“Prayer of the heart” is good for your health: body and soul. It is proven scientifically.
“Prayer of the heart” is a very ancient Christian way to meditate deeply, connecting us with God in our Heart. Remember the “lift up you hearts” we have in the Mass.
We need to practice the “Prayer of the heart” in order to get not only “spiritual benefits” but as well physical and psychological ones. Remember that we lead a very stressful life and that 60 to 90 percent of visits to doctors are in the mind-body, stress-related realm poorly treated by any drugs or surgery (Cummings, VandenBos, 1981; Kroenke, Mangelsdorff, 1989).
In the early 70s Dr Herbert Benson (Harvard) published a series of articles on the effect of meditation on the body. What he and his team found was that when people practiced Meditation, there were a set of profound physiologic changes that were opposite to those of stress (“Relaxation Response”). Namely, decreased metabolism, decreased blood pressure, decreased heart rate, decreased rate of breathing, and also slower brain waves. (see the diagram below)
Studies and research show many medical conditions that can be either greatly relieved or altogether eliminated by utilising meditation. Here is a list of such conditions:
Angina pectoris, Infertility, Cardiac arrhythmia’s, Insomnia, Allergic skin reactions, Nausea and Vomiting during pregnancy, Anxiety, All forms of pain – Abdominal, muscle, arm, and leg pain -, excessive anger and hostility, Mild and moderate depression, Joint aches, Postoperative pain, Bronchial asthma, Herpes simplex (cold sores), Postoperative swelling, Cough, Premenstrual syndrome, Constipation, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, Side effects of Cancer, Dizziness, Side effects of AIDS, Fatigue, Hypertension (High blood pressure) (Herbert Benson, 2000).
Since, as Catholics, we have a very powerful type of meditation, the “Prayer of the Heart”, it very important to discover it and start to practise it.
Here is a Presentation of “the Prayer of the Heart” in 4 parts of 23 to 30 minutes. This is the first part:
I hope you’ll learn about the Prayer of the Heart, start to practise it, experience it’s benefits for the body and the soul. Please drop us your comments.