Self-help books are full of the idea that meditation can actually heal. The question is, does it really work, or does it simply have a glorified placebo effect? To determine this we must first define what healing meditation actually is. Meditation is a form of relaxation that begins with focused breathing. The controlled breathing has a relaxing effect that will occur whether you are trying to meditate or not.
At this point, guided healing meditation begins to address the problem. This can be done in a couple of different ways depending on whether you are working on generalized or specific meditation. General meditation works on your total body defense, usually trying to increase your white blood cell count. The idea is that since white blood cells are the body’s natural defense system, and you will be better able to fight any illness if these counts are increased. It is difficult to measure whether just thinking about producing more white blood cells or more antibodies will actually help our bodies to increase production levels. There are so many variables involved that testing is difficult.
This means that your typical doctor will deny that meditation can help your body to heal. And your typical new age meditator will swear blind that using meditation was the only thing that kept them from death’s door. Healing meditation has very conflicting viewpoints associated with it. The truth probably actually lies somewhere in between.
Our bodies react to all sorts of stimuli all the time. Exercise has been proven to product more endorphins, the “feel good” neurotransmitters that our bodies produce naturally. This proves that it is perfectly possible for our bodies to produce chemicals and send them around in our blood stream. Your doctor would agree with this side of the equation.
What is more open to question is whether meditation will help your body to heal. I’m on the “yes” side of the fence. Not from scientific experiment but from a time when I was confined to bed after an accident. I listened to a healing meditation on a daily basis and I know that my recovery time was a lot shorter than was predicted.
The fact is there is no harm in meditation, and even if it does not heal, it does relax. This will definitely promote an environment more conducive to healing if nothing else.