What is Mindful Medication and How It Helps You Lose Weight
Brief History on Mindful Meditation
Meditation as a practice is as old as religion dating back centuries. Mindful Meditation was first introduced to “western medicine,” as an integral component to a healthy active lifestyle by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Jon Kabat-Zinn is an American professor emeritus of medicine and the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It has become a well-respected program across North America offered at many hospitals, clinical practices and through community and online workshops.
I was first introduced to this approach when I was Director of Lifestyle Medicine at Taylor Medical in Toronto and have been using this in my personal practice since. I have adopted many of the approaches and techniques from the Mindfulness to my weight loss programs.
Here are the top 5 benefits the Mindful Meditation:
1. Decreased Stress
Well okay. We all know that stress is a part of life and stressors come at us all the time … it seems in accelerating waves with social media, 7/24 news coverage on Donald Trump and the nosey noisy neighbour. A certain amount of stress is beneficial in fact but in access it can have serious long-term health risks. Stress, particularly high stress activates the Fight/flight response in our bodies, we all recognize the symptoms – our breathing and heart rate speed up, our muscle tense up, our senses become highly attuned, and time seems to slow down. This is caused largely by the release of cortisol, which again, in small short bursts is very useful but is very damaging over the long term. High persistent levels can cause increased blood pressure and cellular damage that can lead to chronic diseases.
While we cannot eliminate stress from our daily loves we can control HOW we deal with life’s stressors. This is where mindful meditation comes in. When practiced regularly over time one is able to control how one’s body reacts to stress. This has been demonstrated in controlled experiments.
The bottom line: Decreased stress response = a healthier mind and body
2. Greater Resiliency
Resiliency can be measured. There an excellent book and workshop called the Resiliency Quotient which can be used to measure an individual and a team’s ability to handle stress. Practicing Mindful Meditation over time can increase your ability to handle stress and increase your resiliency. Again, its not the stressor its how you HANDLE and can cope with it that is important for our mental and physical health over time.
3. Improved Brain Function
Without going into all of the research and background let me summarize the impact of Mindful Meditation on brain health. It has everything to do with Neuroplasticity. This at its basic level is the brains ability to change and adapt overtime. Mindful Meditation has been demonstrated to the ability to grow the thickness of the cortex, which is the part of the brain associated with learning and memory. Simply put having a daily ritual of mindful meditation can improve memory and cognitive reasoning … not bad for a 20 minute a day practice.
4. Decreased Depression Symptoms
Mindful meditation has been used for years in out patient clinics, universities and colleges to support those individuals living with mental health challenges better handle their symptoms of depression. It has been demonstrated to decrease depression, anxiety and stress.
5. Improved General Well being and Health
Finally Mindful Meditation has a demonstrated and significant impact on one’s general wellbeing and overall heath including: lowered stress level, cortisol and Improved mental health.
Mindful Meditation and Weight Loss
The benefits of Mindful Meditation on weight loss are significant and include the following:
- Reduced cortisol (high cortisol levels promotes FAT gain and retention of fat)
- Lower levels of stress (again stress causes weight gain and the retention of fat)
- Improved sleep
- Better coping ability and increased resiliency
- Better able to follow through a weight loss regimen for sustainable results
- Improved ability to a successfully transition from the glucose to Keto system through intermittent fasting
Stay tuned for more articles on how Mindful Meditation can improve your health and improve your weight loss results over time.