Meditation Produces Small Benefit for Easing Depression and Pain
Many people are unable to work due to a chronic condition such as severe depression, anxiety or pain. Most of these conditions are commonly treated with medications, and a recent study has found that meditation can create some similar benefits.
The study authors led by Dr. Madhav Goyal of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine published a review of 47 randomized clinical trials which included 3,515 participants studying the effectiveness of meditation in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The review found that mindfulness-based stress-reduction programs that included meditation resulted in patients having minor improvements in their levels of anxiety, stress, depression, and pain.
The participants in the study went through an eight-week program in many cases, and in cases where they went through the program for six months, the participants continued to see improvements in depression, anxiety, and pain. However, the review failed to find a positive effect on improvement in quality of life, well-being, substance abuse, eating habits, and sleeping.
There are many health conditions that may benefit from alternative treatments such as meditation, but it is best to talk to your doctor before starting any additional treatment plans. The researchers also note that doctors should be aware of the potential for small to moderate improvements in the conditions mentioned above, and should be prepared to discuss them with their patients. Alternative medicine or relaxation techniques like meditation is just one of many potentially beneficial programs available to those with long-term disabling conditions or chronic illnesses.
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