Meditation

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Stress and anxiety reduction

  • In 2014 JAMA Internal Medicine published an analysis of 47 trials involving 3,320 participants which showed meditation can result in small to moderate reductions in psychological distress. [Source]
  • In 2014 the Clinical Journal of Psychiatry published a trial in which 93 patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) were assigned to either an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program or an 8-week stress management education program. While both programs lead to significant reductions in anxiety, the meditation-based program produced greater results overall. [Source]

Reduction in stress hormones

  • In 2013 the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand published a study in which 30 medical students saw a significant reduction in the stress hormone, cortisol after completing a 4-day mindfulness meditation program. [Source]

Anti-aging – slows age-related mental decline

  • In 2014 Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published a review of 12 studies measuring the effects of meditation on age-related cognitive decline. Studies involved reported positive effects on memory, attention, processing speed and executive function. [Source]

Binge eating

  • In 2014 Eating Behaviors published a review of 14 studies which investigated the relationship between meditation and binge eating disorders. The results showed that mindfulness meditation was effective in reducing emotional eating and binge eating behavior. [Source]

Pain reduction

  • In 2016 the Journal of Neuroscience published a double-blind study which showed that meditation was effective in reducing pain and that Its effects do not rely on endogenous opioids (pain-relieving substances created in the body). [Source]

MS and Peripheral Neuropathy patients – Reduced pain and improved quality of life

  • In 2011 the International Journal of MS Care published a study in which 22 patients with either multiple sclerosis or peripheral neuropathy participated in weekly meditation classes over a 2-month period. Compared to a control group, the meditation group saw significant improvements in pain, physical and mental health scores and fatigue. [Source]

Brain aging

  • In 2005 Neuroreport published a study which showed that, based on MRI imaging, the brain regions associated with attention, interoception and sensory processing were thicker in 20 individuals with extensive meditation experience compared to matched controls. According to the researchers, the data suggests that meditation may offset age-related cortical-thinning. [Source] 

Attention-span

  • In 2012 Frontiers in human Neuroscience published a study in which 12 participants underwent a 16-week mindfulness training course, in which an average of five 11-minute meditation sessions were performed each week. Compared to a control group of 16 subjects, the meditation group saw improved efficiency in allocating cognitive resources when performing computerized attention-control tasks. [Source]

Insomnia

  • In 2014 Sleep published a study in which 54 adults with chronic insomnia were assigned to one of 3 groups; Meditation therapy for insomnia, meditation therapy for stress reduction or a self-monitored control group. Both of the meditation therapy groups saw greater improvements in insomnia compared to the control group, with the meditation-for-insomnia group showing the greatest improvement at the 3-month follow-up mark and a 50 percent remission rate at 6-month follow-up. [Source]

Reduced respiratory infection

  • In 2012 Annals of Family Medicine published a study in which 154 adults age 50 and older were assigned to either an 8-week exercise group, an 8-week meditation group or a control group. During a single cold and flu season the meditation and exercise groups had fewer respiratory infections than the control group. Additionally, the meditation group had significantly lower infection severity when compared with the exercise and control groups. [Source]

Life satisfaction

  • In 2008 the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published a study involving 139 individuals, half of whom were randomly assigned to a loving-kindness meditation practice. Results showed that meditation increased positive emotions which resulted in increased life-satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms. [Source]

Brain Function

  • In 2011 Psychiatry Research published a study in which MRI brain scans were obtained from 16 healthy individuals before and after they underwent an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction training program. Compared to baseline MRI scans and to a control group of 17 individuals, the post-meditation brain scans showed increases in neural activity in multiple regions of the brain involved in learning, memory and emotion-regulation. [Source]

Improved wound healing

  • In 2012 Brain Behavior and Immunity published a study in which 60 patients undergoing surgery received either standard care or standard care plus a 45-minute daily meditation-relaxation program which began 3 days pre-surgery and ended 7 days post-surgery. Compared to the control group, the meditation group showed increased concentrations of hydroxyproline – an indicator of collagen production and improved wound healing. [Source]  

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