Friday, September 21, 2007

body + mind + spirit:
Harvard Professor Cites Meditations Role in Healthcare Prevention and Intervention

For centuries practitioners of meditation have vowed of its curative effects on the mind, body and spirit, now it seems that the medical community has made its way to the same realization.

Herbert Bensen, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Director of Hypertension Section of Boston's Beth Israel Hospital, has conducted research which endorses meditation as one part of the health care prevention and intervention plan. Bensen's work has brought public attention to the inarguable link between heart disease and stress and the curative effects of meditation on lowering blood pressure, pulse rate and stress hormones. Bensens research led him to the development of a meditation based stress reduction technique called "The Relaxation Response."

Several studies, outside that of Herbert Bensens, have pointed to similar findings in the field. In 1997 a placebo-controlled, randomized study of cardiac patients linked the practice of stress-reduction techniques to a 75 percent drop in recidivism. Other research, conducted by Dean Ornish, MD, showed that 82 percent of participants who regularly practiced meditation (as one aspect of an overall intervention package) experienced reduced arterial blockage and freer arterial blood flow in comparison to peers who did not meditate. Most surprising was the fact that in the latter group the condition actually worsened over the course of the study.

It is good to know that western science is catching up to what many eastern cultures have known for centuries, that mediation, and the simple quiet of the mind, heals and balances the human, from the inside out.

*Originally Posted September 21,2007

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