Now a new study shows that the ancient technique has powerful effects not only on your brain, but your body as well. Specifically, meditation is linked to a dramatic reduction in heart disease and the factors that contribute to it.
The study appeared in the American Journal of Cardiology. Researchers analyzed health data from 61,000 people. About 10% practiced meditation.[i]
Researcher found that meditators had lower rates of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, and diabetes.
But the biggest difference was in heart disease.
Meditators were just 51% as likely to have the condition.[ii]
The research backs up a previous study conducted at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
Scientists looked at 56 heart disease patients. They divided them into four groups, each getting a different kind of treatment: usual care, cardiac rehabilitation, meditation, and meditation plus cardiac rehabilitation.[iii]
After 12 weeks, heart blood flow increased 12.8% in the meditation group. It increased 20.7% in the meditation-plus-cardiac-rehabilitation group. Lack of blood flow to the heart is the fundamental danger of heart disease. That’s what leads to heart attack and death.
The rehabilitation group, which exercised and followed a heart-healthy diet but did not meditate, had just a 5.8% improvement.
What about the group that only got the usual mainstream treatments such as statins and heart stents? It had a -10.3% decrease in blood flow.
Mindfulness Meditation: A Step-by-Step Guide
Mindfulness is a simple, effective form of meditation. You sit comfortably in any quiet place, focus on your breathing, and when your attention wanders, return.
Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Find a seat. Sit on a chair, a park bench, a carpeted floor—anywhere that is comfortable. You want a stable, solid seat…not a porch swing or rocking chair.
Position your legs. Many people like to cross their legs when they meditate, but that’s not necessary. Sit so that you can relax.
Sit up. Straighten your upper body, but don’t be stiff. Your back has a natural curve. Let it be there.
Drop your hands. Let your hands rest naturally on your legs.
Look ahead. You can close your eyes or gaze forward without focusing on anything in particular.
Feel your breath. Pay attention to the physical act of breathing. Notice your chest and belly rise and fall. Mentally note breathing in and breathing out.
When your mind wanders… Don’t worry about it. That’s normal. Just go back to paying attention to your breathing.
Stop. Open your eyes if they were closed. Notice how your body feels. Pause for a moment to consider how you’d like to continue on with your day.
As little as five minutes a day is beneficial. But longer sessions—up to a half hour—or two or three sessions a day, work well for many people.
Mindfulness meditation can be difficult at first. You may find it hard in the beginning to maintain focus on your breathing. But most people find it gets easier with practice, and the benefits make it worthwhile. Meditation is a science-proven, natural way to keep your mind calm and your heart healthy.
Editor’s Note: Research shows the standard heart disease treatments—stents and statin drugs—don’t prevent heart attacks. Discover what does. Get the Heart Smart Protocol. It’s a simple, science-backed plan that prevents and treats America’s number-one killer naturally, without drugs or procedures. You’ll find it in our monthly journal, Independent Healing. Subscribe HERE.