Rounding out the theme of alternative medicine is the topic of meditation. This is not something I have tried before, although I probably should. It has long been associated with several religions and cultures, but it has also been used in medicine for 100’s of years. We now have relevant data showing that certain forms of meditation help with anxiety, pain, depression, and stress.
Give it a Try!
Often, people don’t like to try alternative medicine because they feel it is hocus pocus. Think of it this way, what is exercise? Your doctor prescribes it all the time, and really, it is just another form of alternative medicine. It is not a pill or treatment with side effects, yet it reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. Exercise maintains a healthy weight, decrease cardiovascular risk, and decreases rates of type 2 diabetes. All this without any Western Medicine. So why not try some yoga, meditation, or massage therapy!
What is Meditation
“A practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.” Essentially benign, meaning there are no side effects, and evidence proves it to be helpful. So why not give it a try?! Many people say they can’t sit still for that long, they can’t quiet their mind, they don’t know what to do… Well you didn’t ride a bike correctly on your first time either, meditation takes practice and persistence.
There are several types of meditation but I am going to focus on those that have clinical research showing benefit.
- Mindful Meditation
- Transcendental Meditation
- Involves the use of mantra to move the mind away from physical affairs. Practiced for 15-20 minutes 2 times per day.
- Well researched and shown to reduce stress and anxiety.