The effect of meditation on our hormones
Much is now known about the positive effect of the most diverse types of meditation on body, mind and soul. Meditation relaxes us, provides the right focus, reduces stress and can help alleviate illness . Our hormone system has an important influence on all these complex processes in the body.
The endocrine system is a group of messenger substances that are produced by a wide variety of glands in the body. Through a complicated chain of reactions, which emanates from the brain, among other things, these messenger substances are released. These either act in the immediate vicinity or are transported to the target locations in the body via the blood.
The main glands in the body include:
- Pituitary & Pineal Gland
- Thyroid & Parathyroid
- adrenal gland
- Sex glands (ovaries and testicles)
With regard to the processes during mediation, the pituitary gland plays a central role. In German it is also often referred to as the pituitary gland and is located in the middle cranial fossa. It takes on an important overriding role in all other hormonal processes in the body, and can trigger and control them.
In addition, our pituitary gland is the most important interface between the brain and the hormones. Feelings, thoughts and sensory impressions are converted here into a chemical signal and then passed on.
In the following I would like to introduce you to the most important hormones that you can influence through regular mediation:
Serotonin – the happiness hormone:
Various studies have shown that regular meditation practice increases the level of the body's own serotonin. Serotonin is a very important messenger because it has a decisive influence on our well-being, our inner drive and our behavior. It is also commonly referred to as the "happiness hormone".
People who suffer from depression, for example, often have a serotonin deficiency. But it is now also suspected that a lack of serotonin could play a role in migraine diseases or irritable bowel symptoms.
Endorphins – the body’s own painkillers:
Endorphins are endogenous substances that have a similar effect to morphine and thus have a pain-relieving effect. The pituitary and hypothalamus produce these important messenger substances and release them when there are strong pain stimuli. For this reason, severely injured people in emergency situations often do not initially feel any pain for a short time. Endorphins can also be released through positive experiences and emotions. Scientific studies show that meditation, intimate physical contact and physical activity in general can also boost the body's endorphin release.
Melatonin – the sleep hormone:
Melatonin is made from serotonin in the pineal gland. It controls the human sleep-wake rhythm and thus ensures a restful and deep night's sleep. Too low a melatonin level can cause insomnia.
Stress and a very irregular day-night rhythm can be responsible for sensitive changes in the melatonin balance. A higher level of melatonin in the blood has been found in people who meditate regularly, especially in the evening.
Cortisol – the stress hormone:
Cortisol is produced in the adrenal cortex and is an important substance for our entire metabolism, without which we would not be able to survive. For example, it is able to increase the blood sugar level and thus provide the body with a sufficient amount of energy in the body. Cortisol also has a regulating effect on the immune system and prevents excessive immune and inflammatory reactions.
It is important, however, that cortisol should only be increased for a short time and then drop again. With constant stress Cortisol is permanently increased and it can lead to an immune deficiency, metabolic diseases, permanently elevated blood pressure and exhaustion. Regular mediation practice helps you reduce stress and can have a regulating effect on your cortisol release.
So you see, regular meditation practice not only makes you feel good subjectively, but also helps you to keep your body in balance and positively influence your hormones.
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