OM, also known as "Aum" is a sacred sound and symbol that has been revered for centuries in Eastern religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The word “OM” is a representation of the ultimate reality or consciousness, and is believed to be the primordial sound that was present at the creation of the universe. It is often used as a mantra in meditation practices, and is considered to be the most powerful sound in the universe. The practice of meditating on OM involves the repetition of the sound, either quietly or out loud, with the focus on the vibration and sensation it creates in the body. The sound of OM is believed to resonate with the vibration of the universe and can help to bring the mind to a state of tranquility and inner peace.
The Benefits of OM on the Nervous System
OM meditation is believed to have a number of benefits for the mind and body, and has been the subject of much research in recent years. One of the main areas of focus has been on the effects of OM on the nervous system, which is the network of nerves and cells that transmits signals throughout the body. The nervous system is responsible for many of the body's functions, including the regulation of the stress response, the control of heart rate and blood pressure, and the regulation of mood and emotional well-being.
The Science behind OM and its Effects on Cortisol Levels
The science behind OM and its effects on the nervous system is still a relatively new area of research, but the studies that have been conducted so far have shown promising results. One study that was conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that regular OM practice can lead to a decrease in cortisol levels and an improvement in overall well-being. Cortisol is a hormone that is released during the stress response, and high levels of cortisol have been linked to a range of health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and mental health issues like anxiety and depression. The study found that participants who practiced OM for 15 minutes a day for eight weeks had a significant decrease in cortisol levels compared to the control group.
The Interaction of OM with the Stress Response System
The reason why OM meditation can have such a powerful effect on the nervous system is likely due to the way it interacts with the body's stress response system. The stress response is triggered by the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which are released in response to perceived threats or stressors. When the stress response is activated, the body goes into a state of "fight or flight," which is characterized by increased heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. This response is important for survival, but when it is activated too often or for too long, it can lead to chronic stress, which can have a negative impact on both physical and mental health.
OM meditation can help to counteract the effects of chronic stress by slowing down the heart rate, decreasing blood pressure, and reducing muscle tension. It can also help to reduce the levels of stress hormones like cortisol, which are known to be associated with a range of health problems. Additionally, OM meditation can also help to promote feelings of relaxation and well-being, which can be beneficial for both physical and mental health.
OM Meditation and the Brain
Another study, conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, found that OM meditation can have a positive impact on the brain, by increasing activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for attention, decision-making, and emotional regulation. The prefrontal cortex is also involved in regulating the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis, which is responsible for the body's stress response. The study found that participants who practiced OM for 12 minutes a day for eight weeks had a significant increase in activity in the prefrontal cortex compared to the control group. This increased activity in the prefrontal cortex can help to improve focus and concentration, reduce anxiety and depression
OM Meditation and Breathing
Om chanting is associated with deep and slow breathing. Slow and long breathing, also known as diaphragmatic or belly breathing, can have a positive impact on the nervous system. This type of breathing is known to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body relaxation. This response can help to slow down the heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decrease feelings of stress and anxiety.
When we breathe deeply, it sends a signal to the brain to activate the relaxation response, which can help to counteract the effects of the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response).
Additionally, slow and deep breathing can increase the amount of oxygen in the body, which can help to improve overall physical and mental health. It can also help to improve the function of the immune system, decrease inflammation and promote a sense of calm and well-being.
In conclusion, OM meditation has a number of benefits for the mind and body and can be an effective tool for reducing stress, improving mental and physical health, and promoting inner peace and tranquility.
__Written by Music Of Wisdom team