In an article called “Meditation: An Introduction”, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine talks about the basics concepts about meditation, as well as about the benefits that this practice can bring to the daily of the people, mainly in relation with the people’s health. In spite of to be a simple and introductory article, it is well-written and works very well as an overview about this subject showing also some possible side effects. However the most interesting in this article is for those one who want know more about meditation, because this article gives us a good source of reference, to look for more information.
Meditation is a term that is used to refer to several techniques that have been used by many different cultures for thousands of years. In the beginning meditation was used with religious or cultural purpose, however in our days, mainly in the western world, it is more used for health and wellness purposes. Inside of the group of techniques that are called as meditation we find mantra meditation, relaxation response, mindfulness meditation, Zen Buddhist meditation, and others. Anyway it does not matter what kind of meditation that is being practiced four elements have to be present: a quiet location, a specific and comfortable posture, a focus of attention, and an open attitude. Also it does not matter what kind of practice it is being used is possible to verify benefits for various health problems, as anxiety, pain, depression, stress, insomnia, and physical or emotional symptoms that may be associated with chronic illnesses and their treatments. The scientific explanation for these benefits is that meditation works in the sympathetic nervous system and in the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing down the heart rate and breathing, and consequently achieving a state of relaxed awareness that works to improve the overall wellness of the body.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, NCCAM, is a component of the National Institutes of Health. It is also the main agency of the Federal Government for scientific researches in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, CAM. In their concept CAM is “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered to be part of conventional medicine.” Some examples of CAM are homeopathic medicine, naturopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, prayer, mental healing, and meditation, for sure.
As this article is addressing for everyone who arrives in their website, it is elementary, but it is not superficial neither without base. For sure, the text works to present the entity and its jobs and beliefs, but it is able to inform and give us support to go ahead and look for more, or understand that we are in a wrong place. With an easy-reading language the text calls we to know this world which is not frequently disclose for the big communication’s media. It also works to solve some false beliefs about these non-traditional medicine’s practices.
In almost all points of view meditation has been useful to help people to improve their energy and well-being. The only side effects registered until now are with people with certain psychiatric problems or physical limitations. In other situations, meditation has shown to be a good way to do more than avoid illness, as the traditional medicine use to do. Meditation has worked to enlarge the original meaning of medicine. With its practice medicine can let to be just “the art of healing” to be the art of the improvement of the health and wellness of the people.
“Meditation: An Introduction [NCCAM Backgrounder].” National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [NCCAM] – nccam.nih.gov Home Page. NCCAM National Institutes of Health, Feb. 2009. Web. 21 Feb. 2010. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm#meditation.