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Here’s how Meditation can help with stress. The science behind OM

We are living in a constant state of stress these days and knowing how to manage or relieve stress is probably one of the most valuable things you do.
Meditation is an ancient art which helps relieve and manage stress has been practiced for thousands of Years and science is also backing it up.

Cortisol levels normally fluctuate throughout the day and night in a circadian rhythm that peaks at about 8 AM and reaches it lowest around 4 AM. While it is vital to health for the adrenals to secret more cortisol in response to stress, it is also very important that bodily functions and cortisol levels return to normal following a stressful event. Unfortunately, in our current high-stress culture, the stress response is activated so often that the body does not always have a chance to return to normal.

This can lead to health problems resulting from too much circulating cortisol and/or from too little cortisol if the adrenal glands become chronically fatigued (adrenal fatigue). Stress can cause Impaired cognitive performance, Dampened thyroid function, Blood sugar imbalances, such as hyperglycemia, Decreased bone density, Sleep disruption, Decreased muscle mass, Elevated blood pressure, Lowered immune function, Slow wound healing and Increased abdominal fat.

When these hormones are higher than normal and remain high after the stressful event has taken place, it can make us feel depressed and exhausted. Yoga is great for having a good response for stress relief.  AUM or OM chanting helps you to mobilise the energy in the body in a very gracefully manner in the body and the blood. Stress is a fight or flight response in the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).

Om meditation removes the blockages in the blood, heart and the muscles. Scientific studies confirmed that Om meditation produces relax response in the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).

The four levels of Om chanting helps the metabolic equilibrium in the body. Generally, the excessive stress hormone kills the body cells. But Om chanting brings back the dominance of PNS over SNS and re-institutes the metabolic equilibrium in the body. Om meditation influenced the limbic system in the brain and controls the memories and the emotions. The chanting and meditations goes together. It’s like five minutes loud Om chanting and then five minutes just relax in silence. The different energy centres are activated using Om.

According to the scripture Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra Om meditation should be done with proper understanding the meanings of AUM. There are many explanation of the meaning of the word AUM.or Om. However, I like the explanation given by Sri Amit Ray in the book, Om Chanting and Meditation, where he explains

 “Om is not just a sound or vibration. It is not just a symbol. It is the entire cosmos, whatever we can see, touch, hear and feel. Moreover, it is all that is within our perception and all that is beyond our perception. It is the core of our very existence. If you think of Om only as a sound, a technique or a symbol of the Divine, you will miss it altogether. Om is the mysterious cosmic energy that is the substratum of all the things and all the beings of the entire universe. It is an eternal song of the Divine. It is continuously resounding in silence on the background of everything that exists.”

 

In Om meditation. you must feel the beautiful cosmic vibration reverberate through your body and mind. It is yoga practise. It should be done with proper posture and mind set.

References

1. Chanting OM during meditation for stress relief – Ajay Anil Gurjar and Siddharth A. Ladhake Time-Frequency Analysis of Chanting Sanskrit Divine Sound “OM”
Mantra http://paper.ijcsns.org/07_book/200808/20080825.pdf

2. Antoine; Greischar, Lawrence L.; Rawlings, Nancy B.; Ricard, Matthieu; Davidson, Richard J.; Singer, Burton H. (November 2004). “Long-term meditators self-induce high-amplitude gamma synchrony during mental practice”.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101 (46): 16369–73.doi:10.1073/pnas.0407401101. JSTOR 3373824.PMC 526201. PMID 15534199.

3. Bhattathiry, M.P. Neurophysiology of Meditation. Retrieved 2006-08-14.[unreliable source?]

4. Benson, Herbert (December 1997). “The relaxation response: therapeutic effect”. Science 278 (5344): 1693–7. Bibcode:1997Sci…278.1693B.doi:10.1126/science.278.5344.1693b. PMID 9411784.

5. Cromie, William J. (18 April 2002). Meditation changes temperatures: Mind controls body in extreme experiments. Harvard University Gazette. Archived from the original on 24 May 2007.

About The Author

I am Simon Wan. I am a Yoga teacher. I attended Yoga courses at Shivananda Ashram India. I have attended 500 hours yoga certified courses. I am father of two sons and one daughter. I like morning walking. I like yoga, meditation and blogging. http://yogatalks.wordpress.com/

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