Doctors and other health professionals have come to the understanding in recent years that there are many different approaches to improving the health of the elderly. Seniors should continue to consult with traditional health care personnel, but in addition it is beneficial to explore some alternative practices known to improve health. One such practice is meditation.
Meditation does not involve strenuous movement, spending money, or discomfort of any kind. It can improve memory, digestion, mood, cognition and relieve stress. If such a simple activity has so many potential benefits, it makes sense to look at it in more detail.
There are at least five important areas of health that mediation has been shown to benefit:
- Memory: During meditation, the brain areas where long-term and short-term memory take place, the Hippocampus and frontal lobe, are strongly stimulated. This stimulation has been shown to improve both long and short-term memory.
- Digestion: Remarkably the deep, slow breathing which is part of meditation, causes blood and oxygen to circulate more efficiently throughout the body. This general boost of oxygen to the internal organs has a positive effect on their functioning, including the digestive system, as well as other systems, such as the immune system.
- Mood: The ability of mediation to stimulate the frontal lobe also causes the activation of the part of the prefrontal cortex that controls happiness. Those who suffer from depression can experience increased feelings of happiness, a great benefit for all, and especially for seniors who could be feeling down.
- Cognitive functions: Meditation increases mental alertness, helping seniors feel better able to cope with the ordinary challenges of day to day living. Improved focus, more creativity, a quicker wit, helps seniors feel more like productive members of society.
- Stress: There are many sources of stress for the elderly: pain, illness, loneliness and more. After incorporating meditation into their lives, the level of stress was significantly reduced.
Meditation has been called the “fountain of youth” by many experts. With so many fundamental benefits, it’s easy to see why.