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What the Research has to say about Creative Visualization, Medication & Guided Imagery...

What the Research has to say about Creative Visualization, Meditation & Guided Imagery . . .

In a study of health insurance statistics, those who use meditation and visualization techniques had 87% fewer hospitalizations for heart disease, 55% fewer for benign and malignant tumors, and 30% fewer for infectious diseases. The meditators had more than 50% fewer doctor visits than did non-meditators. (D. Orme-Johnson, Psychosomatic Medicine 49 (1987): 493-507.)

Since allergies are usually mediated by the immune system, anything that affects the immune system can affect allergies, as well. Research in sychoneuroimmunology has demonstrated that psychological interventions, including relaxation and guided imagery, tend to “calm down” the immune system and a calmer immune system appears to be beneficial for many allergic reactions. (Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Malarkey WB, Chee M, Newton T, Cacioppo JT, May HY, Glaser R. Negative behavior during marital conflict and immunological down-regulation. Psychosomatic Medicine. 1993 55: 395-409.)

Seventy-five percent of long-term insomniacs who have been trained in relaxation, meditation, and simple lifestyle changes can fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed. (Gregg Jacobs, Harvard Medical School, Say Goodnight To Insomnia, (Owl Books, 1999).)

Meditation lowers blood pressure to levels comparable to prescription drugs for those who are normal to moderately hypertensive. (Michael Murphy and Steven Donovan, The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation (Institute of Noetic Sciences, 1997).)

The NIH has endorsed relaxation techniques and meditation as effective for the relief of chronic pain. Chronic pain sufferers experience a reduction in symptoms of 50% or more. (J. Kabat-Zinn, L. Lipworth, R. Burney, and W. Sellers, “Four year follow-up of a meditation-based program for the self-regulation of chronic pain,” Clinical Journal of Pain 2(1986): 159-173.)

Brain scans show that meditation shifts activity in the prefrontal cortex (behind the forehead) from the right hemisphere to the left. People who have a negative disposition tend to be right-prefrontal oriented; left-prefrontals have more enthusiasm, more interests, relax more, and tend to be happier. (R. Davidson, J. Kabat-Zinn, et al, “Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation,” Psychosomatic Medicine 65 (2003): 564-570.)

Meditation helps chronically depressed patients, reducing their relapse rate by half. (J.D. Teasdale, Z.V. Segal, J.M.G. Williams , V. Ridgeway, M. Lau, & J. Soulsby, “Reducing risk of recurrence of major depression using mindfulness-based cognitive therapy,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68 (2000): 615-23.)

Meditators notice more, but react more calmly than non-meditators to emotionally arousing stimuli. (Michael Murphy and Steven Donovan, The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation (Institute of Noetic Sciences, 1997).)

Middle school children who practice meditation show improved work habits, attendance, and GPA. (H. Benson, M. Wilcher, et al, “Academic performance among middle school students after exposure to a relaxation response curriculum,” Journal of Research and Development in Education (2000): 156-165.)

Meditation appears to slow aging. Those meditating five years or more were physically 12 years younger than their chronological age. (R.K. Wallace, M.C. Dillbeck, E. Jacobe, B. Harrington, International Journal of Neuroscience 16 (1982):53-58.)

A group of inner-city residents suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, depression, diabetes and hypertension were trained in meditation. They experienced a 50% reduction in overall psychiatric symptoms, a 70% decrease in anxiety, and a 44% reduction in medical symptoms. (B. Roth, T. Creaser, “Meditation-based stress reduction: experience with a bilingual inner-city program,” Nurse Practitioner 22(3) (1997): 150-2, 154, 157.)

Progressive relaxation and autogenic training improved insomnia in cancer patients; subjects had moderate or large improvements in sleep latency, duration, efficiency, quality, use of medication, and daytime dysfunction. (Simeit R, Deck R, Conta-Marx B. Sleep management training for cancer patients with insomnia. Support Care Cancer. 2004 Mar;12(3):176-83. Epub 2004 Feb 4.)

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