Pilates for about one hundred.
Yoga combines physical activity and mental focus. Yoga comes in many flavors, most involving holding poses and emphasizing a focus on the breath. Yoga improves your physical fitness and can help with chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and arthritis.
Pilates emphasizes controlled breathing at the beginning of each exercise. Done on a mat or specialized equipment, the activities use and strengthen the back and core muscles. Pilates helps you recover from injuries, back pain, and respiratory conditions.
It’s essential to choose a meditation method or the type of yoga or Pilates you enjoy. You may have to try a few to find the best fit. There’s more evidence than ever that staying healthy is a mental and physical process.