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Exploring the Evidence: Why Meditation Works July 30, 2018

Midtown East, Manhattan
Exploring the Evidence: Why Meditation Works, Manhattan, New York

Recent discoveries in complimentary medicine have shown meditation to play a crucial role in healthy lifestyles. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control published a study that found that one in seven American workers engages in some form of mindfulness-based exercise, proving that meditation and similar practices are receiving much-needed attention.

The application of meditation in patient-based complimentary medicine has yielded a convincing body of evidence for its benefits. With these discoveries, it’s possible that meditation will soon gain wide, mainstream acceptance as a crucial aspect of treatment. Here are a few of its benefits along with the research that confirmed them.

Well-Being

AComplementary Medicine 2014 JAMA Network review of studies on meditation found that medium-term (up to six months) programs had “moderate evidence” of improved anxiety and depression. “These small effects,” the report notes, “are comparable with what would be expected from the use of an antidepressant … without the associated toxicities.” These findings underscore a recent increase in meditation in complementary medicine. Mental health practitioners might consider prescribing it alongside conventional treatments. The report found evidence for pain reduction from meditation, as well.

Another study from Wake Forest University found that meditation changed brain activity. Activity in areas of the brain associated with stress control and executive function increased. Anxiety in centers of thinking and emotion decreased.

Neuroplasticity

This term refers to the brain’s ability to change over time. Learning is a type of neuroplasticity: it creates new neural connections. Meditation may do the same. This effect could be beneficial to two parties: complementary medicine clinicians helping patients build healthier lifestyles and individuals at risk for conditions like Alzheimer’s. The former would benefit from neuroplasticity’s ability to facilitate learning. It might help the latter avoid degeneration of their brains’ white matter.  

 

Metro Collaborative™ encourages nation-wide discussions about neuroplasticity, complementary medicine, and the future of healthcare. This interdisciplinary network of clinicians works together to move treatment forward while forming valuable referral networks. Expand your practice and your mind by finding a Metro Collaborative™ event near you. Call them at (609) 876-9763 or visit their website today.   They also offer wellness retreats @ villaserena.com.

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