Mediation Advantage Services - March 2020

PRACTICE PAIN RELIEF

THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION

like arthritis and debilitating injuries. Because of this, care providers have become focused on finding ways to help patients manage these persistent aches. The sensation of pain is caused by a complex interaction of biological and cognitive factors, leading scientists to study how mental exercises like meditation can aid in pain relief. Anecdotal evidence regarding meditation’s ability to reduce pain has existed for as long as the practice itself. However, modern technology has given researchers the means to accurately measure the effectiveness of this age-old tradition. The Department of Health and Human Services has cited MRI brain scans as proof that meditation can lead to moderate pain reduction. These scans revealed that the same areas of the brain stimulated by painkillers are activated when the mind is in a meditative state. This supports the accounts of those who have reported better functionality after meditative sessions. With the ongoing tragedy of the opioid crisis, there is a dire need for pain management strategies that are noninvasive and not habit-forming, such as physical therapy. Meditation is easily accessible and can be used in conjunction with other pain relief strategies. Whether you sign up for guided meditation sessions, download one of the many mindfulness apps on the market today, or simply make time to sit and clear your mind for 30 minutes, it’s easy to add meditation to your normal routine.

Meditation has different meanings for different people. Traditionally, the act of focusing one’s mind has been used in religious and spiritual practices around the globe. More recently, it’s become a popular method of relaxation. Now, new research shows that this ancient practice may have yet another benefit: pain management.

In 2008, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey found that over 100 million adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain due to conditions

3 BENEFITS OF BEING A PET OWNER HOWYOURFURRY FRIENDHELPSYOURHEALTHANDHAPPINESS

Just by looking at your sweet little muffin wagging their tail beside you, the infinite benefits pets give to their owners are clear. They’re loving and cuddly, and they don’t care if you’re having a bad hair day or wearing the same pair of jeans you wore yesterday.

blood pressure levels and lowered triglyceride levels (a type of fat associated with heart disease).

They motivate you to move more often.

For anyone who doesn’t know how great having a pet is, here are three of the many reasons why pets benefit your happiness and your health.

There’s nothing like a dog staring at you with sweet, sad eyes to get you to put on your tennis shoes and head outside for a walk. Even on days when you feel like hanging out on the couch and watching Netflix, your pet will remind you how much healthier — and happier — you’ll be if you head outside. If you and your family are looking for a pet, consider adopting from a shelter or rescue. Take the time to consider your needs and the needs of a pet and to do some research before you adopt to ensure you can provide a happy environment and life for a new companion. There are also many foster programs that allow you to get to know a dog or cat before you adopt.

They help combat feelings of loneliness.

During periods of change, especially when the relationships around you are evolving, a pet can provide a source of stability and companionship. In addition, a pet can provide the impetus for starting a new friendship with other pet owners and animal lovers.

They decrease blood pressure and hormones associated with stress.

Playtime with your pets has measurable health benefits according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Pets are associated with decreased

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