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Polly Liontis, AOBTA-CP, HITA, Integrative Medicine Program at NorthShore, explains what meditation is, the benefits and how you can do it at home.
What’s the buzz about meditation? Take a look at some of the many benefits of practicing meditation:
Meditation induces a relaxation response and takes the body out of the “fight-or-flight” stress response, which causes the body to pump cortisol into the blood stream, increases the heart rate, and over time, contributes to all the major diseases people experience in this country – heart disease, diabetes, cancer and autoimmune disorders.
Stress exacerbates any symptoms you already have and is a major cause of hospital and doctor visits.
All forms of meditation begin with slowing and deepening the breath – practicing good, deep diaphragmatic breathing. And deep breathing is something you can do anytime of the day, anywhere in the world and for free!
Diaphragmatic Breathing Simple Meditation. Keep your attention and focus on your breath, and allow your thoughts to soften and recede. Polly shares a step-by-step guide:
Continue to breathe deeply for 3 – 5 minutes. When you finish, open your eyes and take a few moments to scan your body and notice how you feel. Do this on your lunch break, or even take a break once every hour to breathe deeply for 3 – 5 minutes!
Where and how often do you practice meditation?