Physical & Health Benefits:
As meditation has become more well-known in the West, scientists have begun to quantify its physical benefits
in hundreds of studies. Significant benefits have been found for many health conditions, including Anxiety, Depression, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, insomnia, chronic pain and immune system disorders. Because meditation is a low-cost intervention,
it shows promise for relief of a wide range of stress related health problems
A health insurance study found meditators had 87% fewer hospitalizations for heart disease,
55% fewer for benign and malignant tumors, and 30% fewer for infectious diseases. The meditators had more than 50% fewer doctor visits than did non-meditators. *1
Meditation lowers blood pressure to levels
comparable to prescription drugs for those who are normal to moderately hypertensive. *2
Meditation increases circulation in beginning meditators by 30%, and in experienced meditators by as much as 65%. *3
The NIH endorses meditation as effective for the relief of chronic pain. Chronic pain sufferers experience a reduction in symptoms by 50% or more. *4
75% of long-term insomniacs who have been trained in relaxation, meditation, and simple lifestyle changes can fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed. *5
Meditation reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics. *6
A group of inner-city residents suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, depression, diabetes and hypertension were trained in meditation. They experienced a 50% reduction in overall psychiatric symptoms, a 70% decrease in anxiety, and a 44% reduction in medical symptoms. *7
Mental & Productive Benefits:
Research on meditation has shown significant improvements in mental health, memory, concentration, and productivity.
Brain scans show that meditation shifts activity in the prefrontal cortex (behind the forehead) from the right hemisphere to the left. People who have a negative disposition tend to be right-prefrontal oriented; left-prefrontal have more enthusiasm, more interests, relax more, and tend to be happier. *8
Researchers tested novice meditators using a button-pressing task requiring speed and concentration. Performance was greater after 40 minutes of meditation as opposed to after a 40-minute nap. *9
Meditation helps chronically depressed patients, reducing their relapse rate by half. *10
Meditators notice more, but react more calmly than non-meditators to emotionally arousing stimuli. *11
Those with smoking, alcohol, and eating addictions that have been trained in meditation break their addictions with significantly lower relapse rates than those receiving standard therapies. *12
Middle school children who practice meditation show improved work habits, attendance, and GPA. *13
Brain scans of meditators show increased thickness in regions of the cortex associated with higher functions like memory and decision making. *14
Meditation appears to slow aging. Those meditating five years or more appeared 12 years younger than their chronological age. *15
Why it works…
When Employees are suffering from the effects of stress, they do not achieve peak performance and productivity. while stress is unavoidable at work organizations can manage/mitigate the affects by empowering their employees with tools to deal with it effectively, and build resilience. one of the most effective preemptive tools is visualization meditation.
National Institute of health study....
The NIH reports that:
Job tension is directly tied to a lack of productivity and loss of competitive edge in the
marketplace. Stress is pretty much the number one health problems in the workplace.(read more-
link to blog with this study)
“I thought I could not meditate I’ve tried before but you made it non-threatening not something I felt I could do wrong, which works for me. I was floored when you said it had been 20 minutes! Thank you and I look forward to our next session.
-Joan, class participant
“Since beginning meditation with Jill I have found myself more able to
look at the big picture at work and to prioritize my tasks without
worrying about everything on my to do list. Meditation is helped me
remember to “just breathe“ and concentrate on the task at hand
ultimately is help me become more productive because I spend far
less time on things that are not important”
-Lisa, class participant
1. D. Orme-Johnson, Pschosomatic Medicine 49 (1987): 493-507.
2. Michael Murphy and Steven Donovan, The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation (Institute of NoeticSciences,1997).
4. J. Kabat-Zinn, L. Lipworth, R. Burney, and W. Sellers, “Four year follow-up of a meditation-based program for the self-regulation of chronic pain,” Clinical Journal of Pain 2(1986): 159-173.
5. Gregg Jacobs, Harvard Medical School, Say Goodnight To Insomnia, (Owl Books, 1999).
6. H. Cerpa, “The effects of clinically standardized meditation on type 2 diabetics,” Dissertation Abstracts International 499 (1989): 3432.
7. B. Roth, T. Creaser, “Meditation-based stress reduction: experience with a bilingual inner-city program,” Nurse Practitioner 22(3) (1997): 150-2, 154, 157.
8. R. Davidson, J. Kabat-Zinn, et al, “Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation,” Psychosomatic Medicine 65 (2003): 564-570.
9. Reported in The Boston Globe, November 23, 2005
10. J.D. Teasdale, Z.V. Segal, J.M.G. Williams , V. Ridgeway, M. Lau, & J. Soulsby, “Reducing risk of recurrence of major depression using mindfulness-based cognitive therapy,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68 (2000): 615-23.
11. Michael Murphy and Steven Donovan, The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation (Institute of Noetic Sciences, 1997).
12. C.N. Alexander, P. Robinson, M. Rainforth, “Treatment and prevention of drug addiction,” Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 11 (1994): 11-84. 12. J. Kristeller and B. Hallett, “An exploratory study of a meditation-based intervention for binge eating disorder,” Journal of Health Psychology Vol 4, (1999): 357-363. 12. P.A. Royer-Bounouar,“A new direction for smoking cessation programs,” Dissertation Abstracts International 50, 8-B (1989): 3428. 12 M. Shafii, R. Lavely, and R. Jaffe, “Meditation and marijuana,” American Journal of Psychiatry 131 (1974): 60-63.
13. H. Benson, M. Wilcher, et al, (2000). “Academic performance among middle school students after exposure to a relaxation response curriculum,” Journal of Research and Development in Education 33 (3) (2000): 156-165.
14. Massachusetts General Hospital, reported by Carey Goldberg, The Boston Globe (November 23, 2005)
15. R.K. Wallace, M.C. Dillbeck, E. Jacobe, B. Harrington, International Journal of Neuroscience 16 (1982): 53-58.
Excerpted from Freedom from Stress, David and Karen Gamow, Glenbridge Publishing (2006).
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