Meditation is a practice of presence and stillness, where we acknowledge and accept thoughts and feelings as they enter the mind and body, then shift the focus to an anchor (such as the breath, mantra or object.) It’s a process of looking inward and holding space for the spectrum of emotions that we can encounter.
My daily meditation practice started around seven years ago when I was struggling with anxiety. When I started to incorporate breathing meditations into my day, I noticed my anxiety attacks were decreasing, and over time they disappeared completely. I initially used meditation as a tool to overcome physical and mental difficulties, but the emotional and spiritual benefits its awarded me are invaluable. It was the beginning of my journey of self-discovery and being still enough to listen to my intuition. I then decided to train as a meditation teacher to be able to share these profound benefits with my clients.
There's a substantial amount of scientific evidence proving that meditation has benefits to overall health and well-being, with one of its unique properties being that these benefits are holistic and can reap many rewards in our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. This is crucial for Intuitive Beauty and the Rediscovery sessions. When these bodies are in alignment and flow, the benefits are numerous and meditation is a practice that achieves this harmony.
Meditation helps to relax and calm the mind and provide the necessary coping mechanisms to deal with stress. Stress triggers our fight or flight response, so while stress hormones like cortisol are beneficial as they help us to react to stressors and threats, sustained high levels have a negative impact on our physical and mental health. Dr Herbert Benson's work on the Relaxation Response demonstrates the physiological and psychological changes caused by meditation, all of which have the opposite reaction to the fight or flight response in the body. Benson's research shows that meditation reduces chronic stress and can slow down muscle and organ activity such as heart and breathing rates and increase alpha waves (where the brain starts to slow down from our regular thought patterns).
Meditation has also been proven to reduce the symptoms of anxiety in a review of a substantial amount of randomised controlled trials. Research also suggests that meditation can improve sleep quality in patients with insomnia after a trial with 330 participants revealed the results. Another study showed that by using an MRI to measure cortical thickness in the brain after meditation, the areas of the brain associated with attention and sensory processing were thicker in meditators. The list goes on and other scientific studies show the ways that meditation can reduce high blood pressure, improve the management of chronic pain, benefit women suffering from PMS as well as the plethora of anecdotal evidence citing improvements in happiness, raising self-esteem and connecting with yourself on a deeper level.
We know how damaging stress can be on our bodies and stress hormones also reach the skin. A study examining the brain-skin connection suggests that, "multiple neuroinflammatory conditions can be triggered or aggravated by stress, such as: psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, acne, contact dermatitis, alopecia areata, itch or Pruritus, and erythema." Many of the scientific studies show that meditation works well on reducing stress and its symptoms, so we can then deduce that it will also have beneficial effects on the skin. It's also worth noting the field of psychodermatology, which emphasises the interaction between the mind and skin, this can include the above conditions which can be exacerbated by stress, psychiatric disorders which can lead to skin issues and skin diseases which trigger psychiatric symptoms. A fascinating field to delve into, but all going to show that there is a relationship between the skin and the mind on this level as well.
Meditation and Intuitive Beauty
Let's face it, there just aren't enough hours in the day, but we all have time to cleanse our faces and apply body lotion in our beauty routines. This makes it an ideal time to slot meditation in to get all of the aforementioned benefits whilst focusing on healing your relationship with your skin at the same time. It gives you a chance to look inwards, slow down and use your beauty products in a more mindful way. I will guide you through a meditation during the session and through an audio to take home with you. This will get you out of the mirror and into the practice of creating a sacred space to apply the final step in your routine (face oil) while you follow the meditation.
Meditation works very well with a self-massage, so you have the physical connection with your skin but I can also work with you in session on creating a meditation without a massage that still has the same Rediscovery principles within it. The meditations that I will create for you will be intuitively led and based on the intentions you set in the session. The style of meditation will be a combination of breath meditation, mindfulness and elements of the Rediscovery Code.