By Live Dr - Thu Feb 05, 9:04 am
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Meditate your pain away
You can meditate your pain away, says a new Canadian study.
Zen meditation can help people regain mental, physical and emotional balance, and reduce pain, says the study by Montreal University researchers.
It says those who practise Zen meditation exhibit lower pain sensitivity (during and after meditation) compared to non-meditators.
“While previous studies have shown that teaching chronic pain patients to meditate is beneficial, very few studies have looked at pain processing in healthy, highly trained meditators,” a university statement quoted study co-author Joshua Grant as saying.
“This study was a first step in determining how or why meditation might influence pain perception,” added Grant who co-authored the study with university professor Pierre Rainville.
As part of their study, the researchers selected 13 people who had practised Zen meditation for at least 1,000 hours and 13 non-meditators to undergo a pain test.
“The administered pain test was simple: a thermal heat source, a computer controlled heating plate, was pressed against the calves of subjects intermittently at varying temperatures,” the university statement said.
“Heat levels began at 43 degrees Celsius and went to a maximum of 53 degrees Celsius depending on each participant’s sensitivity. While quite a few of the meditators tolerated the maximum temperature, all control subjects were well below 53 degrees Celsius.”
When the researchers contrasted the reaction of the two groups, they found a marked difference.
Zen meditators exhibited much lower pain sensitivity even without meditating, compared to non-meditators, the statement said.
During meditation, Zen meditators even further reduced their pain through slower breathing as their breath rate dropped to 12 per minute versus 15 breaths for non-meditators.
“Slower breathing certainly coincided with reduced pain and may influence pain by keeping the body in a relaxed state,” said Grant.
“While previous studies have found that the emotional aspects of pain are influenced by meditation, we found that the sensation itself, as well as the emotional response, is different in meditators,” he added.
Overall, the study found that Zen meditators experienced an 18 percent reduction in pain intensity. The study has been published in the January edition of Psychosomatic Medicine.
Source: Indo-Asian News Service
Exercise During Pregnancy: Myth vs. Fact
By Meenakshi Shankar
Most women’s first thought after discovering that they are pregnant is: ” Does this mean that no more running to the gym and the pool for me?” Doctors give their thumbs up to pregnant mothers to participate in fitness activities during pregnancy, but they also say that by doing so can have a positive impact on both baby and mother.
Research tells us that you need to be physically active during pregnancy. It has terrific benefits that are associated with a better pregnancy outcome and even shorter labors. It’s a win-win for the baby and the mother.
What exercises are best?
Moms-to-be are often most comfortable, and have less injuries, when they follow a non-weight bearing exercise routine, such as swimming or cycling using a stationary bike. A study by the American College
of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG
) reveals that pregnant women who follow a non-weightbearing exercise program are more likely to continue it into the third trimester than those who attempt weightbearing exercises such as running or lifting weights.
What you, as a mom to be do need to keep in mind is that it is important to take frequent breaks during workouts and limit strenuous exercise when pregnant. Strenuous exercise should be interspersed with low-intensity exercise and rest periods. And, don’t forget to drink to thirst. Sipping water frequently during your workout will help you avoid becoming overheated.
Myth or Fact: It’s not safe to do abdominal work during pregnancy.
Myth. Not only is it OK, experts say abdominal workouts can provide many benefits.
Your abdominals and your entire core, including your pelvic floor, should be strengthened throughout pregnancy, and doing so will help not only during pregnancy, but also aid in labor and delivery – and recovery.
Myth or Fact: If you were a runner before pregnancy, you can continue to run during pregnancy.
Fact. As long as you and your pregnancy are healthy, and you feel ok, experts give their thumbs up to run till you go into labor. Also, it is very important that you talk to your doctor about your exercise plan and any precautions that needs to be taken before you set yourself into an exercise regime.
Myth or Fact: Not every exercise is safe to do during pregnancy.
Fact. Exercises involving balance, like biking or skiing can be risky during pregnancy. After the fourth month, your body may not be able to balance itself as it did before you started your pregnancy. So avoid sports that test your body’s balance levels.
Myth or Fact: If I never exercised before pregnancy, now is not the time to start.
You don’t have to go into an exercise bunny mode. Something as simple as taking a daily walk or going for a swim can do wonders for your pregnancy, and make you feel better as well.
Though exercise in pregnancy is generally safe, keep in mind the following list of warning symptoms: sudden and severe abdominal pain; regular uterine contractions lasting 30 minutes once exercising stops; dizziness; and vaginal bleeding. Other signs to watch for are decreased fetal activity, visual disturbances, or numbness in any part of the body.
Source: India Syndicate
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