Prescribing Mindfulness for Heart Health
Received Date: September 05, 2018; Published Date: September 13, 2019
Scientific research has increasingly investigated ‘‘alternative’’ and “complementary” (CAM) therapies such as meditation for a variety of challenging psychological and physiological human conditions in the last few decades. The use of meditation for healing and enlightenment is not new. The practice of meditation has been prevailing throughout the human history among diverse cultures. In fact, all religious traditions practice some forms of meditation. Meditation is a mental training capable of producing connection between the mind, body and spirit. Research studies on the biological and clinical benefits of mindfulness meditation are providing increasing evidence about the short- and long-term changes that occur in mindfulness meditators and about clinical outcomes in physically ill, mentally ill, as well as in healthy subjects related to such practices. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the United States as well as one of the most expensive to the health care system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated about 20% of total healthcare costs is spent on CVD treatments. Mind/body techniques are a commonly used category of CAM in people with hypertension. Mind/body techniques include meditation and moving meditations such as yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong. Patients claim these techniques increase their health and well-being. The aim of this article is to review the existing literature in order to explore and describe what meditation is, its practices and effects on health, demonstrated by consistent scientific investigations.
Keywords:Cardiovascular disease; Coronary artery disease; Meditation; Mind-body therapies; Integrative treatment; Meditation; Spirituality; Complementary therapy