We all know that meditation can reduce stress, but did you know that it can also help eliminate pain and make you a more compassionate person? This isn’t make believe or some kind of new-age delusion. Modern technology has allowed scientists to study the effects of meditation on the brain. And while the results may have been surprising to some, to those of us at All About Smiles who meditate on a regular basis and have done so for years, the results simply proved what we have known all along. Meditating before we come to work at our Wilmington dental office makes us better dentists and calmer, more gentle people.
Brainwaves have frequencies, five of them to be exact. And while they are very complex and overlap, they signal different states of mind and brain activity from hyper-alert gamma to deep sleep delta. MRI scans have shown that when we are anxious, frightened, or irritated, our brains are often in a state of beta brain activity. Meditation can bring those frequencies down to alpha waves, the waves associated with a more calm and relaxed state of mind and also with play, creativity, and imagination.
For years, practitioners of meditation have also believed that meditation can reduce pain. Scientists have used MRIs to test this theory using images of brains experiencing pain and on pharmaceuticals. Surprisingly, placebos had similar effects on the brain to the pharmaceuticals, which confirms that simply thinking about reducing pain can reduce it in a real and measurable way. This was also tested and confirmed when focusing on pain reduction through meditation and was tracked by MRI imaging. Activity in the area directly related to pain was shown to decrease simply through concentration.
Simply focusing on breathing deeply and calmly is an effective form of meditation. Our bodies are programmed to breathe deeply when angry, stressed, excited; it is one of nature’s most effective calming mechanisms. But it is not only calming, it can also have incredible health benefits including:
It can even make you look better!
Clearly taking a few moments a day to meditate and breathe can improve our health and our lives. To learn more about the benefits of meditation or information about how to practice meditation, please feel free to give our Wilmington dental office a call at (302) 239-1641. Dr. Lewis Yu created All About Smiles to help you get the most out of your smile – and your life!
It all adds up to better health, smile, body, and spirit!