What type of meditation is best for you?
Several studies underway now to review different types of meditation and analyze the effects of these on heart rate and heart rate variability signals. We found one in Germany recently, where they review the degree of mental effort when using a breathing meditation, a loving-kindness meditation and a thought-observing meditation are very different, and this is reflected in your cardiovascular system as well.
The results so far are showing that during a loving-kindness meditation and the thought-observing meditation reflected a higher level of cognitive and physical arousal when contemplating thoughts such as compassion, empathy and forgiveness. Which means what even though we are meditating and definitely taking a relaxed stance, our minds and emotions are still reacting to these concepts.
A loving-kindness meditation is essentially about cultivating love, and comes from the Buddhist tradition, it is also known as metta in the Pali language. Another study is also underway reviewing the impact of loving-kindness meditation on back pain. Those results are still pending, but what is important is that we should keep in mind the type of meditation practice we use and tailor that around our specific needs at any one time.
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