Practices Derived from Buddhist Meditation Show Real Effectiveness for Certain Health Problems

The Chakra, Jul 15, 2012

New Delhi, India -- According to a report in the July Journal of Psychiatric Practice, mindfulness practices including Zen mediation have helped to resolve mental and physical health problems.

”An extensive review of therapies that include meditation as a key component - referred to as mindfulness-based practices - shows convincing evidence that such interventions are effective in the treatment of psychiatric symptoms and pain, when used in combination with more conventional therapies,” according to Dr William R. Marchand of the George E.

Mindfulness based therapies or exercises show clear results of health benefits. Mindfulness is described as “the practice of learning to focus attention on moment-by-moment experience with an attitude of curiousity, openness, and acceptance. In other words a part of practicing mindfulness is simply experiencing the present as it is rather than trying to change anything.

Dr. Marchand focused on three techniques: Zen meditation, a Buddhist spiritual practice that involves the practice of developing mindfulness by meditation. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) a combination of Buddhist mindfulness with meditation related to yoga as well as stress coping stretegies. The third type of technique he reviewed is Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), which combines MBSR with principles of cognitive therapy.

As a result of Dr. Marchand’s study it has been revealed that MBSR is effective in reducing stress and promoting general psychological health in patients with various medical or psychiatric diseases.

These practices in addition help to affect mental and physical health in that they impact brain function in structure, which they believe is the reason for the practices helping decrease stress levels as well.

The use of such mindfulness practices are promising and overtime should be used consistently in clinical settings.