More effort should be made to apply meditation practice in clinical and medical educational settings that are practical, effective and meaningful, according to a review of research and practices published in Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice (2010; 37, , 81–90). Lead author Luke Fortney, MD, department of family medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, wrote, “Meditation is now widely known and accepted as a beneficial mind-body practice by the general public and in the scientific community.”
Have you or has your
facility offered any workshops or classes
on breathing exercises or pranayama? If yes, how were the programs structured and how were they received?Share your examples with editor Sandy Todd Webster, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stress can adversely affect depression and anxiety disorders, heart disease, autoimmune disorders and other chronic medical conditions. The impact of stress on health seems to differ between men and women. In seeking to understand why, scientists have
determined that women
and men respond differently to stress, according to a small study published in the The Journal of Neuroscience (2010; 30 , 431–38).
Children experience stress even if they don’t have all
the responsibilities of adults. Adverse experiences in childhood can impact both short- and long-term health. According to the Nemours Foundation, sources of
childhood stress include
A 3-day mindfulness meditation program reduced pain ratings and anxiety scores for young adults with no prior meditation training, according to a small study published in The Journal of Pain (2009; doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2009.07.015). What is important about this study is that researchers showed improvements in mindfulness and pain reduction after only three consecutive 20-minute training sessions.
Significant numbers of college students lose sleep
because of personal and academic stress, according
to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent
Health (2009;doi:10.1016/j.adohealth.2009.06.016). Researchers conducted a survey of 1,125 college students aged 17–24 at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. The survey included questions related to sleep habits, academic performance, physical health and drug use.
Iowa State University, Ames (ISU), is the first
of the three Iowa public universities to offer a Biofeedback Center where students can learn how to manage stress. Opened for the fall 2009 school year, the center is available free to all ISU students. The center features computer programs and other biofeedback equipment with finger sensors, a mouse pad and earphones. Students learn relaxation techniques such as mindful meditation, deep breathing, visualization and guided recitations. Programs also use video games to teach meditation and emotional control.
Twenty minutes of meditation and yoga per day combined with six 1-hour weekly group sessions lowered feelings of stress by more than 10% and improved sleep quality for office workers, according to a pilot study published in Health Education & Behavior (2009; 36 , 601–14).
Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who were seen at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals between 2002 and 2008 had high rates of mental-health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health (2009; 99 (9), 1651–58). Of the 289,328 veterans who received VA health care during those years, almost 37% presented with mental-health conditions; among these, 62,929 were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and 50,432 with depression.
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