Friday, August 13, 2010

Meditation as Medication

1. The meditators had 87.3 percent less health care expenditures for cardiovascular disease.

When looking at 17 major categories of disease, the meditators group had an average of 55.4 percent less admissions for benign and malignant tumors, 30.4 percent less for all infectious diseases, 30.6 percent less for mantal disorders, and 87.3 percent less for heart disease. Even the most powerful medications don't have the power to reduce hospital admissions by 87 percent. This is greater than triple the effect of even the best cholesterol-lowering drug trials. Moreover, it represents an absolute reduction in cardiovascular disease.

2. Researcher Robert Herron's idea was this : Why not use each meditator as his or her own control? That way we know for sure that we have an identical match. Have a national system of health care like in Canada, the utilization of health care resources can be tracked on an individual basis, covering six years in total, including three years before and after initiating the practice of meditation. Then, one can confidently extrapolate what the reduction in health-care utilization would be at five years out. A consistent figure can be found.

3. Meditators had approximately a 50 percent reduction in health care utilization. An even greater reduction in the population over 65 years of age. These numbers are "hard data" in that they concretely demonstrate the power of meditation. However, this is not the "hard science" that most mainstream medical researchers like to see. They like to randomly assign participants into a treatment or a placebo group. This is to ensure that the groups are equal and that any effect is truly due to the intervention.

4.The meditators found meditation to be so easy and enjoyable that the practice was easy to cultivate. That a high-risk inner-city population ,Singapore, could benefit by a nonpharmacological means with 97 percent compliance was indeed profound news. The meditator group had a 97.1 percent compliance rate at 3 months.

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