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Health Benefits of Meditation

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A recent study investigating the purported health benefits of mindfulness-based practices, such as Zen meditation, provides convincing supporting evidence that such practices are effective in the treatment of certain health conditions.

Dr. William R. Marchand of the George E. Wahlen Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City underwent extensive review of already published studies on mindfulness practices and their health benefits. The study focused on Zen meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).

Mindfulness has been described as “the practice of learning to focus attention on moment-by-moment experience with an attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance.” Put another way, “Practicing mindfulness is simply experiencing the present moment, without trying to change anything.”

Dr. Marchand’s research showed that MBSR and MBCT is effective against depression and anxiety, and MBSR was helpful in managing stress and promoting general psychological health in healthy people. There was also evidence that Zen meditation and MBSR were useful adjunctive treatments for pain management.

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