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Shambhala Sun | January 2011
You'll find this article on page 49 of the magazine.

Good for What Ails You

A sampling of current research on the benefits of mindfulness for body and mind

  • Ninety chronic pain patients following the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School reported less present-moment pain, less difficulty with physical activity, and fewer medical symptoms than those following traditional pain treatment.

  • A recent Swedish study found that the practice of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy caused a 42% reduction in the primary symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

  • Binge eaters who took part in mindful eating programs at Duke University and Indiana State University reduced the frequency of their binging by approximately 75%. They also reduced their levels of insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

  • Studies from the University of Manchester and the University of Montreal found compelling evidence that people who meditate have a higher pain threshold in comparison to people who don’t meditate.

  • At the University of Washington, patients in recovery for substance abuse took part in a Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention program. Two months later, they reported 50% lower substance abuse levels and significantly less craving than the group in regular treatment.

  • A study from the Cleveland Clinic reported that mindfulness practice decreased negative emotions and increased well-being in people with risk-factors for coronary artery disease.

  • Mindfulness meditation helps people with multiple sclerosis cope with the depression, fatigue, and anxiety associated with the disease, reports a Swiss study in the September 2010 issue of Neurology.

  • Working with clinically depressed patients in remission, a study at Oxford University found that only 36 per cent of patients in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy eventually relapsed, compared 62 per cent of patients in traditional cognitive therapy.

From the January 2011 issue of the Shambhala Sun.

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