Just in case you hadn’t noticed, meditation is hitting the big time. It’s been on the covers of Time and Business Weekly magazines. CEOs and celebrities alike attribute their success and happiness to it. But what’s the evidence that it works, and who is doing it?

There is more to life than increasing its speed. ~ Mohandas K. Gandhi

Meditation research

Meditation significantly controls high blood pressure at levels comparable to widely used prescription drugs, and without the side effects of drugs. ~ Hypertension, American Health Association Medical Journal

Meditators are able to reduce chronic pain by more than 50%, while increasing daily function and markedly improving their moods, even 4 years after the completion of an 8-week training course. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn, M.D. Stress Reduction Clinic, University of Massachusetts

75% of long-term insomniacs who have been trained in relaxation and meditation can fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed. ~ Dr. Gregg Jacobs, Psychologist, Harvard

Meditation decreases oxygen consumption, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure and increases the intensity of alpha, theta and delta brain waves-the opposite of the physiological changes that occur during the stress response. ~ Herbert Benson, M.D. Harvard Medical School

Relaxation therapies are effective in treating chronic pain. The meditation technique of silently repeating words or sounds while ignoring intruding thoughts can markedly ease the pain of low back problems, arthritis and headaches. ~ National Institutes of Health

Two groups were compared: meditators and non-meditators. The meditators were found, on a number of scales, to be less anxious and neurotic, more spontaneous, independent, self-confident, empathetic and less fearful of death. ~ Reported in Atlantic Monthly

A psychiatrist using meditation in combination with group therapy for women with advanced breast cancer found the treatment prolonged their lives an average of 18 months, compared with a control group of women who did not receive the treatment. ~ Stanford University Medical Center

A study of women with severe PMS showed a 58% improvement in their symptoms after five months of daily meditation. ~ As reported in Health Magazine

High school students who study relaxation techniques stay in school more often and have fewer incidents of suspension. ~ The Education Initiative, Mind/Body Medical Institute, Harvard University

In a recent study, 77% of individuals experiencing high levels of stress were able to cool down — lower their blood pressure and cholesterol levels — simply by training themselves to stay calm.   ~ Reported in Health

I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once. ~ Jennifer Yane

Where to now?

For a great meditation quick-start, try Chris Barrington’s Quiet Times CD, which is an easy way to make an excellent foundation in Dru Meditation. For those who would enjoy visual imagery and instruction try our Dru meditation DVD.


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