Medication or Meditation?

Medication or Meditation?

Most of the people who come to me for help, are doing so because they are motivated to heal themselves in some way and prefer to do it naturally as opposed to using medications, surgeries and other invasive procedures.  I love this about what I do and about the clients I work with!

But even in the holistic world, too often, people are still using an allopathic or medical model…they’re just applying it to supplements.  For example, if you have a headache, you could use peppermint oil instead of Tylenol, which would indeed have fewer side effects…but it’s still taking a band aid for a symptom.  The truth is, if you’re getting headaches, you don’t have a Tylenol deficiency…nor do you have a peppermint oil deficiency.  You need to figure out why you have the headaches in the first place and work with the actual cause.

There are lots of potential causes for any given symptom.  There are also many ways to see progress in the alleviation of a given symptom.  Before you reach for any invasive support, there are a few things that you can do that help almost any condition or symptom you’re experiencing.  

One of the main ones and the topic of this article, is…meditation!

Wait…before you go into all the “I’m not good at that” or “It’s too hard to focus” or “I tried it and it didn’t work”, hear me out here.

First, there are 1000+ ways to meditate…unless you’ve tried them all, you can’t know if “It didn’t work” or not. Ha ha.  

Second, it’s helpful to have a strong intention when you meditate.  It can be simple, such as, “I meditate to relax or reduce stress”.  Don’t over think it.

But one of the most important factors to consider here is that you get more out of something when you understand WHY you’re doing it.  (There’s a reason why my consultations aren’t 5-7 minutes like most doctors…I need time to TEACH!)

So, why meditate?

To start, meditation improves the immune system.  A study was done a few years ago during Covid peaks.  It found that those who meditated daily had higher levels of SERPINA5, an important factor in having a good immune response.1  A systematic review done in 2016 showed that meditation helped the immune system by reducing inflammation and slowing the aging process.2

Meditation reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.3  It was found that through meditation, people tend to worry and ruminate less than those who don’t consistently meditate.

Meditation reduces stress and improves brain function.4  We can’t gloss over this fact.  This is really a critical point!  Anything that reduces stress will have a dramatic impact on health outcomes and the way the body functions.5  We know that stress is associated, either directly or indirectly with nearly every disease that exists.  Stress reduces nutrient status, thus creating more deficiencies6 (which also has significant fall out).  We could go on and on about this one…the bottom line, reduce stress to improve health!

People who meditate tend to sleep better than those who don’t.7  This study was done after a meditation retreat but then found that the impact lasted weeks after the retreat ended.  This is another important one with far reaching benefits.  At night when you sleep is when your body does much of it’s healing and repair work, resetting hormones, getting rid of sick cells, etc.  Like stress, improving your sleep improves your health in many aspects.

Believe it or not, meditation actually improves the microbiome of the gut.8  People who meditate tend to have more biodiversity of healthy microbes which leads to improved immunity and digestion (both key factors for health).

I could write a book on any one of these factors.  And this is just the beginning.  In one form or another, meditation is a beneficial part of your health practice and a high value, low cost, low risk tool in your tool kit for healthy living.

So where do you start?

Let’s run through the 9 steps:

  1. Release the idea that you have to “be good at it”.  I don’t even know what that means.  It’s new for most of you.  You won’t necessarily be good at it until you’ve practiced.  If you’re teaching your child to ride a bike and they don’t get it right away, do you just label them as “not a good bike rider” and throw their bike away?  Of course not!  Be gentle with yourself.
  2. Decide how much time you have.  It could be 3-10 minutes or an hour+ or anywhere in between.
  3. Decide if you want silence, soft music or a guided meditation.
  4. If you’re using a guided meditation, you can skip this step because you’ll be guided through it.  Otherwise, choose a positive, simple, word, phrase, or verse to focus on.  
  5. Get in a comfortable place.  You want to be comfortable but ideally not lying in bed as you’re more likely to fall asleep.  
  6. Limit distractions as much as possible.  Some people like to use noise canceling headphones, close doors, turn off lights, etc.
  7. Set your timer (unless you’re using guided, in which case the timer will be the length of the guided meditation).
  8. Relax as you slow your breathing down.
  9. If you’re mind wandered, just bring it back to your intention/words that you’re focusing on.

This may be challenging at first but don’t quit!  It does get easier and more powerful with time.

If you’re dealing with a health challenge and not sure what to do, we’d love to help.  Reach out today by calling the clinic at 269-204-6525.


1. Zuniga-Hertz JP, Chitteti R, Dispenza J, et al. Meditation-induced bloodborne factors as an adjuvant treatment to COVID-19 disease. Brain Behav Immun Health. 2023;32. doi:10.1016/j.bbih.2023.100675

2. Dunn TJ, Dimolareva M. The effect of mindfulness-based interventions on immunity-related biomarkers: a comprehensive meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Clin Psychol Rev. 2022;92. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2022.102124

3. Parmentier FBR, García-Toro M, García-Campayo J, Yañez AM, Andrés P, Gili M. Mindfulness and symptoms of depression and anxiety in the general population: The mediating roles of worry, rumination, reappraisal and suppression. Front Psychol. 2019;10(MAR). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00506

4. Arora R, Gupta R. Effectiveness of meditation programs in empirically reducing stress and amplifying cognitive function, thus boosting individual health status: A narrative overview. Indian Journal of Health Sciences and Biomedical Research (KLEU). 2021;14(2). doi:10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_108_20

5. Yaribeygi H, Panahi Y, Sahraei H, Johnston TP, Sahebkar A. The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI J. Published online 2017. doi:10.17179/excli2017-480

6. Lopresti AL. The Effects of Psychological and Environmental Stress on Micronutrient Concentrations in the Body: A Review of the Evidence. Advances in Nutrition. Published online 2020. doi:10.1093/advances/nmz082

7. Kanchibhotla D, Parekh SG, Harsora P, Kulkarni S. Improvements in Sleep Quality and Duration Following a Meditation Retreat: an Open-Trial Pilot Study. Sleep Vigil. 2021;5(2). doi:10.1007/s41782-021-00162-4

8. Sun Y, Ju P, Xue T, Ali U, Cui D, Chen J. Alteration of faecal microbiota balance related to long-term deep meditation. Gen Psychiatr. 2023;36(1). doi:10.1136/gpsych-2022-100893

Nothing said or implied in this post is intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease.  It does not take the place of a qualified health care practitioner and is intended for educational purposes only.

Dr. LeAnn Fritz, PhD

Dr. LeAnn is a practitioner, coach, speaker, consultant, and the founder of New Hope Health. She is also the author of The Quantum Weight Loss Blueprint, and Get Healthy Now. She is laser-focused on practical, evidence-based practices to empower her clients to get real results that last. She sets the bar when it comes to radiant health that will change every area of your life forevermore.

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