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Myth-Busters:  A new series in our blog called myth-busters tackles facts vs. fiction about popular weight and wellness related topics.

This month’s topic: Meditation.

What meditation is:  a wellness activity that has numerous scientifically validated benefits including enhanced immune function (Barrett et al., 2012); enhanced attention (Slagter et al., 2007); lower blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease (Schneider et al., 2009); lower anxiety and less depression (Marchand, 2012); increased feelings of compassion and empathy (Farb, Anderson & Segal, 2012); fewer binge episodes (Kristiller & Hallett, 1999); lower blood sugar (Paul-Labrador et al., 2006); improved sleep and better pain management (Nagendra, Maruthai & Kutty, 2012.

What meditation is not: a practice that requires a huge daily time commitment;  something that only hippies do; a time when our mind must be completely “blank;” another “should” on your list; a skill to be mastered and perfected.

The Insight Meditation Community of Washington defines meditation as “a training of mental attention that awakens us beyond the conditioned mind and habitual thinking…”

Who can learn to meditate? Anyone!

Sometimes people will say “I can’t quiet my mind long enough to meditate!” or “I can’t sit still long enough to meditate!” We understand that learning a new wellness tool can be intimidating, which is why we have chosen to offer a low-pressure four-week workshop to introduce you to meditation under the skilled leadership of a qualified meditation instructor. No prior experience with meditation is necessary.