How Meditation Can Support Your Immunity and Wellbeing – IONS
Even if we aren’t being impacted directly, our mind can conjure up many different frightening scenarios as to how we (or people we love) might be impacted. Our sympathetic nervous system cannot tell the difference between an actual physical threat and an imagined or perceived threat and it will marshal all the same resources and turn on the same physiological systems even when we aren’t in actual physical danger.
The good news is that our parasympathetic nervous system counterbalances the response of the sympathetic nervous system by managing relaxation, rest, re-building, and the optimal functioning of our immune system. The even better news is that because of our capacity for meta-cognition, if we realize we are in a stress response and we are not in actual immediate physical danger, we can consciously choose to intervene in that process and switch over from a sympathetic response to a parasympathetic response. When our body is in the parasympathetic state, it directs energy towards supporting systems like digestion, reproduction, and immunity. When we take time to consciously relax, our bodies release muscle tension, lower blood pressure, slow the heart and breath rates, and reduce hormones like cortisol (aka – the “stress hormone”).
Dr. Wahbeh, who is also a naturopathic physician, is a very skilled meditation facilitator. Try out the short (8 minute) meditation that she recorded at a recent Noetic Global Gathering which specifically guides you into a meditative state that supports your immune system