I’ve never been one to just take people’s words for things. When someone tells me that something worked for them, but they don’t have any science or evidence to why, I think it is great it helped them but I usually don’t take their recommendations too seriously. Maybe it is somewhat of the curse of having a lot of academics in the family, but that is how my brain often works.
The best example of this happening is when my stepmother, Renae, was very sick with breast cancer she started learning meditation from books she checked out from the local library. This was almost 20 years ago and I thought, “here is an amazingly strong woman who is trying anything to deal with the agony of late stage cancer.” To be honest, I didn’t give the meditation practice she got involved with much attention and thought it was “cooky”, but whatever made her feel better.
Funny how life goes, fast forward those almost 20 years and I remember being in my pain doctor’s office after my last (last of 7) spinal surgeries and trying to wrap my head around the idea that my doctor just told me there was nothing else he could offer me in the form of treatment. We had tried medications, I’ve done exercise therapy, soft-tissue treatments, acupuncture, injections, and more things that I can’t even remember. So, what would I do now that my pain flare ups were still a large problem?
Jim was a crucial member of our research team to find out some better solutions
I was desperate for anything, so when my tai chi teacher recommended that I spend more time on meditation practice, I rolled my eyes a bit in my head (at least I think it was in my head). My familiarity to be fair, with meditation was largely limited to many of the biases of most people when it comes to meditation. Of course I thought it really didn’t do anything, it wasn’t scientific, and most of all, how would just relaxing help my significant structural issues?
Being desperate though, I’d try anything. You can imagine my shock that when I began devoting a little time each day (talking like 10 minutes) I started to notice little things that were making me feel better. The random anxiety attacks I would have (largely from intense medications and traumatic surgeries) were getting better, my energy was a bit better, and most of all, my pain flare ups were starting to slowly decrease.
Was it all placebo? What was happening? How is this relevant to you and maybe your fitness goals? Glad you asked!
Is Meditation Just A Cool Way To Say Relax?
As I started to see improvements, I wanted to know was there real science to meditation or was it something else? To my surprise there is A LOT of different research on meditation. Not just to relax and calm yourself, but even to help with relationship with food, pain levels, and a lot more.
There is A LOT of research if you go to Google Scholar or pubmed and looking on health outcomes from meditation. The key though is we aren’t “tricking” people or just helping them chill out. The exciting part is that mediation actually creates REAL changes in our brains!
This is all so important because we look for artificial means to “have energy”, suppress out appetites, and want things to help us make better lifestyle choices and the great part, there is! However, it doesn’t come in a pill or powder, it comes from some consistent practice, but only takes a few minutes a day.
But if you are thinking to yourself a lot of the common things as I did, like….
-I have too many thoughts in my head, I can’t do meditation
-I hate having things be too quiet, it makes me more crazy
-I barely have time to do the things I want in my life
I get it, I had similar apprehensions and probably more, but then I gave it an honest chance and now I’m so happy I did. However, rather than just taking may word for it, I wanted to give you a really practical way to combat these concerns and show you how movement with mediation can be a great way for many people to start practicing and even help the practice so much more.
Don’t worry, it isn’t complicated, it doesn’t take a lot of time, and best of all it doesn’t require to spend any additional money on equipment in order to perform it and reap the benefits. Check out how I like to introduce people to meditative techniques, how it will improve your fitness as well as your overall well being in a fun way that will encourage you to practice more!
If you are interested in learning more, we have 25% off our Myofascial Integrated Movement Program HERE as well as our Ultimate Sandbags, and other DVRT online courses and workout programs all with code “winter” HERE
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