Medical News Today reports on JAMA’s systematic review of 47 randomized clinical trials involving 3515 participants, finding: Meditation has ‘some benefit against anxiety, depression and pain.’ Interestingly enough, they cite, “The positive response to depression was similar to that achieved by antidepressants, the researchers say, with the size of the effect through meditation being up to 52% greater compared with controls.”
There is a lot one could say on the subject of meditation; but I’ll start with simply saying there are a lot of varying approaches! Over the years in my own practice, I’ve encountered plenty of people (including myself) who thought meditation was the practice of emptying the mind. They would feel frustrated or defeated when a thought came up, their mind drifted, or they felt sleepy during the practice. However, in my opinion, this is not really the case.
If I could offer a suggestion, it would be not to see meditation as the practice of pushing away an experience, but to become aware of what is arising in your sense experience. This can be particularly important when working with depression, which may be arising due to suppressed grief, fear, anger or shame. Learning to stay with what’s happening can even help those during panic attacks, in understanding what’s occurring, listening to what’s needed, and acting accordingly.
Additionally, Chinese medicine has a number of great aids for treating anxiety, depression and pain–including acupuncture, estim, and Chinese herbal medicine (to read more on herbs and pain, see my earlier post: Chinese Poppy Plant, Corydalis, Works For Chronic Pain). Equally important is working with a good nutritionist and therapist you can trust and whose work you find helpful (there are so many different types!). Need guidance or care? Drop me an email!