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Mindful Meditation Found to Have Health Benefits

A recent study found that mindful meditation may help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as relieve pain from fibromyalgia and ease diabetes symptoms.

Contrary to popular belief, meditation is not just sitting quietly. Mindful meditation is about focusing the mind and can be undertaken while walking or performing a repetitive action like prayer.

For this meta-analysis, the researchers examined data from 47 clinical trials that included 3,515 participants in total. All participants had participated in an eight week meditation program and then were followed for six months.

The researchers found that meditating for an extended period of time was associated with improvements in stress levels, quality of life, depression, and pain.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print in JAMA Internal Medicine on January 6, 2014.

Previous studies have linked mindful meditation with helping ease the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, memory loss, rheumatoid arthritis, and high blood pressure.

There are different types of meditation, including exercises such as yoga and tai chi, sitting mediation forms such as zazen and transcendental meditation and spoken forms such as mantra meditation.

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