|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2014 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 90-91
Emerging need for meditation practice in the community
S Ganesh Kumar
Associate Professor of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India
|Date of Web Publication||1-Jul-2015|
S Ganesh Kumar
Associate Professor of Preventive and Social Medicine, JIPMER, Puducherry - 06
Meditation practice is one of the most important health factors that need attention, especially in developing countries including India. This is keeping in view of the recent increase in the trend of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors in the population. The need of the hour is to address the need for practice of meditation at a community level to improve the populace health. This article explains the importance of meditation, its awareness generation, and the factors required to improve its practice in the community.
Keywords: Awareness, community health, meditation, non-communicable diseases
|How to cite this article:|
Kumar S G. Emerging need for meditation practice in the community. Yoga Mimamsa 2014;46:90-1
Dear Editor, Yoga Mïmāṃsā,
Meditation is an important method to promote physical and mental health in the populace and prevent many diseases. It can serve as a very important measure to tackle the currently increasing trend of chronic non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular diseases in India (Kumar, 2013). Stress is one of the major risk factors for such ailments, which acts through sympathetic nervous system in the body to produce various health effects. It has been known since long that meditation is an important method to reduce the stress levels. In a simpler way, it is the perception of one's own body and breathing without any external influences on the mind. Breath meditation is an important way to tackle stress ("Breath meditation", 2014). Another meditation, mindfulness meditation, is the moment-by-moment awareness of sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Mindfulness helps to reduce stress, improve psychological well-being, cope with chronic illness as well as serves as an adjunctive treatment for psychiatric disorders (Sharma & Rush, 2014). Mindfulness-based meditation helps to regulate stress through modulation of autonomic nervous system (Nijjar et al., 2014). Any of the above-mentioned types of meditation results in neurobiological changes in the brain, which result in positive physiological and psychological changes.
Telomeres in the chromosome of the cell are responsible for cellular aging which determines human longevity. Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation leads to increased telomerase activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (Schutte & Malouff, 2014). In meditation, various activities of the brain, which include attention regulation, body awareness, emotion regulation, and flexible self-concept, are affected in a positive way to improve the mental and physical health of the individual. Future studies are expected to predict the psycho-physiological variables associated with specific meditative states of the mind.
Considering the huge benefits of meditation, there is a need for creating awareness about its importance through political commitment and involvement of various organizations and departments like health, human resource development, sports, and education department, along with local non-governmental organizations, self-help groups, and community people at large.
| References|| |
Breath meditation: A great way to relieve stress (2014). Harvard Mens Health Watch
Kumar, G. S. (2013). Yoga in promotion of health: Translating evidence into practice at primary healthcare level in India. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care
Nijjar, P. S., Puppala, V. K., Dickinson, O., Duval, S., Duprez, D., Kreitzer, M. J., … Benditt, D. G. (2014). Modulation of the autonomic nervous system assessed through heart rate variability by a mindfulness based stress reduction program. International Journal of Cardiology
Schutte, N. S., & Malouff, J. M. (2014). A meta-analytic review of the effects of mindfulness meditation on telomerase activity. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 42
Sharma, M., & Rush, S. E. (2014). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as a Stress Management Intervention for Healthy Individuals: A Systematic Review. Journal of Evidence based complementary Alternative Medicine, 19