INTEGRATION OF YOGA INTO MEDICAL SCIENCE

In the past three decades, a considerable amount of medical research has been carried out on meditation to explore its clinical usefulness, physiological consequences and the mechanism of its action. The effect of meditation on the muscular neuroendocrine system, the cardiovascular system, the respiratory and the muscular system has been proven useful in the prevention and treatment of a large number of diseases. Meditation is found to be more effective in treating stress-related conditions in particular. The greatest health secret of the body and the mind of the late 20th century is meditation in the deepest essence. Meditation can increase your resistance to ill health and bodily diseases. Meditation can help you live longer, happier, healthier and in a state of supreme bliss and ecstasy.

Meditation has the power to transform your life – to make you fitter and stronger and to help you feel and look younger. It can, as well, offer you protection against ill health and diseases in the future. Meditation is truly amazing, remarkable, and potentially life-saving. They are believed not only to have beneficial effects on the mind but also on the body itself. It can attack and destroy even cancer cells, back-pain, fatigue, arthritis and heart diseases. It can help boost the immune system which nature has incorporated in our human bodies as a safe-guard against sinister and invisible invading microbes present in the atmosphere.

More recent research shows that under some conditions deficient immune functions such as natural killer-cell activity (lymphocytes that patrol the body for virus-infected or cancer cells) and helper T-cell function (lymphocytes that help the immune system form antibodies against invading bacteria, parasites, and fungi) can be significantly restored by such easy to practice forms of meditation as progressive muscle relaxation. These beneficial changes usually occur after only a few weeks of meditation. Regular meditation practice results in sensory detachment from the external world, full awareness of the outside world while remaining unaffected by it, paring away of attachments, or a growing sense of being the witness. Subjects describe a remarkable build-up of energy during and after meditation sessions. Others have reported the increased energy released by meditation. The practice of meditation enables to become aware of some of the visually pre-attentive processes involved in visual detection. During meditation, some people experience an altered body image. Continually focusing on the object of meditation, one sometimes makes a total break with normal consciousness. The mind sinks into the object and remains fixed in it, and the awareness of one’s body vanishes meditators sometimes experience alterations in ego boundaries, all in the direction of fluidity and breakdown of the usual subject-object differentiation. Equanimity is regarded in many contemplative traditions as both a first result of meditation and as a necessary basis for spiritual growth. There are various stages of its development, though, and like empathy and detachment it deepens with practice into states and qualities that require various names to identify them. Meditative subjects experience feelings of quiet, calmness, and peace; pleasant feelings; warm contentedness; relaxation beyond thought; and a feeling of being suspended in deep warmth. Bliss states are common at insight meditation retreats and are usually related to increased concentration and tranquility. During the deepest phases of meditation, subjects report that thinking settles down to a state of pure awareness or unbounded bliss, accompanied by prolonged periods of almost no breathing.