Meditation prescribed more often as alternative to conventional medicine, study finds

Source:ABC News/Health, May 2011: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2007

Findings from a survey study suggest that a greater number of people are using meditation and other mind-body therapies (i.e., yoga and acupuncture) for emotional and physical relief from illnesses/diseases. Nearly 40 percent of Americans use some form of complementary and/or alternative medicine, and more than 6 million of them are advised by health care providers to do so (particularly since studies show meditation can improve immune function and lower blood pressure).

Excitement about meditation’s healthcare potential is increasing, especially recently as the practice has been used to treat alcoholism, eating disorders, psoriasis, and impotence. However, experts remind us that meditation’s effects can be limited, and it must be used with conventional therapies to successfully treat medical conditions.