Because meditation can reduce stress and in many cases changes the physiology of your body, it also has a number of health benefits:
1. One study randomly divided people into three groups and gave one of the groups an 8-week training course in meditation. During follow-up periods, it was found that those who continued meditating missed 76% fewer days of work and experienced less intense colds – a health benefit confirmed by physiological lab tests. (Black, 2012) Meditation’s health benefits even slightly exceeded exorcise in this particular study, another practice with well-documented health benefits.
2. A study of 600,000 members from one health insurance carrier compared meditators to non-meditators. It was found that the average meditator, whether adult or child, saw a doctor half as often as the average American. (Chopra, 2000) Children were 46.8% less likely to go for outpatient treatments, young adults 19 to 39 were 54.7% less likely, and those 40 and older were 73.7% less likely to need medical care.
3. Research shows that meditation may slow aging. Regu1ar meditators typically have a body that is biologically younger than their chronological age, and also have higher levels of an adrenal hormone known as DHEA, which is believed to slow the aging process. (ibid)
4. Meditation has been found to lower blood pressure. (ibid)
5. A 2012 study published in the journal Circu1ation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, African Americans with heart disease who practiced Transcendental Meditation regularly were 48% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke (or to die from other health issues) than a control group who attended a health-education class. (Reddy, 4-16-2013)
6. Some research has found that meditation can result in molecular changes affecting the length of telomeres. (ibid)
7. A January 2013 study in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found that mindfulness meditation techniques may help people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and asthma. Therefore meditation can “offer a low-cost alternative or complement to standard treatment.” (Mindful, Aug. 2013, p. 19)