According to a new study a meditation programme helps people with chronic illness.Researchers at the Centre for Integrative Medicine at Jefferson University Hospital in Carolina, USA, offered 104 patients with chronic illness a meditation programme. This went on for eight weeks.
The patients, who suffered from conditions like asthma, panic disorder, depression, chronic pain, gastrointestinal problems, and high blood pressure, reported dramatic improvements. They were better able to cope with stress, felt relaxed and increased mental clarity. The programme included mindfulness meditation, emotional expression and social support.
The benefits were maintained for up to a year, although the results are limited by the fact that only 30 per cent of patients responded to this follow-up. It is also important to repeat the study with a control group (who do not do the meditation) to confirm that this is not just a placebo effect.