Meditation has been practiced by religions for thousands of years to build internal energy and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. But for seniors, daily or weekly meditation can have multiple physical benefits as well.
Meditation can improve memory. During meditation, the Hibbocampus – the part of the brain that stores both long term and short term memory – and the frontal brain lobe, which contains most of the dopamine-sensitive neurons, become stimulated.
Meditation improves digestion. Meditation involves deep breathing exercises, which improve blood oxygen circulation, sending extra help to the stomach and intestines and all other organs.
Meditation is a stress reliever. Stress can cause a host of health problems, from heart disease and diabetes to headaches and gastrointestinal issues. Stress has even been associated with accelerated aging and premature death. A meditation program can relieve stress and help stave off many stress-related health problems.
Meditation can help inflammation. A Carnegie Melon study of adults between ages 55 and 85 found that individuals who participated in an eight-week meditation program saw a reduction in their inflammation.
Meditation can help relieve chronic pain. Mindfulness meditation has been used successfully in programs to reduce chronic pain from a number of conditions, such as lower back pain, migraines, chest pains and gastrointestinal pain.