The anti-stress effects of Acem Meditation are confirmed by scientific research. Blood pressure and heart rate are reduced, the immune system is strengthened, performance under pressure is enhanced, and brain waves show deep relaxation.
Science shows that meditation provides better relaxation than ordinary rest, on some accounts even better and faster than sleep. Such relaxation comes as a natural biological response and works as an antidote against stress. It provides a number of health benefits and may even increase your lifespan. The ability to respond to acute challenges is improved.
During meditation, muscle tension is released, and breathing becomes slower and more relaxed. Blood pressure tends to go down. The body's production of stress hormones is reduced, and your mood tends to change in a healthy direction. Chronic muscular pain in the head, neck, shoulders and back is often alleviated, and meditation often proves more effective than medical treatment in handling stress-related aches and pains.
Brain scanning has revealed increased activity in the prefrontal cortex during meditation; this area is related to higher cognitive functions, such as attention, cognitive understanding and executive control. EEG shows that not only alpha waves occur, as in relaxed wakefulness, but theta waves also emerge, indicating even deeper relaxation.
Some studies suggest that Acem Meditation and other non-directed meditation techniques, in which thoughts are allowed to come and go, have more pronounced effects than techniques built on concentration.
Professor Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo. Acem Meditation instructor.
Acem Meditation Instructor. Clinical Psychologist at the University of Oslo. Also has a private psychotherapy practice.