People with common neurological conditions such as headaches, migraines, back pain with sciatica, strokes, dementia, seizures or memory loss use mind-body therapies more frequently than others without those conditions, according to a study published in Neuroepidemiology (2011; 36: 46–51). Researchers based their findings on an analysis of the 2007 National Health Interview Survey of American adults.
The most frequently used mind-body modalities were deep-breathing exercises, meditation and yoga. People with neurological complaints elected to use mind-body therapies because of “provider recommendation” (26% versus 13% of those with no such complaints) or because conventional treatments were perceived to be ineffective (12% versus 4%) or too expensive (7% versus 2%).
Study authors suggested that people turn to these methods to find stress relief. The researchers recommended that more studies be conducted on the effectiveness of mind-body activities for people with common neurological conditions.