Home Meditation with Dr. Jonathan Leary of Remedy Place

Home Meditation with Dr. Jonathan Leary of Remedy Place

Staying home for extended periods of time paired with weeks of social distancing undoubtedly takes a toll on our mental wellbeing. Fortunately the practice of meditation remains readily available to all of us. In an effort to understand how meditation calms our emotions and boosts productivity (and how we can incorporate sound into our meditative practices at home) we spoke with Dr. Jonathan Leary of Remedy Place, a Los Angeles wellness club that focuses on holistic treatments and services.

Dr. Jonathan Leary is the Founder and CEO of Remedy Place.

Describe some of the key health benefits of meditation. Do you believe incorporating a meditation routine into your day-to-day increases overall productivity and focus and can help relieve stress? 
There are so many different types of meditation, but the number one goal with any meditation is to put your body into a parasympathetic state, which essentially is our rest-and-digest mode. In many ways society guilts us into leading highly stressed lives, and as a result we live in a sympathic or fight or flight state. I think it’s really important to do anything we can to balance out those two parts of our nervous system. 

As far as different techniques, it’s really about putting your body in a state where you can clear your head. My best meditations involve different breathwork techniques. I find breathwork highly beneficial not only to destress, but I also use it with patients to help combat depression or anxiety. There are also great meditation apps  out there, like HeadSpace or Calm that promote mental quiet. Other people find simple hobbies like journaling or listening to music can help with spacing out. 

Not only is meditation clinically proven to decrease stress levels, a new study shows that regular breathwork sessions can shrink the size of the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for that fight-or-flight response mode. When that part of the brain shrinks, functions are shifted to the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for more complex thinking. If we can achieve a more relaxed state while enhancing the complexity of our thoughts, the result will ultimately be increased innovation and productivity.

What are some easy meditation techniques readers working from home can try? 
Breathwork and sound baths are definitely worth exploring and trying at home. We do weekly Instagram Live sound baths, guiding our viewers through the experience. We’ve also found a lot of different sound bath channels that stream peaceful frequencies, which are easy to enjoy while wearing a pair of headphones.   

How can you incorporate sound into meditation, and what are some of the benefits sound can have on the mind?
Every cell in our body functions at a specific frequency, and music and sound are all at different frequencies depending on what’s making noise. Certain sound baths focus on different frequencies and pitches, which resonate with certain tissues in the body. We’re also seeing a lot of studies come out that focus on frequency therapy, especially regarding bone and gut tissue. At Remedy Place, if we’re looking to put someone in a really relaxed state, there’s 7.83Herz which will penetrate the body and is clinically proven to put the body in a more relaxed state.

Describe what your routine looks like these days. What are some practices you’ve been incorporating into your daily routine?
I’ve been meditating for about four and a half years, and when I first started it was really hard for me to shut-off my thoughts. I learned that it was okay to not be able to sit somewhere quietly or listen to someone’s voice on an app, that it was good practice to allow thoughts to come and go. What I found most beneficial for me is the breath exercises. With certain intense breathwork, you go into more of a subconscious state where you really can’t control your thoughts. In many ways you’re forced to shut off. It’s fascinating to understand the capabilities of breathworks. Some breathwork sessions even render psychedelic effects or out of body experiences. Manipulating breathing patterns actually alters chemicals in the brain and body, which brings our  thoughts or emotions to the surface.

Can you recommend a specific playlist or musical genre that readers can listen to while trying any at-home meditation techniques?
I personally like to have different musical genres or sounds based on my mood. Just like certain people vibe with specific music with their workouts, I like to do so with my selfcare.. For any meditative state, I think any intense sound frequency or sound bath tracks work very nicely. There are several artists that are great to listen to— Jhené Aiko released a track where she sings over a sound bath. This will really be the future of sound baths. 

Learn more about Remedy Place here, and follow @RemedyPlace on Instagram for regular Live sound baths, and other try-at-home holistic experiences.

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