Yesterday, a close family member was diagnosed with Afib. My immediate reaction,
knowing a little bit about the research on meditation and that he is crazy about his
Tibetan Spaniels, was to recommend that he try Petitating, or what we call Pet
Centered Meditation (http://www.mindfulpetitations.org/). But, knowing that he
didn’t have as much respect for or as much belief in the power of meditation as I do,
I decided to take a closer look at the medical research. It’s quite powerful.
Research shows that cortisol, the hormone that is released during stress, is reduced
when a person meditates. Deep relaxation also increases the beneficial
neurotransmitters oxytocin and dopamine. The following is Deepak Chopra’s helpful
We can also point to the blood vessels specifically. When you relax, your
parasympathetic nervous system engages to counter the effects of your
sympathetic nervous system. Your sympathetic nervous system, which responds
to your direction, is like the gas pedal, while your parasympathetic nervous
system, which controls involuntary and unconscious processes, is your idle mode.
Take your foot off the pedal, and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate slows, blood
vessels dilate, breathing slows and deepens, and blood pressure falls back to
normal. In most people, unfortunately this automatic return to balance has been
compromised by stress and other kinds of subtle imbalance. Meditation
effectively restores you to a deeper standing rest rate. Once you’re balanced, your
immune system is strengthened, and in terms of the heart, your resistance to stress
increases. This reduces a major risk in heart disease and strokes.
Psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety can lead to cardiovascular
events. Meditation can reduce depression and anxiety therefore pointing to this as a
contributing factor in the reduction of cardiovascular symptoms. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4295748)
A monumental study on transcendental meditation showed that 20 minutes of
transcendental meditation two times a day reduces heart attack and stroke in high
risk African American men. After an average of five years follow up, there was a
48% reduction in heart attack, stroke and death from other causes in the group that
practiced the meditation versus a health education group. They also had lower
stress and anger levels. Here’s a video of the lead scientist describing the study
I presented this data to my relative, and he tried Petitating. He was an easy recruit.
He found it enjoyable, relaxing, and reported that helped to reduce his stress level.