Research Studies & Findings

  • At the Marylebone Health Centre in London, prescribing costs have been cut by 40% by using methods including yoga, meditation and relaxation.1
  • An American fighter pilot, with a six year history of high blood pressure underwent various treatments (medicine, diet, physical exercise) without results. Following a six week programme of yoga and relaxation, his blood pressure was normalised and he regained full flight status. Also as the researchers pointed out relaxation also ha s the advantage over medicine in that it has no side effects, something that can be hazardous for a fighter pilot.2
  • From research into HIV positive: “Results suggest that stress management (through relaxation and meditation) to reduce arousal of the nervous system and anxiety would be an appropriate component of a treatment regimen for HIV infection.”3
  • 11 epileptics who were resistant to epileptic medicine meditated 20 minutes a day. After a year a significant reduction in seizure frequency and duration was measured.4
  • Of 73 patients with advanced cancer, who had attended at least 20 sessions of intensive meditation, 10% showed a remarkable slowing down in the growth of the tumour and a further 10 % had a less a marked reduction. 50% experienced a greatly improved quality of life.5
  • 51 chronic pain patients whose condition had not improved with traditional medical care, took part in a 10 week meditation and relaxation program. 50% of the patients showed a 50% or more reduction in pain, while a further 15% of the patients had a reduction of 33% or more.6
  • A study published in Neuro Report 2005 shows thicker cortical regions related to attention and sensory processing in long term meditation practitioners compared to non meditators. The findings suggest that meditation practice may offset cortical thinning brought about by ageing.7
  • A 2003 study focused on how an 8 week training course would affect the brains and immune systems of individuals. Evidence was provided of increased activation in a region of the brain correlated with positive affect, as well as evidence that the immune system react more robustly in antibody production after meditation training.8
  • A recent study showed better stress regulation as measured by a faster decrease in levels of the stress hormone Cortisol following a stressful laboratory task, among Chinese undergraduates after 15 days of meditation training at 20 minutes a day. These students also reported less anxiety, depression, and anger compared to a group of students that received relaxation training.9
  • A university of North Carolina study demonstrated a correlation between mindfulness practice in couples and an enhanced relationship. Couples reported improved closeness, acceptance of one another, autonomy and general relationship satisfaction.10
  • A study of Health Care Professionals going through an 8 week mindfulness based stress reduction program presented results of increased self compassion and reduced stress in those individuals.11

Sources

  1. Holistic GP’s cut prescribing costs to 40% of average. Pulse 1989 Nov 25.
  2. Treatment of essential hypertension with yoga relaxation therapy in a USAF aviator: a case. Brownstein AH. Dembert ML.
  3. Effects of a behavioural stress-management program on anxiety, mood, self esteem and T-cell count in HIV positive men. Taylor DN.
  4. Meditation improves clinicoelectroencephalographic measures in drug resistant epileptics. Deepak KK. Manchanda SK. Maheswari MC.
  5. What can cancer patients expect from intensive meditation? Mears A.
  6. An outpatient program in Behavioural medicine for chronic pain patients. Kabat-Zinn J.
  7. Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness. Lazar,S., et al. (2005) Neuro Report, 16(17), 1893 -1897.
  8. Alterations in Brain and Immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Davidson,R. et al. (2003) Psychosomatic medicine, 65, 564-570.
  9. Short term Meditation training improves attention and self-regulation. Tang, Y., et al (2007) PNAS, 104(43) 17152 – 17156.
  10. Mindfulness based relationship enhancement. Carson. J, et al (2004) Behaviour Therapy, 35, 471 – 494.
  11. Mindfulness based stress reduction for Health care professionals : results form a randomised trial, Shapiro ,S, et al. (2005). International Journal of stress management, 12(2), 164 – 176.