This past week the front page of the Health section of the Wall Street Journal, America’s most read newspaper, featured a story affirming meditation’s move into mainstream American healthcare. The article featured statements by doctors at some of America’s leading hospitals talking about how meditation and other mind-body therapies are being worked into our country’s primary-care settings.
The article, titled, Doctor’s Orders: 20 Minutes of Meditation Twice a Day, noted that doctors are increasingly recommending daily meditation for stress-related conditions, including, insomnia, high blood pressure, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, panic or anxiety disorders, brain injuries, and for general health maintenance.
Excerpts from this April 16th Wall Street Journal article:
“Integrative medicine programs including meditation are increasingly showing up at hospitals and clinics across the country. Recent research has found that meditation can lower blood pressure and help patients with chronic illness cope with pain and depression. In a study published last year, meditation sharply reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke among a group of African-Americans with heart disease….
“In a study published last year in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, African-Americans with heart disease who practiced Transcendental Meditation regularly were 48% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, or to die, than those who attended a health-education class. Among the meditation group, there were 20 such occurrences, compared with 32 in the control group. The study, which ran for more than five years, involved about 200 people.
“Recent research found that meditation can result in molecular changes affecting the length of telomeres, a protective covering at the end of chromosomes that gets shorter as people age. The study involved 40 family caregivers of dementia patients. Half of the participants meditated briefly on a daily basis and the other half listened to relaxing music for 12 minutes a day. The eight-week study found that people who meditated showed a 43% improvement in telomerase activity, an enzyme that regulates telomere length, compared with a 3.7% gain in the group listening to music. The participants meditating also showed improved mental and cognitive functioning and lower levels of depression compared with the control group. The pilot study was published in January in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.
“Government-funded research also is exploring meditation’s effect on dieting and depression.”
You can view the entire article online by CLICKING HERE.