Critter Corner: Meditation has Many Benefits for Seniors

Dear Commander Bun Bun,
My neighbor, Shirley, meditates every day. She says it helps with several aspects of her health, including retaining memories. Do you know anything about this?
Anita Relax
Dear Anita,
Meditation has been scientifically proven in many studies to be an effective tool for mental, physical, and emotional senior health. In fact, many experts refer to meditation as the “fountain of youth” for seniors, who can receive a limitless number of benefits, including:
  • Enhancing memory: Meditation stimulates the dominant long term and short term memory storage hubs, causing better long & short term memory recall, including retrieving long-lost memories. Meditation also helps seniors retain the ability to store new memories as they get older.
  • Promoting Better Digestion: The deep breathing exercises central to any meditation program improve circulation and blood oxygen enrichment, sending extra help to all of the organs, including the stomach and intestines, which in turn promotes better digestion.
  • Enhancing mood: Meditation activates the happy part of the brain! So, seniors (and everyone else) who suffer from depression can benefit greatly from it. With increased feelings of happiness in the mind, the aging senior can renew his or her zest for life.
  • Sharpening focus: Meditation causes an increased mental alertness. Better focus, more creativity, and quicker wit, are but just a few of the available benefits. Meditation is many times more effective than a crossword puzzle, when it comes to sharpening focus and exercising the brain.
  • Lessening stress: Long term stress can come from many sources: chronic illness, disability, or the loss of a spouse. Stress and end-of-life anxiety are greatly reduced after beginning a meditation program.
Meditation (specifically transcendental meditation) can also reduce health care costs, as it enhances inner peace and wellness. In fact, according to a study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, people with consistently high healthcare costs experienced a 28% cumulative decrease in physician fees after an average five-year period practicing the Transcendental Meditation techniqueTranscendental meditation is a simple, natural technique. In transcendental meditation, you silently repeat a personally assigned mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase, in a specific way. This form of meditation allows your body to settle into a state of profound rest and relaxation and your mind to achieve a state of inner peace, without needing to use concentration or effort.
Another study recently conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, showed that long-term meditators experienced less gray matter loss compared with matched control persons who did not meditate. In other words, meditation actually slows the aging of the brain. Read more about this study in Medscape.
Also, please check out this Huffington Post slide show for seven amazing facts about meditation.
Hop this is helpful!
Commander Bun Bun
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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.

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