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Medicineworld.org: Therapeutic value of meditation unproven

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Therapeutic value of meditation unproven




There is an enormous amount of interest in using meditation as a form of treatment to cope with a variety of modern-day health problems, particularly hypertension, stress and chronic pain, but the majority of evidence that seems to support this notion is anecdotal, or it comes from poor quality studies, say Maria Ospina and Kenneth Bond, scientists at the University of Alberta/Capital Health Evidence-based Practice Center in Edmonton, Canada.

In compiling their report, Ospina, Bond and their fellow scientists analyzed a mountain of medical and psychological literature813 studies in alllooking at the impact of meditation on conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and substance abuse.



Therapeutic value of meditation unproven

They found some evidence that certain types of meditation reduce blood pressure and stress in clinical populations. Among healthy individuals, practices such as Yoga seemed to increase verbal creativity and reduce heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol. Typically however, ospina says no firm conclusions on the effects of meditation practices in health care can be drawn based on the available evidence because the existing scientific research is characterized by poor methodological quality and does not appear to have a common theoretical perspective.

Future research on meditation practices must be more rigorous in the design and execution of studies and in the analysis and reporting of results, Ospina explains.

But the scientists caution against dismissing the therapeutic value of meditation outright. This reports conclusions shouldnt be taken as a sign that meditation doesnt work, Bond says. A number of uncertainties surround the practice of meditation. For medical practitioners who are seeking to make evidence-based decisions regarding the therapeutic value of meditation, the report suggests that the evidence is inconclusive regarding its effectiveness. For the general public, adds Ospina, this research highlights that choosing to practice a particular meditation technique continues to rely solely on individual experiences and personal preferences, until more conclusive scientific evidence is produced.

The report, published June 2007 and titled Meditation Practices for Health: State of the Research, identified five broad categories of meditation practices: mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong. Transcendental Meditation and relaxation response (both of which are forms of mantra meditation) were the most usually studied types of meditation. Studies involving Yoga and mindfulness meditation were also common.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
There is an enormous amount of interest in using meditation as a form of treatment to cope with a variety of modern-day health problems, particularly hypertension, stress and chronic pain, but the majority of evidence that seems to support this notion is anecdotal, or it comes from poor quality studies, say Maria Ospina and Kenneth Bond, scientists at the University of Alberta/Capital Health Evidence-based Practice Center in Edmonton, Canada.

Medicineworld.org: Therapeutic value of meditation unproven

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