There’s little debate in the science regarding the benefits of meditation. According to research published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, meditation has been linked to reduced feelings of depression, anxiety, and physical pain.
Studies by other scientists reveal that meditation can help enhance attention and emotion regulation skills.
And this is just the beginning. As Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, notes, meditation literally transforms your brain: “We found differences in brain volume after eight weeks in five different regions…in the group that learned meditation, we found thickening in four regions. Studies by other scientists have shown that meditation can help enhance attention and emotion regulation skills.”
But there’s a problem. At its core, meditation sounds like the easiest thing in the world: Clear your mind and think about nothing at all. However, meditating can be far more difficult than simply breathing in and out for a few minutes. Reaching a meditative state actually takes a lot of work, and truly clearing your mind is far from easy.
However, scientists assert that using proprioceptive input (also know as deep touch pressure (DTP)) to ground your body is helpful when attempting to reach a meditative state. Research has shown that this kind of pressure results in a reduction in cortisol levels and an increase in serotonin production, decreasing your heart rate and blood pressure.
Thus, the relaxed physical state that comes from peroprioceptive input can make it easier to achieve a calm mental state that’s conducive to meditation, and one of the most effective ways to get this proprioceptive input is by using a weighted blanket.
GOOD FOR THE MIND AND BODY
The blankets are filled with poly pellets in an evenly distributed grid pattern that is engineered to be roughly 10 percent of your body weight. This added weight allows the blanket to apply specifically targeted pressure to various points throughout your body in order to reduce the aforementioned cortisol levels and increase your serotonin production.
As Amber Martin, an occupational therapist from Utica College, notes, “peroprioceptive input is good for pretty much everyone and anyone. It can be very calming and organizing.” By helping you reach a state of peaceful relaxation more quickly, the blanket makes it easier for you to take advantage of every valuable moment of meditation before you have to return to the busy world outside your mind.
Though researchers estimate that it has been around for more than 5,000 years, meditation has recently found itself the subject of intense scientific focus. Scientists have used all the tools in their arsenal, from fMRIs to EEGs, to uncover the science behind this practice and determine how productive it really is in relation to the human body.
They’ve reached some interesting conclusions about the positive benefits that it provides. Weighted blankets can help you get there, and significantly help your mind and body as a result.