Studies have shown meditation does have medical value

Meditation has been around for thousands of years. Meditation techniques include specific postures, focused attention or an open toward distractions.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, meditation is used to increase calmness and relaxation, improve psychological balance, cope with illness, or enhance overall health and well-being.

Is meditation a really effective therapy? Science has looked at meditation throughout the years and has found not only does mediation provides you with calmness and relaxation but does have therapeutic value when it comes to medical conditions.

A meta-analysis conducted by the University of Kentucky had found Transcendental Meditation an effective treatment high blood pressure with the added benefits of bypassing possible side effects from anti-hypertension drugs.

Last month researchers from Georgia Health Sciences University had found that practicing regular meditation could lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in teens that are at high risk.

A new report by Dr. William Marchand of the George E. Wahlen veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, reveals "mindfulness practices" including Zen meditation have shown benefits for patients with certain physical and mental health problems.

Mindfulness is described as "the practice of learning to focus attention on moment-by-moment experience with an attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance."

Dr. Marchand reviewed published studies that examined the health benefits of these practices.

This review concentrated on three techniques; Zen meditation, Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness - based cognitive therapy (MBCT).

Dr. Marchand had discovered proof that MBSR and MBCT have 'broad spectrum" effects against depression and anxiety as well as decreasing psychological distress. Based on the findings MBCT can be "strongly recommended" as an addition to conventional treatments for unipolar depression. Also noted was that MBSR and MBCT were effective additional treatments for anxiety.

According to reports in Science Daily, Dr. Marchand had concluded "These mindfulness practices show considerable promise and the available evidence indicates their use is currently warranted in a variety of clinical situations."

Dr. Marchand notes that there is little evidence in which patients are most likely to benefit from these practices but does suggest that patient preferences and enthusiasm is a good guide. "The most important considerations may be desire to try a mindfulness-based practice and willingness to engage in the regular practice of seated meditation," says Dr. Marchand.

If you tried meditation and think it is not for you, a new study shows you may have picked the wrong method. This study suggests picking the methods in which you are most comfortable with and not those that are the most popular.

Dr. Adam Burke, PhD, MPH, LAc, professor of health education at San Francisco State and director of SF State's Institute for Holistic Health Studies, and study's author, remarks that if you pick a method in which you are comfortable with you are most likely to stick with it.

According to Dr. Burke, "If someone is exposed to a particular technique through the media or a healthcare provider, they might assume because it's popular it's the best for everyone," "But that's like saying because a pink dress or a blue sport coat is popular this year, it's going to look good on everybody. In truth, different people like different things. One size does not fit all."

Burke further notes that if a person is not comfortable with a specific method for any reason, they may be less likely to continue meditation and would lose out on such benefits as reduced stress, lower blood pressure or even addiction treatment.

There are many meditation techniques available today the key is to pick one that you are most comfortable with and best suited for your needs