Alternative healthcare includes any practice or treatment that falls outside of the traditional healthcare sciences. A newer term for a type of alternative healthcare is “complementary medicine”, or “complementary healthcare”, because it encompasses scientifically proven health benefits that can complement your healthcare routine, but doesn’t fall within the traditional healthcare sciences.
Meditation is an ancient art, written about all the way back to biblical times and before, but in modern day, meditation is part of the alternative complementary healthcare practices in the Western World. The Eastern World has long practiced meditation for relaxation, health improvement, peace, religious purposes and more.
When first hearing about meditation, it’s easy to think about it being ‘New Age’ or different, odd perhaps. But the reality is, meditation is something we likely do already, without realizing it. Think about it: Have you ever been upset about something and you stop for a moment and catch your breath, count to ten, close your eyes and do some deep breathing to get yourself back under control? If so, then you’re practicing meditation, perhaps without even realizing it!
How to Meditate
Meditating is easy, but getting set up to meditate right might take a little work. One of the best way to meditate is to clear your mind from all thoughts except your meditation, and this is not as easy as it sounds.
Meditation Step One: Find a quiet, peaceful place. This can be your bedroom, your office, your back yard, your car. It doesn’t matter where, as long as you can have a few minutes of time alone, without interruption.
Meditation Step Two: Get into a comfortable position. You don’t have to sit in a yoga pose or anything fancy unless you simply want to sit that way. Lay down if that’s comfortable, but just don’t fall asleep! You can sit, recline, whatever makes you feel comfortable, without any pain or discomfort if possible.
Meditation Step Three: Clear your mind from all other thoughts and worries of the day. Meditation isn’t a time to work out your problems, think about things, figure stuff out. Meditation is a time to clear your mind of all these mental worries, so you can focus on just being.
Meditation Step Four: Relax, breathe deeply, close your eyes.
Some people enjoy humming, rocking slightly, or doing other things that help keep the mind clear and the body as comfortable or pain free as possible.
Meditation Step Five: Concentrate on whatever outcome you’d like to achieve.
Now, for some people, meditation is a part of manifestation. That is, they meditation in order to manifest a change for the better into their lives, such as: better health, more financial security, patience, calmness or peace, or any other things. Other people just like to meditation for nothing more than relaxation.
The health properties of meditation are disputed by many in the medical community, but there is an increasing acceptance amongst traditional scientific doctors that meditation actually does help people be more healthy. For example, many cardiologists now recommend meditation to patients with high blood pressure to help them relax and stay in control, thus keeping blood pressure lower.
People who suffer from chronic pain know that meditating can help reduce pain levels, just from practicing it. The breathing and meditation taught in Lamaze classes for women giving birth are long known to help with the pain of childbirth, and these methods can be used for any type of pain as well, because it’s nothing more than a method of patterned ritual breathing meditation.
While meditating can seem a bit silly to those who are just starting, sitting in a comfortable place alone, humming, rocking, deep breathing, etc., it doesn’t take long before the relaxation benefits kick in and meditation becomes second nature. I personally meditation several times per day, sometimes for a half hour or more and other times just for a few minutes to re-center myself and relax from a tough day. You’ll learn how best to meditate for yourself after you practice it a few times, so don’t let the silly feeling stop you from meditating regularly until you get the hang of it and reap the benefits from this ancient practice.