What Type Of Therapy Is Meditation?

Meditation therapy is a practice that connects both mind and body to help people increase calmness, physically relax, and enhance their physical and mental health.  Meditation as a practice involves relaxed contemplation, ranging from simple deep breathing meditation to trying to reach an altered state of consciousness through meditation.  Often times during the practice of meditation the person will find a mantra or image to focus on while blocking out everything else.

Studies about meditation benefits find that it can ease symptoms of mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression.  They also find that the health benefits of meditation extend to alleviating physical conditions such as pain or allergies. 

Meditation therapy is a practice that therapists commonly use alongside other health and mindfulness techniques.  Because of the connection between mind and body that meditation therapy provides, health care professionals often use meditation to help patients deal with problems in the brain and the body.

Types Of Meditation That You Should Be Practicing.

Meditation as a health practice may be done in many different ways.  While the practice of meditation usually involves placing oneself comfortably in a quiet place and trying to focus one’s attention, different types of meditation may differ in length or position.  Meditation therapy can involve several different types of meditation including mindfulness meditation, somatic meditation, and other types of meditation.

An incredibly popular meditation practice for health care professionals is mindfulness meditation.  Mindfulness meditation helps the patient focus on the present moment.  During mindfulness meditation, one may find that pain in the body and mental pain both lessen.

Somatic meditation is centered in the body rather than the mind.  Unlike mindfulness meditation, somatic mediation focuses on releasing negative tension throughout the body.  Practitioners of somatic meditation believe that negative emotional experiences can impact the health of the brain and the body, displaying itself as both physical pain and distressing emotions.  Somatic meditation in a therapy setting combines physical practices such as yoga or dance with meditation.

How Does Cognitive Therapy Work With Meditation?

American psychologist Richard Lazarus proposed a cognitive meditation theory that focuses on “appraisal”, which is where the mind makes automatic assumptions of a situation.  These assumptions in the brain link emotional responses such as fear or anger with certain stimuli, repeating the response in the mind the next time the stimulus is experienced.  Meditation is a great tool to break this.

Cognitive mediators occur between the reception of the stimulus and the brain’s response to it.  While these responses can occur immediately, one can find that they may also be delayed. Meditation helps patients of cognitive therapy to receive the stimulus and the associated emotional response in a way that improves their mental health.

Meditation works with cognitive therapy by using meditation techniques such as the practice of mindfulness meditation to help people become aware of their thoughts and emotions without judging them.  Meditation may be used with cognitive therapy to help relieve the mental pain that many people suffering from mental health issues such as depression may experience.