Tag Archives: Meditation

The Mind Body Connection is REAL


A couple of months ago I committed to a summer-based exploratory health initiative involving morning meditation and I promised to report back with an update. The results have been profound. And the most noticeable outcome was completely unanticipated.

For nearly my entire adult life, I have experienced IBS-like symptoms, rotating through ongoing unpredictable bouts of constipation, diarrhea and normal stools. I was never able to detect an etiology or pattern of behavior that would explain my condition and it was very difficult to cope with and manage. Just like Groundhog Day, each time I would complain about these symptoms to my primary care provider at my annual physical, he would tell me that I needed to eat more fiber. I knew this was not accurate, as I have always eaten a lot of fruits and vegetables. My doctor even went as far as giving my samples of the medication Linzess, indicated for IBS symptoms, but I never took them and don’t ever plan to.

Not until recently – until I started meditating for 10-15 minutes each morning – did my IBS symptoms completely vanish. And within days of starting my meditation practice too. I now enjoy regular bowel movements each and every morning like clockwork, something I have NEVER experienced before and previously deemed unattainable.

I shared these results with my integrative practitioner recently and she had a very logical explanation for why this is happening. In addition to the relaxation response of me meditation – SCIENTIFICALLY – our organs, namely our our brains and stomachs, require glucose to function optimally. Anyone who experiences stress on a daily basis (i.e. me) requires more glucose to help their brains function. As my integrative practitioner pointed out, anytime my brain is competing with other organs for glucose, my brain will win. And now that I have been giving my brain a rest for 10-15 minutes each morning through meditation – before doing anything, including speaking with others and/or touching my iPhone – my GI tract is opportunistically utilizing this additionally available glucose to vastly improve my digestive process and output. It seems like a miracle but, really, it’s just science. And I love it!

I am so fascinated by and appreciative of the fact that we can dramatically improve our lives through minor lifestyle modifications. Although I could have never anticipated this particular mind body connection, it is now something I swear by and absolutely recommend to others. I have even done a little research on it and stumbled an article from Harvard that validates my claim and takes a deeper dive into the science behind this phenomena. Needless to say, I plan to continue my morning meditation indefinitely!

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Make (down)time for myself

I am about to embark on an experiment that may return immeasurable results.

Although I’m a pretty easy going guy, I enjoy being “busy” and my mind is always working. My daily to-do lists are impossible to complete, which creates a great deal of physical/mental fatigue and a sense of perennial underachievement. The bottom line is that I never give myself a break. Because of this, I have committed to change the following TWO things:

1. Go to sleep when I feel tired. This seems like a no-brainer, but nearly every evening I push myself to stay awake and accomplish everything that I humanly can before falling asleep. I view sleep as letting the day “die”, which is a difficult process for me. I cannot even count how many times I have fallen asleep on the couch, fully clothed, with my iPhone in hand and/or my iPad on my lap. The consequence of this is not getting a full night of rest and recovery. It is like charging my phone battery to half-strength only and then expecting it to last for a full day, which is not reasonable or sustainable. I believe that implementing this will give my body more energy to thrive each new day that I wake up.

2. Meditate for 10 minutes immediately upon waking. Although sleep will certainly help “recharge my battery”, my mind remains on all night dreaming autonomously via an unconscious state. I believe that meditating for at least 10 minutes each morning will help turn my mind off and help “re-boot” my operating system, giving me more mental acuity and help me approach each new day with a fresh clear mind. There are many ways to meditate, but my favorite method is best described here.

I plan to put these two processes into place, effective immediately, and continue them over the course of the Summer. I look forward to sharing my results!

Robert

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