Take a Deep Breath: The Benefits of Meditation
Every day we go, go, go. Our lives have become so full of activities, information and endless to-do’s that we almost forget to breathe. We forget what we were doing. We forget who we are.

"Everyone can benefit from taking the time to get grounded and present," says Dr. Katrina Ordonez, D.C., Chiropractic Director of Chiro One Wellness Center of River North. Dr. Katrina should know. She regularly practices and leads various meditation techniques.

"We all have that monkey running around in our brains," she says. "It’s just a matter of acknowledging it and then focusing on being in the moment."

It's Good for You

Dr. Katrina suggests meditation to her clients as a way to improve their health and well-being, as well as their outlook on life. And her recommendation has merit. A study completed at Harvard Medical School shows deep relaxation techniques, such as meditation, can increase our ability to fight disease.

Meditation: Am I Doing it Right?

Am I Doing it Right?

Because people often worry if they are meditating “correctly”, Dr. Katrina suggests starting out by using meditation music or having someone talk to you through a meditative session. She recommends limiting sessions in the beginning to 15 minutes, as it takes the average person about 5 to 9 minutes to quiet the mind. Twenty minutes is ideal.

Dr. Katrina also recommends using a timer. “Some people fall asleep the first few times they meditate,” she notes. “That’s okay, but you really want to stay awake and be present.”

The Process

To begin a meditative session, Dr. Katrina instructs her students to lie down with palms facing up. The lights should be turned off and eyes closed.

Notice all of those thoughts in your mind. Acknowledge them. Let them be. Then focus on your breathing from the belly. Imagine breathing in light or life and breathing out and letting go of thoughts and negativity. The goal is to be fully present in the moment.

People who are sick can breathe in life and love, focus on the area of the body carrying illness and say positive words of affirmation. In a study cited by the American Cancer Society, mindfulness meditation has helped reduce stress and anxiety and has even been shown to encourage a positive outcome in patients.

When is a Good Time?

Meditating every day for 15-20 minutes will help you re-ground and get back on track. Start your day off with meditation or even wait until lunch time to give yourself the energy you need for the rest of the day.