Study shows meditation is powerful medicine to conquer fears

March 26, 2011

What do you do if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer but you’re scared of the treatment? Studies show meditation can be powerful medicine when it comes to overcoming fears.

Sore tonsils led 44-year-old Danilo Ramirez’s doctor to suspect he had more than just a sore throat.

“He did surgery and a week later, ‘Mr. Ramirez you got lymphoma,'” said Ramirez.

Stage Two Lymphoma. Those words sent the Burbank father of two into a tailspin. But the specialized radiation treatment he faced scared him even more. Danilo is claustrophobic. Even though his life depended on it, he refused to wear the required mask.

“Mentally it was really hard on me,” said Ramirez. “There were nights I … Read more »

Meditation helps ease hot flashes, study shows

March 19, 2011

What should menopausal women do to alleviate the agony of hot flashes, as many studies have shown that hormone therapy increases risk for breast cancer, heart attacks and strokes?

Mindfulness meditation, the mind-body therapy that refers to a state of awareness, consciousness, and immediacy, not only de-clutters the mind and helps attain inner peace but also reduces the severity of menopausal hot flashes, claims a new study.

The researchers found that mindfulness training that included meditation and stretching exercises not only enhanced sleep quality but also helped ease stress and anxiety in women during menopause.

Dr. Ellen Freeman, a menopause expert at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, stated, “There’s a broad range … Read more »

How meditation helps beat stress

February 7, 2011

Scientists have achieved a breakthrough in understanding how relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and prayer improve health.

Research collaborators from the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Genomics Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center say that such relaxation techniques work by changing patterns of gene activity that affect how the body responds to stress.

“It’s not all in your head. What we’ve found is that when you evoke the relaxation response, the very genes that are turned on or off by stress are turned the other way. The mind can actively turn on and turn off genes,” says Dr Herbert Benson of the institute.

During the study, Benson and … Read more »

Mindfulness meditation improves well-being, researchers report

January 30, 2011

Sit down. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath. Observe your thoughts objectively as if you were a scientist.

There, you’ve achieved it: mindfulness, a heightened awareness and acceptance of the present moment without judgment.

As simple as it seems, mindfulness, with its origins in the 2,500-year-old Buddhist practices of meditation and yoga, has become the latest buzzword in wellness, as study after study confirms its power to relieve anxiety and improve mood when combined with Western therapies.

Last month University of Toronto researchers reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which mixes mindfulness meditation with cognitive behavioral therapy, is as effective as antidepressants for preventing relapses in depression.

Dr. Zindel … Read more »

Mindfulness therapy no help in fibromyalgia trial

December 30, 2010

A program aimed at easing stress with meditation and yoga may not be much help for people with the chronic-pain condition fibromyalgia, a recent study suggests.

The study, published in the journal Pain, looked at the effects of so-called mindfulness-based stress reduction — a technique developed by researchers at the University of Massachusetts in 1979 that combines mindfulness meditation and gentle yoga postures.

The technique is now available throughout the world — in the form of an eight-week program of classes — to help people manage general stress or health problems, including chronic pain.

For the new study, researchers led by Dr. Stefan Schmidt, of the University Medical Center in Freiburg, Germany, tested the program’s … Read more »

Study: Yoga helps with fibromyalgia pain

November 29, 2010

Yoga that includes gentle stretching exercises combined with meditation can lessen the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a U.S. study found.

Twenty-five women diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome, took part in a 2-hour weekly yoga class for eight weeks.

At the end of the study, the group reported improvements in both physical and psychological aspects of fibromyalgia, including decreased pain, fatigue, tenderness, anxiety and better sleep and mood, HealthDay reported Thursday.

Read the rest of this article…

Meditation can help tackle alcoholism, advise doctors

November 12, 2010

Meditation and peace of mind are essential for the rehabilitation of alcoholics and addicts. The message was conveyed during an awareness talk organized by a group of city-based doctors.

Addressing an awareness talk on ‘Alcoholism-The way out’ on Friday, experts deliberated on how to combat the habit of drinking.

Read the rest of this article…

The healing power of visualization

June 29, 2010

medicine_buddhaThe visualization of the Medicine Buddha has long been believed by Buddhists to promote healing. Bodhipaksa suggests a mechanism by which this might actually work.

The effects that the mind has on the body are as mysterious as they are profound. We’re all familiar with the placebo effect, where a medically inactive substance that looks like a medicine leads to actual healing. In one dramatic demonstration a doctor flicks a switch which he says wirelessly turns on and off a device that has been implanted in the brain of a patient with Parkinson’s disease. When the switch is “on,” the patient’s trembling dramatically subsides. When the switch is off, the patient begins to shake uncontrollably. … Read more »

Hospitals rethink spiritual spaces, create meditation rooms

They have space for prayer rugs and windows facing east – but no pews or religious symbols. They are called meditation rooms, sanctuaries where families can pray for patients, and doctors can pause for spiritual refreshing.

At least three area hospitals have plans to open meditation rooms – or expand and revise what were once known as chapels – for nondenominational observance. Reasons range from the changing needs of hospital staff, with more Muslims seeking a place to follow daily rituals, to the evolving view of medicine that the body and soul can heal together.

“When people are facing the ultimate spiritual and existential crisis such as illness, they need a quiet place to go,” … Read more »

Visit by mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn unites university and community

March 18, 2010

On Sunday morning, more than 200 people rolled out their yoga mats, took off their shoes and eagerly awaited the start of a full-day retreat with renowned scientist, writer and meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn at Alumni Hall.

The event was part of the John and Tussi Kluge Compassionate Care Lecture series and one of two retreats – one tailored for health care professionals and the other for community members – and two talks held during Kabat-Zinn’s visit to the University of Virginia.

His talk on Friday at Old Cabell Hall, “Arriving at Your Own Door: Meditation Can Change Your Brain, Transform Your Mind, and Light Up Your Life,” was followed by a book signing. He … Read more »