• The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

Meditation – Think it’s just for monks?

Think again. Here are 5 ways that meditation goes beyond the spiritual to improve your health.

Search meditation in Google images and you will be flooded with mystical monks watching sunsets and crossed legged figures with hands on knees and thumb and index fingers touching.

symbolfigur für meditation

Images like this lead to misconceptions about meditation. Below are a few commonly held myths.

“Meditation is a religious practice.”

Meditation doesn’t have to be linked to any religious beliefs or even spiritual ideas.

“I have a spinal cord injury and I can’t sit like that, so I can’t meditate.”

Meditation focusses on the awareness of the breath in and out of the body and fully experiencing the present moment. Breathe is the only prerequisite. Everyone can meditate.

“Meditation has no real health benefits.”

Research shows that there are real health benefits for those coping with illnesses and injuries.

Keep reading to find out 5 proven health benefits of meditation. Plus 4 DOs and DON’Ts for getting started today.

rollstuhlfahrer meditiert im park

If you have a mind, you can meditate.

5 proven health benefits

#1 Reduces stress in the body

Our body automatically deploys mechanisms in response to stress from perceived threats. This response triggers physiological effects which are useful when we need to escape from danger. These include increased blood flow and metabolism as well as the production of cortisol – the body’s stress hormone.

Exposure to ongoing stressors, however, such as dealing with a spinal cord injury or chronic stress from work, can result in this response happening too often. This can lead to physical and mental health problems.

Meditation has the potential to reduce this ‘fight-or-flight’ stress response in the body by channelling attention to the present moment. This means less perceived threats and in turn less stress related health problems.

arbeitsstress

Meditation can help cope with stress from work or injury.

#2 Strengthens immune system

Research suggests that meditation boosts the immune system. Stronger immune function could be especially beneficial when living with a spinal cord injury, another good reason to give meditation a try.

immunsystem

The production of white blood cells, which helps the body fight disease, may be increased through meditation.

#3 Improves sleep and focus

Meditation has also been shown to improve sleep quality and people with insomnia. Better sleep also leads to better focus. If you struggle with your sleep, you might want to try out regular meditation.

schlafen

Meditating can help those with insomnia.

#4 Anxiety control and decreased depression

Meditation can aid in reducing negative emotions and feelings of anxiety. It could be used as a positive tool to deal with daily life stressors. Meditation has been found to have the potential to change the part of the brain that may be responsible for depression.

depression

Use meditation to deal with negative feelings.

#5 Improves pain tolerance

Researchers have investigated how meditation may alter the way the body perceives pain by changing our brain’s sensitivity to pain. This could prove to be a helpful supplemental tool for those struggling with debilitating pain from an injury or illness.

gehirn umschulen

You can retrain your brain.

4 DOs and DON’Ts

#1 Be in a comfortable seat

DON’T lay down as you may be tempted to fall asleep.

DO find a comfortable seat in a space where you won’t be disturbed. Your wheelchair is perfectly fine, too.

rollstuhlfahrerin im park

Find a seat in a garden or local park.

#2 Pick a time

DON’T leave it to chance.

DO find a designated time in your day to practice your mindfulness mediation. Having a set time will make you more likely to stick to it until it becomes regular part of your routine.

tagesagenda

Schedule a time to meditate each day.

#3 Keep it short

DON’T try to meditate for 30 minutes or more at first.

DO start with 5 to 10 minutes. That’s enough to be effective.

stoppuhr

Even 5 minutes a day can have benefits.

#4 Use an app

DON’T feel overwhelmed. Guided meditation is a great way to start.

DO use a meditation app like Headspace. It’s a great guide for beginners and is available in English, French and German.

iphone mit apps

There are many meditation apps available for free.

Do you practice meditation? If so, what has your experience been? If not, would you be willing to try it out?

Comments (0)

There are no comments on this topic yet.
Be the first to comment!

Rate this post

Forum
Most Recent Answers
5440 odyssita
Explaining what life with a chronic disability is like
Hi cAro, all the best for your research! I am very curious to hear about the results once they are being published. Thank you for researching this...
6 odyssita 2018-05-02
5387 Wheelie
Scewo
Good news for all who would like to try out the Scewo by themselves: according the Scewo constructors, the feedback on their invention was so...
5 Johannes 2018-03-12
Ask the Expert
Most Recent Answers
3 Dr._Hans_old 2015-07-20
3 Dr._Hans_old 2015-05-07

Blog
Most Recent Blog Posts
Batgirl and Professor X: Superheroes with SCI
The superheroes of the comics are just like us… so how about superheroes with disabilities?
0
Steve 2020-09-17 In Society
The crying club: Shed the tears, don't hold back!
Crying may not be a sign of weakness but a good way to express your emotions
0
shannonvlahakis 2020-09-05 In News
Celebrate with the world on Spinal Cord Injury Day!
Today, the 5th of September, is World SCI Day
0
Wiki
Most Read
Anatomy and physiology of respiration
Breathing is the most normal thing in the world for us. We hardly think about it, even though we breathe in and out about 20,000 times per day. We breathe more when we are active and exerting ourselves, and we breathe less when we are...
Social skills increase quality of life
Today strawberry yogurt is on Anna’s* grocery list. In front of the dairy section she notices that she cannot reach the yogurt sitting in a wheelchair. Many stressed people are rushing through the crowded store during rush hour and she does not...
Mobilisation / Transferring
What do I need to consider with regard to the shoulders? The shoulder is the most heavily-strained joint with regard to mobilisation – that applies to sitting up and transferring. It is therefore important to protect the shoulders whenever it is...

About the Community
Most Recent Topics
2020-09-07 In Latest
Netflix documentary "Rising Phoenix" about the Paralympics
The Neflix documentary "Rising Phoenix" tells the extraordinary story of the Paralympic Games. From the rubble of World War II, they developed into what is now the third biggest sporting event on...
0
2020-08-04 In Latest
An unconventional book on ignoring disability
"A picture is worth a thousand words." How about blank pages? Recently, a blank book has been released to express the absurdity people with disabilities are experiencing every day, as there is...
0
2020-07-16 In Latest
Free masks for high-risk patients with SCI
People with high-level tetraplegia, paraplegics of higher age and those with pre-existing health conditions are more susceptible to a severe development of COVID-19. For this reason, the European...
0

Contact

Swiss Paraplegic Research
Guido A. Zäch Strasse 4
6207 Nottwil
Switzerland

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T 0800 727 236 (from Switzerland, free of charge)
T +41 41 939 65 55 (from other countries, charges apply)

Be part of the Community – sign up now!