meditation for anxiety

Coping with anxiety

There’s Cipro, potassium iodide and the smallpox vaccine to ward off biological agents. But is there an antidote to anxiety? “I’m very frightened,” said Julie White, as she exited Manhattan’s Sonic Yoga last week. But she has a remedy: the stretching and deep breathing of yoga. The practice is so calming that after the terror upgrade, White made an upgrade of her own–from one class a day to two. Yoga, she says, “is my tranquilizer.”

You may find the lotus pose hopelessly warm and fuzzy in the face of terror. But there are a host of activities, from working out to going for a massage, that can temper the anxiety. Many of these techniques have been used for decades, if not centuries; now advances in science are showing they can reduce the hormones associated with stress and even affect brain activity. The common trait among all: maintaining control and recognizing that our concerns are a natural response to the world we live in. “We’re justified in having this fear,” says Dr. Herbert Benson, president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute of Boston. “Life was stressful before 9-11. It’s gotten progressively worse.”

The first step toward combating fear is identifying it…

Newsweek: Read the rest of this article…

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Say “Om” before surgery

Mehmet Oz: In my work as a cardiovascular surgeon, I use the most sophisticated tools of modern medicine to separate patients from their diseased hearts and replace these organs with healthy ones. While my training was in the science of the Western world, I also rely heavily on an ancient Eastern technique–meditation–to help my patients prepare for surgery and to steer them gently toward recovery. Why? Because it works.

Every patient who comes to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City for a heart operation is offered an optional program of massage, yoga and meditation. We sell specially prepared 90-minute audiotapes in which a calm voice speaks over gentle strains of New Age music and urges patients to remember a place where they felt happy and comfortable…

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