The Meditation Experiment
Over the last few years I have become somewhat of a “biohacker”. For those who don’t know what that is, the official definition by Dave Asprey (CEO of Bulletproof, Inc.) is:
“Biohacking is the process of using science, biology, and self-experimentation to take control of and upgrade your body, mind, and life. Simply put, biohacking is the art and science of changing the environment around you and inside you so you have more control over your own biology.”
There are extremes of “biohacking” such as stem cell treatments, but for those of us with fewer means, it can simply mean trying a different type of diet, exercise, supplement, or any change of pattern and behavior. Over the years I have tried all of these things, but with more intention than I did before. I used to try different diets and exercise, but it was always with the basic intention of losing weight, or changing my body composition in some way. When I first started having autoimmune issues 3 years ago this all changed. Suddenly my body was shutting down, and I was desperate to find a solution. So, with the guidance of my holistic doctor, I started testing many different modalities to try and get my health back. What I discovered was I had immense power within myself to heal.
Going through this process has made me very aware of my body, and how external factors – such as diet – affect me and my overall well-being. It’s no longer just about how I fit into my jeans (although I do still care about those things), but more about how I function from day to day… how much energy I have… my mindset. Am I happy? Am I in pain? Am I thinking clearly? Can I remember things, or do I have brain fog? How does my skin look? How’s my digestion? Is my weight fluctuating? Am I able to accomplish the things that I want to accomplish in a day? What I have found is what I put in my body, on my body, and do to my body each day has a profound effect on all of these things and more.
I feel like I’ve pretty much dialed in my diet, and I know how food will affect me, although I do occasionally get surprised by a seemingly healthy food causing me to have brain fog or something like that. I’ve tried a crap ton of supplements too… far too many to count. I’ve literally spent thousands of dollars, but I don’t believe it to be a waste of money, because I actually become mindful of how each affect me. I pay attention t the signals my body is telling me. I am pretty quickly able to determine if something is helping me or not… for instance I was feeling somewhat depressed the past few weeks, but I started some new supplements that help boost neurotransmitters such as dopamine, GABA, serotonin, and acetylcholine (all the feel-good things), and I have felt my mood improve significantly. (Here is a test to determine if you are deficient in neurotransmitters https://www.bravermantest.com/. It was very helpful for me. Instead of just guessing what would make me feel better, this identified very well which supplements to target)
So, what does this have to do with meditation? Well, yesterday I decided to start a meditation practice. I’ve said I was going to do this before, and I have started, but honestly it would only last a few days. I would simply forget to do it, and to be honest, I wasn’t that great at it. lol… which left me frustrated to say the least. I was going to incorporate meditation as one of my New Years goals, but I figured why not start now? So, I did.
I’ve done this a million times before, however, this time is different. Instead of trying to fit meditation into my already busy day, I actually set my alarm early – 3:45am to be exact! Now, normally when I get up at 3:45 I am a zombie most of the day, but today I feel good. I mean, I’m writing a freaking blog at 5:45am! Normally I could not gather my thoughts in a coherent manner enough to write before 9:00am (although maybe I’m dreaming and this isn’t coherent at all??? lolol) But, today, after my early morning client I decided to come home and write. I also feel much happier and more energetic than I have all week. I think part of this is the supplements I started taking to boost my mood, but I feel an amplified effect with the meditation.
So, what exactly am I doing for meditation? I’m following the “Z Technique”. I’ve recently listed to several podcasts with Emily Fletcher, the founder of the Z Technique, and I was inspired to give meditation another go… there is SOOOOOOOOOO much scientific evidence of the benefits of meditation to the brain and body. I looked into her online 15 day course called https://zivameditation.com/, which is a take on Transcendental Meditation, but I do not have $400 extra to spend right now to complete it. So, I did the next best thing – I downloaded my free trial of Audible, and I downloaded her book “Stress Less, Accomplish More”. I simply followed her instructions (in chapter 12), and away I went! This technique is easy for me to follow, and it seems to be working… even on my scatterbrained mind. lol… She recommends two 15 minute sessions per day – one first thing in the morning before coffee, and one in the afternoon after lunch, but before dinner. Yesterday I did my morning meditation after my coffee because I didn’t know I was supposed to do it before, but today I woke myself up before the butt crack of dawn to get in this 15 minutes… and to my surprise I felt a difference. I thought I would need my coffee to do something like meditation because I was afraid I’d fall asleep lol, but I was wrong. I did it just fine. What I noticed during the meditation was that the pain in my rib was less. (I’m pretty sure I fractured a rib earlier this week from coughing due to bronchitis I’ve had for 3 weeks now. Ugh.) Pain is a perception of our minds, so this makes sense to me that by calming the mind, and naturally boosting neurotransmitters (those feel good things mentioned earlier) that my pain would be reduced. There are many scientific studies showing this phenomenon as well. The pain is still there when I move, cough, or breathe deep, but I was able to find temporary relief, and hopefully by activating my parasympathetic nervous system (the rest, digest, and heal part of the nervous system) I will heal quicker than I would have. There’s no way to quantify this, of course, but keeping a positive mindset doesn’t hurt. 😉
Anyways, I do have to get back to the gym for more clients, so I’ll wrap this up… for the next 30 days I am committing to the twice a day 15 minute Z technique meditation. I will document any changes I see – good or bad – and I will report back! I challenge you to do this with me! If you feel like you’re stuck with your weight, your health, your life… or you feel overwhelm or dread… or even if you feel fantastic! lol…. I highly recommend trying meditation. See how it affects you. The risk/reward is great… so, no excuses. K? 😉
See you on the Zen(er) side, friends.