I like holistic medicine. I believe that nature and the natural design of my body are bent toward healing as the body’s natural survival response and the natural evolutionary process. Much of my focus has always been outward on things such as herbs and aromatherapy. When I begin to think inwardly, what type of holistic treatment would apply? I come up with meditation.

As I research the subject, I become aware that it can be very effective in the natural healing process of many chronic conditions. The drawback is that, unlike modern medicine which often prescribes a pill that delivers quick, sometimes immediate results, the practice of meditation requires time and consistency to transform the body and mind. I argue that if I am willing to invest vast financial resources to remain healthy, why not be willing to invest time as well? Why not commit to lifelong meditative practices and principles if it contributes to a better quality of life just as eating healthy for lifetime will?

Often, cultural pressure undermines what we humans instinctively know. Although I may experience some well-intentioned individuals who scoff at the idea of me surrendering pain meds for meditation and choosing to endure the discomfort for a while until the meditation has had time to transform my body, I will simply move forward and hopefully prove them wrong. I know they think it is silly for anyone to put up with discomfort for any length of time when a pill can be popped and the pain vanish within minutes. However, the damage to my liver and digestive system is unseen and will not be felt probably for years. I think I will stick with trying the meditation.

Also, the pain reliever does nothing to help my anxiety attacks. Traditional treatment of my anxiety simply means another pill to pop alongside the pain meds. Not only will my neck and back pain eventually be relieved by consistent meditation, but eventually my anxiety attacks will also diminish to the point of insignificance. One treatment, two cures. Successful meditation my transform my inner struggle to remain calm, cool and collected to become an experience of minor “butterflies in the stomach”. The symptoms of the shakes and sweats and dizziness and fainting will be conquered right alongside my physical pain, for a lifetime, without damaging my internal organs.

Meditation is now a global phenomenon. Gone are the days when it was only a hippie or spiritual guru who practiced it as a form of alternative mystical religion. There are many different forms of meditative practices. I have chosen the pathway of “Mindfulness”. This popular meditative trend that is growing focuses on overall well-being and compassion with a worldview toward social justice.

A medical study was conducted in 2003 on mindfulness meditation. The results concluded that mindfulness meditative practices can develop a stronger immune system. People who suffered from depression and participated in the study were found to have electrical brain activity that shifted from the right side to the left side. This transitioned the patient to a more positive emotional state. A different neurological study suggests that meditation can help reduce cognitive decline and can also result in growth in the region of the brain where higher functioning takes place. Genetic studies of meditation reveal that telomerase production increases in the body. The function of this enzyme is to protect DNA from the effects of aging and stress. Meditation can help me live longer and prevent cognitive decline as I age.

So, my choice to practice mindfulness meditation could result in me being sick from infectious diseases less often and healing quicker if I do come down with something like the flu. I will also have more positive and balanced moods and emotions. I could even become a bit more intelligent. I should be able to retain that intelligence into old age. And, I should live longer. I don’t know why the rest of the world has not gotten on board!