Harvard Medical School backs effective alt therapy
(LAUREN STROUSE, DAILY REPUBLIC)
Meditation as a spiritual practice has been around for thousands of years. New research suggests meditation may help you manage symptoms of conditions such as:
- Chronic pain
- Heart disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Sleep problems
- Tension headaches
It is easy to see in looking at this list that many of these issues are connected to stress.
Stress plays a role in nearly all major modern killers. 60 percent of doctor visits are stress-related.
Science hasn’t yet connected the dots between what happens in the meditating brain and the immune system, but a University of Wisconsin study saw increased electrical activity in regions of the left frontal lobe, an area that tends to be more active in optimistic people, after 8 weeks of training in meditation.
One study of more than 3,500 adults showed a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammatory response caused by stress.
Inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, are released in response to stress and can affect mood, leading to depression. Two studies of mindfulness meditation found decreased depression in over 4,600 adults.
Less stress also translates to less anxiety, including mental health issues such as social anxiety, phobias and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
Harvard researchers developed a form of meditation that easily elicits the relaxation response and started teaching it through the Harvard Medical School.