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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Food as Medicine

There is so much information on the healing qualities of food that I'm tempted to start a separate blog called Food as Medicine. In the meantime here is an amusing and informative video from Fox.

3:12 pm pdt          Comments

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mindfulness

We live in stressful times and unfortunately stress has a negative impact on health. One of the best tools we have for managing stress is meditation. In recent years several studies have been published demonstrating the effectiveness of meditation.

In 2005 a study published in NeuroReport demonstrated that meditation changed the physical structure of the brain in areas responsible for attention, self awareness, sensory processing and the areas responsible for planning. It was suggested that meditation in older persons might reduce age related brain degeneration.

In 2006  it was found that people who were regular meditators demonstrated a structural change in their brains that reduced their response to pain by 40-50%. The benefits were seen after meditating twice a day for 20 minutes over five months.

In 2002 a study was published about experienced Tibetan meditators demonstrating that they were able to control their body temperature in response to a cold environment, they were also able to lower their body metabolism 64%!

In 2003 University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers published findings suggesting meditation as a treatment for stress and pain associated with chronic disease. They found regular meditation to decrease anxiety and promote a positive mental state.

Early cognitive impairment is considered to be a disease on the rise. In 2006 researchers at the University of Pennsylvania began a study to evaluate the effectiveness of meditation in the prevention of this form of dementia. 

For many years I have been a proponent of meditation in the treatment of stress and pain and have seen firsthand the positive benefits of meditation on the patients I care for. It seems the American Medical Association has also seen the light and have embraced this wonderful and ancient treatment. This video offers a glimpse at the results of a new continuing education program for doctors in mindfulness meditation.

9:03 pm pdt          Comments


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