The autonomic nervous system has two main parts: parasympathetic and sympathetic The parasympathetic nervous system is dominant during “rest-and-digest” functions. We need this for repair, restoration and health maintenance. The sympathetic nervous system activates in response to perceived threats to protect us with the “fight, flight or freeze” response. In many of our lives the sympathetic nervous system is so frequently triggered that it may not subside.
Acupuncture restores parasympathetic dominance. Between acupuncture treatments there are tools we can all learn use to reinforce this effect. Meditation, mindfulness, dietary improvements and a movement practice such as Qigong or Yoga can prolong and promote the new pattern begun with acupuncture.
Meditation is a healthy habit that is easy to learn and can be effective in only 5 minutes per day!
Here is how to start:
Sit or stand comfortably. There is no need for a certain posture, but it is best to be as comfortable as possible without making you feeling sleepy.
There is no gain from pain in this particular practice. Forcing yourself to endure pain is not being kind to yourself and you want to increase kindness, because that produces oxytocin and brings all the benefits of that to yourself and then those around you.
Tip: Place the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth behind the teeth.
Now bring to mind something simple that makes you feel gratitude, peace, happiness. It might be a pet, a friend or an event but keep it simple. Use that story to provoke a good feeling in your heart, in your chest.
Tip: When your mind wanders off, just gently bring it back to the story and feel the warmth, light, expansive feeling in your heart, in your chest. Every time you get distracted gently return to that thought and allow that feeling to grow.
There you go. There is so much more to say and learn about meditation but this is a great place to start. This will benefit your body, mind and emotions. Five minutes a day or as much and as often as you can. It can truly transform your life.