depression

Stress, Allergies, & Meditation

By Greg Schweitzer

Meditation can help bring our lives under control when we are under stress. Under chronic stress and relentless pressure, the fight or flight response is activated. You can see it everywhere. Drive thru a yellow light today and probably 3 cars are following behind.  Look to your right or left, drivers are on cell phones.  Most of us know that studies have proven that multi-tasking while driving at high speeds is fraught with unnecessary risk and danger.  Why do we live this way?  Is our priority to live fast or to live well? We need to heal our brains if we want a better quality of life.  A healthy brain creates a solid foundation for life.  So, how do we create a healthy brain?

The ancient traditions say the way to heal the brain is with:

  • Stillness
  • Daily experience of a quiet mind, if only for minutes

A meditation practice doesn’t have to be connected to a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle, but the restful alertness it produces can reduce stress, anxiety, and develop inner peace.  This restful alertness means that while the body is gaining deep rest and inner peace, the mind experiences quieter and quieter levels of thought. This can lead to a strong immune system that in turn will lower not only the risk of allergy suffering, but many other unwanted conditions.

Daily meditation practice benefits include:

  • Deep healing and rejuvenating zest
  • Release of stress and fatigue, more energy
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Relief from anxiety and depression
  • Improved memory, creativity and focus
  • Relief from headaches and pain
  • Stronger immune system, less illness and better sleep
  • Better moods and increased happiness
  • Mental clarity and peace of mind
  • Enhanced self-esteem and emotional stability

The message of well−being through training to heal the brain and mind with meditation, is resonating with people everywhere.

Join our Effortless Meditation™ class that is offered 4 times each month at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center in Breinigsville, PA.. Call 610-3953355 for more information.

Greg has been teaching Effortless Meditation for more than 30 years.

 

Effortless Meditation™ Lightens Up Spring Heaviness!

It’s Kapha Season

Enjoying the natureNow that we are in the change of season, it’s a good time to take advantage of the wisdom of our ancestors. Ayurveda, the world’s oldest system of natural medicine, gives us insights that can help us deal with change. Effortless Meditation also a powerful practice to accomplish this.

We are in Kapha season (think Spring). The foundational elements of Kapha dosha, earth and water, are heavy (e.g. mixing earth and water makes mud). And during the Kapha season, Kapha more easily accumulates.

By nature, Kapha dosha or energy is dense, heavy, steady, and slow. A virtue of Kapha is dependability and strength; however, if Kapha is over-abundant in your life as it tends to get in Kapha season, this can lead to lethargy, dullness, clinging, possessiveness, an unwillingness to let go, even weight gain. To balance the heavy influences of this Kapha season, do the things that will bring lightness to your life.

Some remedies or antidotes for an imbalance of Kapha dosha or energy are:
• Stimulation from regular exercise and movement
• Enjoying a variety of experiences to help balance the Kapha’s tendency to resist change
• Learning to meditate that helps lighten up heaviness

When in excess, the heavy Kapha influence can lead to depression. Regular meditation is a great help. It will bring lightness and joy to the mind. Effortless Meditation™ makes meditation totally “effortless.” It can be done any place you can sit comfortably and close your eyes – even in an airport.

The above principles apply to all of us; however, they are particularly relevant to those who have a Kapha body type which already has an abundance of Kapha influencing their life. In this Kapha season, these folks are especially vulnerable to the heavy influences of Kapha dosha /energy. So, remember to lighten up in order to balance the forces of nature in this “heavy” season.

Greg Schweitzer teaches Effortless Meditation™ at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

Call 610-395-3355 today to learn this particular meditation. It helps people enjoy health and wellness at many levels!

Meditation, a Stress Relief Strategy to Ease Allergy Symptoms

Do daily pressures make your allergies spike?

 Anyone with allergy symptoms knows about chronic stress. Common allergy symptoms include: difficult breathing, poor sleep, fatigue, and problems concentrating. While medications may help, they may produce side effects such as: changes in appetite, low energy, or irritability.  All these symptoms are stressful in themselves.

There’s the catch-22, when you’re stressed out, your body releases the hormone cortisol and other chemicals including histamine, a powerful chemical that leads to allergy symptoms – a runny nose, sneezing, etc. So while stress doesn’t cause allergies, it makes an allergic reaction worse. 

Allergy symptoms are said to be an overreaction by the immune system to otherwise harmless substances. Under stress, our immune systems are compromised; they do not function as designed. Our immune systems are not responding appropriately.  A psychologist said that “stress makes us stupid.”  It seems that stress has the same effect on our immune system.

Stress, Allergies, & Meditation

Meditation can help bring our lives under control when we are under stress.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to deduce that the level of stress in the world is increasing.  Drive through a yellow light today, and there’s probably 4 cars following you.  Look to your left and right and you will see the driver next to you talking on their cell phone.  And yet, most of us have heard that multitasking while driving is fraught with risks.  Is our priority to live fast or live well?

Here’s some evidence of how we are doing.  In the 1960’s, an estimated 1 in 10 people reported some form of allergy and now up to 1 in 3 suffer from allergies of some kind.  To say something is amiss, is an understatement.  Clearly we need to do better in the way we handle stress if we want relief from allergies.

To reduce stress, making the following lifestyle adjustments will work wonders.  Getting plenty of sleep each night will help us restore balance and heal our allergic bodies.  Making time for some regular exercise is a key to reducing stress and building a strong immune system.  Even during a short walk, your body will release epinephrine which acts as a natural decongestant, helping you breathe easier.

Finally, neuroscientists on the forefront of healthy aging research are telling us that we need to create a healthy brain in order to enhance the quality of our life.  In that regard, the above lifestyle strategies are important.  However, nothing is more important for your healthy lifestyle than relaxation and bringing peace to our brains.  We need to restore ourselves from the frantic pace of modern life.  And, there’s good news.  For over 40 years, scientists having been researching the influence of meditation and the results are conclusive. 

A meditation practice doesn’t have to be connected to a religion or philosophy.  One physician described his meditation practice as a mini-vacation, and then happily declared that he now vacations every day!  This practice restores us and keeps us healthy.  Allergies and many other ailments often disappear for those that meditate regularly; and at the very least, they become much more manageable, less stressful.

Greg Schweitzer, a meditation teacher for more than 35 years, teaches at Twin Ponds Center Integrative Health Center in Breinigsville, PA.

The daily practice of meditation is shown to lift anxiety and depression, restore balance and strength to our immune system, increase energy, improve breathing, reduce stress and so much more.  The scientific evidence is undeniable, people who meditate regularly live longer and healthier lives.

Improving Sleep & More

With State-of-the-Art Vibroacoustic Chair  

What a drag it was to get up in the morning to go to work. When the alarm went off, I just wanted to throw it out the window. I felt like my eyes didn’t want to open and my body felt like a load of bricks.  I finally had enough of this tossing and turning every night and decided to search for some way to get my nerves under control to enjoy a restful night of sleep.  With a stressful and demanding job, I couldn’t afford to work in a fog all day long.

 Then I saw an ad in a magazine about a state-of-the-art vibroacoustic chair at a health center that helps people with sleeping problems, among other things. I wanted to learn about this chair and experience it so I made an appointment with the counselor who is certified in this type of therapy.

I was fascinated that the process of hearing “sound vibration” through the body’s nerves, skin, and bones heals so many physical and mental problems.

Wow!  Just sitting on the o-gravity chair was incredibly comfortable.  I felt like I was floating as my muscles got more and more relaxed. The chair acted like electronic tuning forks that vibrated my whole body.  I was hearing multi-layered sounds from the ear phones and wearing glasses that transformed what I was hearing into mandala-like patterns of light while feeling the chair vibrate. The whole experience took my brain and central nervous system into a deeply relaxed-healing state – my brain was in balanced harmony!

Now that I had a session with the counselor and knew how to work the chair, I can visit the chair at my convenience and go home relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep. This vibroacoustic chair has done wonders for my health–and it’s easy on my pocketbook.

 Meg Deak, MCAT, LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Vibroacoustic Sound Practitioner, Certified Emotional Freedom Techniques Practitioner, and Music Therapist

The Best Vacation Ever

A client said, “this Effortless Meditation™ is like a mini-vacation, and I get to take it everyday!”

As the complexity of life increases, the need for balance is greater than ever.  Technology was supposed to simplify our lives, and it has in many ways done that.  For example, who would want to give up the instant information access provided by the internet?   And yet the pace of progress and life today is relentless, overwhelming.

In the area of marketing alone, every week or month there seems to be a new method of delivering your message.  And we’re always encouraged to grab onto the new in order to keep up. At the same time, overwork is practically seen as a professional virtue.  Is it any wonder that anti-anxiety medication sales are at record levels.

Yesterday, I was reading an article from a popular columnist who was saying that while on vacation at a remote island off the coast of South Carolina, his children were at a loss because there was no internet access.  What are we to do, they complained?  This is a sign of our times.  Let’s explore, he suggested, “there are turtles and salamanders in these waters, osprey and eagles in the trees, and an ocean for playing.” The kids weren’t buying it, they were frustrated.

Our children are not the only ones so afflicted.  Adult minds have become so busy keeping up or being entertained that the slower pace of nature can seem boring.  We are over stimulated and the solution is simple.  Regularly give our brain a rest.  Reach beyond all mental activity, that’s a true vacation.  Interior silence, in its essence, is freedom from thought.  We need to transcend the activity of daily life, go beyond thinking, watching, tasting, the activity of the senses, in order to be free.

Try Effortless Meditation, yoga, or just spend some quiet time in nature.  Learn to quiet your mind, and for maximum benefits make this a daily habit/vacation.  Your life will be happier and lighter, and you will become much healthier.

Greg Schweitzer, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for over 30 years

ARE YOU TAKING ANY MEDICATION?

Bernie and his wife attended an introduction class on Effortless Meditation™ that I was conducting at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. As I talked about stress and its influence on health, Bernie commented that stress was not an issue for him. “I have been retired for years. I’m 71 years old. I’m not here for stress relief. I’m here because of my blood pressure. Do you think this meditation will help me?” With a concerned look on his face, Bernie explained that his blood pressure averages around 190/90!

I assured him that it would help and I explained that the influence of stress is cumulative; so despite his retirement, many years of accumulated stress were taking its toll on his physical and mental health.

Bernie enrolled to take the EM course introduced that evening. In our third class, after doing two short 15-20 minute meditations each day for three consecutive days, he declared, “I just can’t tell you how good I feel.” The next day he made the same comment, and at a meeting 3 months later, he jubilantly proclaimed that his blood pressure was now 138/78. “My doctor can’t believe this; I never remember having blood pressure this good.”

Bernie had been taking blood pressure medication his entire adult life (50 years) and the best it could do for him with was manage his blood pressure at 190/90. Now, after three months of daily Effortless Meditation practice, bringing deep peace and rest to his mind and body, his pressure was normal.  The Lehigh Valley’s Helene Leonetti, M.D. reports that she sees EM “exponentially impact healing.”

Many taking medication for anxiety, depression, attention deficit, sleep problems, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, asthma, fatigue, irritable bowel, or headaches, would be wise to attend an introduction class to learn more about Effortless Meditation. Bernie is glad that he did; in fact, after meditating for a couple months, he offered the course as a gift to everyone in his family.

by:  Greg Schweitzer, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Meditation Instructor for more than 30 Years