REASON FOR HEALTH BENEFITS OF DEEP MEDITATION: SELF ORGANIZED CRITICALITY RESTORES REGULATION TO OPTIMAL
Reshma M. Shetkar*, Alex Hankey and H. R. Nagendra
Traditionally, deep meditation is said to improve health. Research into the health benefits of meditation techniques like Mindfulness including MBSR, Zen Meditation, Vipassana, Self Transcending meditation techniques, and Cyclic Meditation has been extensive, and has yielded conclusive evidence of sustained reduction of hypertension and stress by regular practice, until normal healthy levels are reached. Other studies have documented benefits for general health: reductions in every category of health problem studied, and numerous instances of improved quality of life. Here we present a scientific theory accounting for such wide-ranging health improvements, in terms of a new theory of health based on complexity biology. Health has recently been defined as optimal regulation, leading to optimal responsiveness and optimal function, specifically related to complexity biology’s state of criticality. Related work has shown that criticality supports self-awareness. The natural model of mind and body, where the nervous system both supports the mind and controls the body, means that when criticality is attained in the mind, it restores criticality to physiological systems as well. This means that meditation systems, which put the mind into a state of criticality, encourage the rest of the physiology to be restored to its natural state of criticality, or health. Hence such meditations are able to improve levels of health in a completely all-encompassing manner.
Keywords: Criticality, Complexity, Meditation, Optimal regulation, Health.
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