Why engage in Mindfulness and Meditation?
6. A meta-study carried out by researchers at Harvard found that meditation is 4 x more effective at delivering present moment awareness than any other technique. Alexander, CN et al. Journal of Social Behaviour & Personality 6 (5): 189-247 1991.
1. A meta-analysis of 146 studies that examined the effects of various relaxation techniques, including meditation practice, on trait anxiety. The other techniques included bio- feedback, progressive relaxation, and other forms of meditation. The effect size for meditation was 2½ times that of other forms of meditation. None of the other techniques proved any more effective than a placebo, whereas this one was twice as effective. Eppley KR, Abrams A, Shear J – Differential Effects of Relaxation Techniques on Trait Anxiety: A Meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology 45: p. 957-974 (1989).
2. A recent study showed that after 5 months of meditating, the meditators’ brain responses to pain decreased by 45-50%. Orme-Johnson, DW, et al. Neuroimaging of Meditation’s Effect on Brain Reactivity to Pain. Neuroreport, 17 (12):1359-63 2006. See also: Reduced frequency of pain symptoms Japanese Journal of Public Health 1990; reduced use of medical care for pain related conditions American Journal of Managed Care 1997.
2. A randomised control study following the cardiovascular outcomes of 201 heart disease patients over a 5 year period found that the effect of this type of meditation was of the same order of magnitude as using statins and anti-hypertensive medications. There was a 47% decrease in heart attacks and strokes suggesting that practice of this meditation is as powerful as many of our best drugs but without the negative side effects or cost to our health service that the pharmacological alternatives provide. Schneider, R, et al. Circulation 12: S461, 2009.
3. The health insurance data of 1450 meditators who had been practising for 6 months or more were compared with the database of 600,000 people who were matched for age, gender, terms of insurance and other demographic variables. The health profile of the meditators was vastly superior and their use of healthcare services was dramatically lower than that of the non-meditators. Those in all age groups had over 50% fewer hospital admissions and out-patient consultations. In 16 of the major 17 medical treatment categories (the 17th was admissions for childbirth) the categories are:- intestinal; nose, throat lung; heart; genital urinary; injuries; tumours; bones, muscle; ill defined condition; mental disorders; nervous system; metabolism; infectious disease; skin; congenital; blood; other. Orme-Johnson, D. Psychosomatic Medicine 49 (1):493-507, 1987.
4. A study by Merz et al showed that meditation group displayed a trend towards greater heart rate variability which indicates greater parasympathetic nervous system activity (helping us feel more relaxed). This suggests that the meditation doesn’t simply reduce the fight or flight response via moderation of the SNS, it suggests that there is a corresponding increase in parasympathetic activity. Merz,CNB, et al. Psychosocial Stress and Cardiovascular Disease, Behavioural Medicine 27: 141-47, Winter 2002. See also: Your Galvanic Skin Resistance is frequently used as a measure of relaxation – when we are tense, our palms become sweaty and electrical current passes more quickly acrss the palm, whereas when the palm is dry, there is greater resistance to the current. Scienitists use a high GSR reading to indicate a high level of relaxation. On average there is an increase of about 250% in GSR when you meditate as opposed to a 100-200% increase during sleep. R K Wallace, Science 167, 1970.
4. Meditation leads to a significantly improved quality of sleep compared with controls. British Journal of Nursing (1995).
Studies also show that it results in reduced incidence of insomnia, with an average decrease of 42%. Journal of Counselling and Development (1985), 64, 212-215.
1. According to the iOpener Institute, increasing happiness in the workplace leads to a 19% reduction in sick leave.
2. The health insurance data of 1450 meditators who had been practising for 6 months or more were compared with the database of 600,000 people who were matched for age, gender, terms of insurance and other demographic variables. Orme-Johnson, D. Psychosomatic Medicine 49 (1):493-507, 1987.
3. The brain at positive is 31% more productive than the brain at negative, neutral or stressed University of Wisconsin.
4. A large study in Astralia found that when workers feels tressed, their effective hours worked per month is a mere 49. When they feel balanced, their effective hours worked rises to 143 hours per month, representing a 291% increase. `The Health of Australia’s Workforce’, Medibank Private Limited, Nov 2005.
5. Increasing happiness in the workplace leads to a reduced cost of employee turnover by 46 percent. iOpener Institute.
6. State of the Workplace, Gallup, 2011.
7. Companies in the “Best Companies To Work For” category for a 4 year period increased their profits by 315% Source: Aon Hewitt.
8. Wallace RK, and Benson H (February 1972), ‘The Physiology of Meditation’, Scientific American, 88.
9. Journal of Counselling and Development (1985), 64, 212-215.
10. A meta-analysis of 146 studies that examined the effects of various relaxation techniques, including this meditation practice, on trait anxiety. The other techniques included bio- feedback, progressive relaxation, and other forms of meditation. The effect size for Vedic meditation was 2½ times that of other forms of meditation. None of the other techniques proved any more effective than a placebo, whereas this one was twice as effective. Eppley KR, Abrams A, Shear J – Differential Effects of Relaxation Techniques on Trait Anxiety: A Meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology 45: p. 957-974 (1989).
11. Happy employees, compared with their less happy colleagues, spend 40 percent more time focused on tasks and feel energized 65 percent more of the time. Happier employees also take six fewer sick days a year, and remain in their jobs twice as long. iOpener Institute.
12. In a study on 362 people, researchers found that after 6-12 months of practising this technique the meditation group improved in a broad range of different types of intelligence. Control groups were split into 3 categories – a group who took naps while others meditated; a group who practised contemplation meditation; and a group who received no special attention. The results were so significant that the eminent journal “Intelligence” took 2 years to review every aspect of the study to ensure that it was reliable and accurate. The effect size was biggest for creativity, then practical intelligence, field independence, state anxiety, trait anxiety, inspection time and fluid intelligence. So K-T, Orme-Johnson D. Intelligence 29: 419-40, 2001.
With grateful thanks to www.willwilliamsmeditation.co.uk for compliling these references