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Research on Meditation
A review of 114 studies found, in the context of poor physical health, consistent improvements in mental health and wellbeing, particularly reduced stress, anxiety, and depression where a mindfulness-based intervention was used.
Carlson, L. E. (2012). Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Physical Conditions: A Narrative Review Evaluating Levels of Evidence. ISRN Psychiatry, 2012, 1-21. doi:10.5402/2012/651583
“Some research suggests that practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, and insomnia. Evidence about its effectiveness for pain and as a smoking-cessation treatment is uncertain” (source: National Institute of Health).
This study demonstrated that meditation may help reduce “blood pressure in association with decreased psychological distress, and increased coping in young adults at risk for hypertension” (source: PubMed.gov).
“Based on the results of this study, an affirmation can be made that meditation can be used as a non-invasive intervention treatment for improving fatigue, anxiety, quality of life, and emotional faculties of women with breast cancer,” (source: PubMed.gov).
A 2010 review of peer-reviewed literature found that meditation and other mind-body therapies may help relieve some common menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.
“Research suggests that meditation can be a powerful tool for learning control of attention, regulating emotion, and increasing self-awareness. New scientific data show that during meditation there are a number of measurable biological changes, and the data suggest that meditation has the potential to impact mental and physical health. For example, neuroimaging suggests meditation may have an effect on brain function that persists even when someone is not meditating. Another study showed changes in certain genes related to inflammation and histones” (source: National Institute of Health).
“Often touted as the equivalent of going to the gym for the mind, mindfulness is an emergent phenomenon that promises relief for busy professionals—asking them to slow down, stop, sit, relax, breathe, and find a moment to be in the present. Indeed, sitting silently is fast becoming the new hurrying” (source).
Scientific Benefits of Meditation – 76 things you might be missing out on (source).