From Medication to Meditation

Jothi Vita

It is well known that stress has become a major contributing factor in the cause of disease, with some studies attributing up to eighty percent of disease to stress. From the Ayurvedic point of view, the cause of disease is attributed to “the mistake of the intellect”.  This occurs when the mind begins to see itself as separate from the field of intelligence or consciousness from which it came from.  The main goal in Ayurveda is to eradicate disease through purifying the mind and body, so that we achieve our full human potential.  To accomplish this, stress would have to be eliminated from one’s day to day life.

Under stress, our heart beats faster; our blood pressure increases; our breath becomes shallow and rapid; our blood sugar rises; we produce adrenalin and cortisol; our immune system weakens; our digestion is halted.  No wonder why chronic stress accelerates aging and makes us more vulnerable to serious illness, including heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, panic attacks, immune deficiency, depression, stomach ulcers, chronic fatigue, and migraines.

One of the most effective stress-relieving practices is meditation. A regular practice helps you go beyond turbulence, releasing stress, fatigue, and emotional turmoil.  Meditation gives you the experience of pure, restful awareness.  As you meditate, the bodily reactions are exactly the opposite of the stress response: your breathing slows, blood pressure decreases, and stress hormone levels fall.

Taking time to quiet your mind will enable you to stay more centered and balanced when things do not go the way you want.  When you respond consciously, rather than reacting angrily, you more effectively meet your needs.  I always recommend my clients to take between 15 to 30 minutes every morning and every late afternoon to close your eyes and focus on the breathing, alternating with feeling the heart beat and practice gratitude.  This is a simple but effective technique that with regular practice, could become your best medicine to balance your health and your life.