Live better, longer, healthier lives with meditation
by Susie Avila —
Meditation offers us great help in our pursuit to live better, longer and healthier lives. To illustrate, let us look at how meditation affects the endocrine glands and hormones, and thus affects the body’s overall energy and physical health.
Hormones, secretions of the endocrine glands, are very powerful. They flow into the blood, which carries them throughout the body’s cells and organs, activating and regenerating them. An exaggerated or insufficient secretion of hormones transforms the outside appearance of the physical body. For example, a person whose thyroid gland over-secretes will be nervous and thin and will have protuberant eyes.
Dr. Charles Edouard Brown-Sequard (1817-1894), a French physician and one of the pioneers of endocrinology, spent his life studying the spinal cord, the endocrine glands and the power of the sexual hormones. He was interested in prolonging life and, after gaining understanding of the power of the sexual hormones, he concluded that a decrease in the sexual hormones was associated with aging. This is what happens in menopause with women and in andropause with men.
We can, of course, stimulate the endocrine glands with meditation, and lately meditation has been the focus of many studies. Most of them have concerned meditation’s effects on blood pressure, anxiety, well-being and reducing the severity and complications of different illnesses.
In one study, meditation research demonstrated that people who meditate tend to have higher levels of melatonin, a fact which suggests that meditators can stimulate the pineal gland to secrete melatonin.
The pea-shaped pineal gland is situated at the center of the skull. Its growth and development continues until an individual is 7 years old, and it degenerates progressively as one ages. Scientists have yet to determine the specific functions of this gland, but they do know that it secretes melatonin, which effects the body’s other glands. The pineal gland also is directly related to sexual hormones.
In the Orient, it is said that the occult function of the pineal gland is internal vision; furthermore, it is connected to the crown chakra. The Gnostics tell us this gland contains an atom of the Holy Spirit. Saints often are depicted with a halo of light, which could be inferred as the full activity of the pineal gland or the crown chakra. The practice of meditation activates all the chakras, including the crown chakra.
Another important gland for health and longevity is the pituitary gland. Located at the dorsum dellae, in front of the posterior and superior regions of the nasal cavity, the pituitary gland secretes hormones that regulate the functioning of all other glands, especially the thyroid, adrenals, gonads and breast. These hormones also regenerate cells, allowing us to rejuvenate ourselves without the use of external hormones.
The chakras are related to the endocrine glands, so when the chakras are activated through meditation, the endocrine glands also are stimulated. Thus it is possible to improve physical health through spiritual work, illustrating yet again the interconnectedness of a healthy body, mind and spirit.
Susie Avila is a Gnostic Anthropology instructor, who graduated from the Gnostic Institute of Anthropology of Saint George, Quebec in Canada. Gnostic Institute of Anthropology, a non-profit organization in Phoenix, offers free classes on meditation, yoga, metaphysics and philosophy. email@example.com or 602-373-8980.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 2, April/May 2005.