Meditation is a mindfulness practice that has been found to be helpful for many different health conditions in addition to mental health conditions.

But what exactly is it?

It is the practice of training your brain to maintain focus and attention in the present moment. To do this, one sits quietly for a specified period of time with closed eyes, often focusing attention on breath and dismissing any thoughts that arise. The goal is to bring stillness to your mind that may allow you to be more present in the moment when you are not meditating.

One study from 2014 showed that it may actually reduce the number of migraines per month in people who practice. Another study revealed that meditation reduced patients’ perceived pain intensity related to migraine.

To get started, there are many apps available for cellphone which offer guided or non-guided timed meditations. Common apps include Calm and Headspace. When you first start meditating, try it for 10 minutes in the morning. The length of meditation may be increased as you get used to it, but benefit may be found from even short periods of meditation.

Research has found that meditation is also good for other conditions including anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep issues, heart disease, cancer, and asthma.

For more information about meditation, speak with your health care provider or your mental health therapist.

By: Brooke Steiger, NP