Meditation is good for your health. It may even prolong life, reduce pain and suffering, and strenghten your brain. It’s also low-tech, widely accessible, easily learned, and affordable to just about anyone. Meditation practitioners have long suspected as much and the word is spreading rapidly into the mainstream of society.
Toronto’s Globe & Mail newspaper recently cited studies that show “increased grey-matter density in regions involved in learning and memory, emotion regulation, self-awareness and perspective taking” as the result of meditation.
Meditation is taking center stage in what’s called mind-body medicine, with the focus “on the interactions among the brain, mind, body, and behavior, and on the powerful ways in which emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioral factors can directly affect health. It regards as fundamental an approach that respects and enhances each person’s capacity for self-knowledge and self-care, and it emphasizes techniques that are grounded in this approach.”
Economists point to the ever-in creasing costs of health care and cite the neglect of low-tech strategies to prevent disease and promote health in favor of high-tech interventions to treat disease after it has arisen. Meditation, along with nutrition and exercise, are shown to enhance normal health and improve the quality of life and life expectancy of those with illness and life-style related stress.
As a society, we have become habituated to looking outside ourselves for answers to our problems, often turning to technological solutions that, although typically effective in the short-term, may not be the best long-term approach.
sources:  Mind-body medicine: an overview. (2008). National center for complimentary and alternative medicine. Full text.  Ruff, K.M., & Mackenzie, E.R. (2009). The role of mindfulness in healthcare reform: a policy paper. Explore, the journal of science and healing, 5(6). 313-323. Full text. image: visualphotos.com