The problem: a time bomb inside your head
Under the stress reaction, a number of physiological changes take place, which put pressure on the blood vessels within the brain.
Our blood flow tends to be redirected towards the thighs so that we can engage in the classic ‘fight or flight’ response. Our blood chemistry completely changes and is filled with clotting agents. Our blood pressure goes up. A lot of glucose and fats are broken down and begin floating around the system increasing our risk of atherosclerotic plaques.
However, except in the rare circumstances of life-threatening situations, our propensity to stress is a maladaptive reaction; it’s not the thighs that need this blood flow, it’s the brain.
How can Vedic meditation help with preventing a stroke?
The first way Vedic meditation helps in preventing a stroke is by preventing stress.
If you want to know how to prevent a stroke, look to stress. Meditation calms the mind, body and nervous system so that we are much less likely to respond in a stressful way when challenged. We achieve a more balanced blood flow so that no areas of brain or body starve of oxygen, nutrients or other vital ingredients.
If our blood pressure is high, which is true in the vast majority of potential stroke victims, both our systolic and diastolic blood pressure will fall towards the normal range. There is less arterial debris floating around and far fewer coagulants jeopardising the free flow of our circulation.
The second way in which meditation is of significant help is that it will reduce the damage caused by a stroke.
When it comes to how to avoid a stroke, meditation is a key preventative tool. But we don’t always have the power of hindsight. And one of the major reasons why there is so much damage after a stroke is because of the overactive adrenal response when there is a neurological crisis – the exact opposite of what we really want to happen.
As a result, the hippocampus, the mediator of our memory, spatial awareness and other important functions, becomes severely damaged.
By making us more robust and regulating our hormone production in a much more balanced fashion, meditation helps to calm the response of the adrenal glands. In addition, when we meditate, there are far fewer free radicals scavenging their way around our brain tissues, causing damage wherever they go.
Meditation also reduces the production of excitatory neurotransmitters that cause severe damage when let loose.Our cellular repair functioning also becomes optimised so any tissue damage that has been caused can be repaired much more fully than under normal conditions.
Moreover, the enhanced brain state functioning that is unique to this technique improves many areas of cognitive ability. If you are recovering from a stroke, it will increase the likelihood and speed with which you can regain your memory, learning and motor skills, so that you can begin to function more normally in your life again.
The brain is an incredible organ, and if we can give it the rest and repair time it needs through something as powerful as meditation, it can adapt rather incredibly to a wide range of neurological traumas.