Can meditation top medication? by Deborah Kotz, article 7/13 (Ellie)

Recent Studies have gone to show the benefits of meditation, it helps us feel happier and has been linked to promoting the growth of certain regions of the brain.

“A review of 47 clinical trials involving more than 3,500 participants with mild anxiety or depression found that those who took mindfulness meditation classes experienced improvement in mood after eight weeks — on par with the effect seen with prescription medications”

A study conducted at Jama Internal medicine took patients with issues of back trouble, arthritis, headaches and other conditions and found that meditation helped alleviate chronic pain.

Massachusetts General Hospital teaches meditation and other relaxation techniques in its relaxation response resiliency program that focuses on controlling the body’s physiologic response to stress. The first three appointments with a health care provider are reimbursed by most insurance companies, but patients need to pay $450 out-of-pocket for the eight weekly two-hour group sessions.

Cancer patients at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute can take free meditation classes due to a philanthropic grant. “I see meditation almost as a requirement in any therapeutic regimen for cancer treatment, especially for patients who want a holistic approach to managing illness,” said Patricia Arcari, co-director of Dana-Farber’s Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies.

Mindfulness has proven to be so useful, it’s now being taught at universities, and many clinics have opened for the purpose of teaching mindfulness for the improvement of mental health and everyday life. Medication can lead to reliance and addiction, not to mention possible side effects or just how you personally react to the prescription. Medication can also worsen or intensify certain people’s mental ailment if it isn’t the right one for them, and the issue here is, there is no real way of knowing how anyones brain will react to a prescription. If mindfulness were incorporated into the healthcare systems, it could be used as the first approach to treating certain mental illnesses, rather than giving a temporary solution, that masks the problem rather than fixing it.

Kotz, Deborah. “Can Meditation Top Medication.” Boston Globe, 2014, http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/01/13/can-meditation-treat-anxiety-better-than-medication/ZV9bK3upScZQr879sl7xaK/story.html#:~:text=A%20review%20of%2047%20clinical,The%20study%2C%20published%20Jan.

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