Many people have a routine where when sick their first stop is the doctor’s office and their second stop is the pharmacy.
This process certainly works well for some physical ailments, like an infection that requires antibiotics.
However, are we counting too much on drugs to fix whatever ails us?
Experts and researchers in the medical, science and even judicial arenas seem to think so.
Becoming Dependent on Medication
According to studies and testimonials, patients are becoming too dependent on medication, which leads to a myriad of unhealthy results.
With the amount of medication required to provide relief increasing with long-term use, pain medications can turn into an issue.
Also, some drugs across can disrupt your entire system in distracting and sometimes destructive ways.
It’s why patients may take a drug for one chronic condition, but then require several other prescriptions to “combat” the symptoms that the first drug produces.
It’s also why some patients who take drugs for long-term conditions like depression/anxiety, will stop taking medication because they feel fatigued, or muddled, or simply “not like themselves.”
Medication is Not Always the Answer
Clearly, while medications like antibiotics are essential, drugs aren’t always the answer for everything.
And in today’s modern world, more people depend on pharmaceutical solutions for a wide range of problems that they can address in safer, and healthier ways.
A doctor’s visit should always be the first stop for any medical issue.
But once you have a diagnosis, remember there are conditions where researchers have proven mindfulness meditation to be a more effective treatment without side effects, and the danger of habitual overuse.
Consider these common medical conditions where mindfulness meditation is more effective at providing long-term solutions and results.
Depression and Anxiety
Researchers have documented the link between meditation and depression/anxiety; however, a new study recently made headlines that cemented this correlation.
Published in the January 24th edition of Psychiatry Research, and spearheaded by the Georgetown University Medical Center, the study found that patients with anxiety disorders who underwent eight weeks of mindfulness meditation therapy progressed much better than those who simply relied on medication.
The two groups of patients underwent the Trier Social Stress Test both before and after the researchers conducted the study.
The patients who use mindfulness meditation performed noticeably better than their initial results, as opposed to the “control group.”
The psychological community has long heralded meditation as an “alternative” treatment for psychological conditions, but it’s certainly moving into the mainstream.
With more and more doctors, therapists and psychiatrists recommending meditation as opposed to a pill, it’s becoming the preferred choice for long-term relief of depression, anxiety and other stress-related disorders.
Like anxiety and depression, researchers have linked mindfulness meditation to the treatment of chronic pain conditions.
As new technology surfaces and new research consequently follows, we’re learning more about how meditation is a more effective cure than prescription pain medication.
Consider a recent study the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center conducted in North Carolina.
This study followed the effects of meditation on patients with chronic pain.
The study used a special type of imaging called arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging (ASL MRI) to confirm results.
With this technology, the study found just one hour of meditation reduces immediate pain by nearly half, with a long lasting effect.
"Meditation produced a greater reduction in pain than even morphine or other pain-relieving drugs,” which typically reduce pain ratings by about 25%,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Fadel Zeidan.
Besides the superior benefits of meditation for pain relief, it also has one bonus that those addictive pain management drugs do not – there is no long-term harm to being “hooked” on meditation.
With advancing research in the field of genetics, especially when it comes to diseases and medical conditions, more attention is paid to preventative health, and this is a wonderful thing!
We now know that some people are more likely to have heart disease, diabetes, addictive tendencies and even cancer based on their familial history.
And it’s making more people proactive in taking care of themselves to reduce their long-term risks.
This is arguably where mindfulness meditation truly shines.
An increasing number of doctors are recommending mindfulness meditation as a preventative measure for:
- Heart disease
- Other medical conditions that may not be present now, but which have the potential to surface down the road.
In other words, embracing meditation is much more effective than popping a daily aspirin.
So the next time you listen to the latest drug commercial, where the list of side effects is almost as long as the commercial itself, keep meditation in mind.
Researchers have already proven mindfulness meditation to be better than drugs and as research continues to expand, expect this list of benefits to grow.
Having a professional teacher on your side will go a long way in getting you started. Once you’re on the path, you’ll be amazed at how far meditation will take you.