A substantial body of scientific literature regarding the clinical efficacy of meditation in
medical settings has demonstrated significant positive outcomes for patient treatment.
Lynda Freeman in her Best Practices in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2001, 8-1:1) writes:
Meditation is a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practice that falls under the
category of mind-body techniques. These types of therapies strengthen communication between your
body and your mind. Other types of mind-body techniques include support groups, hypnosis,
biofeedback, and creative outlets such as art, music or dance therapy.
While there are different paths to meditation, in general, when you're meditating,
you're concentrating. The focus of your concentration can be anything ó an object,
a sound or even your own breathing. The goal of meditation is to focus on the moment,
clearing away your worries.
Meditation isnít typically used in place of traditional therapies, such as medications your doctor prescribes. Instead, you might use meditation to supplement your other treatments. Meditation can also be used by people who are perfectly healthy as a way to reduce stress.
Medical research into meditation is limited, and the validity of some studies has been questioned. Keeping that in mind, some research shows that meditation may be beneficial for certain conditions when used along with medications or other interventions recommended by your doctor, including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Because meditation can relieve stress, it might also be helpful if you have a condition that's worsened by stress. Meditation may reduce the stress-related effects of allergies, asthma, chronic pain and arthritis, among others.
Meditation also assists us to become happy independent of the conditions of our everyday lives. It leads us to become less reactive and more responsive, to be more accepting and less judgmental, to be happier and more alive, and to become kinder to ourselves and gentler with others. We learn to live our lives with ease.