Thursday, January 30, 2014

We Need To Take Meditation More Seriously As Medicine |

To be fair, I’m not sure how I would have responded had my surgeon suggested I meditate before or after surgery to ease my anxiety or post-operative pain. My guess is, like many women, I would have been skeptical: what exactly did sitting in half-lotus pose or breathing deeply have to do with the tumor in my right breast?  And why was a doctor— whose job and training and every measure of success is rooted in science and clinical outcomes— prescribing a spiritual or religious method of therapy?
But a new review study, published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, suggests that the ancient Eastern practice of mindful meditation can offer real help for patients with depression, anxiety, and pain. And researchers are increasingly demonstrating the measurable influence of meditation on the brain, proving that mindfulness programs can make us feel happier, have greater emotional resilience and take fewer sick days.

We attended Chris Kresser's presentation in support of his new book, Beyond Paleo, and he made reference to a study in which:
-The participants were in the highest risk group of mortality from heart disease (black men)
-The test was - one group doing meditation, one group on statins, one group not treated by either

Guess who "won"?  Indeed, the meditation group fared better than the statin group. Side effects of statins?  It's a long undesirable list.  Side effects of meditation?  It's a long, desirable list, not to mention, it doesn't have to cost $3/day.

So, all you meditation rock stars, you have a leg up on the rest of us, please accept my salute.

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