In this study, they measure the effect of Qigong meditation, a blend of relaxation, breathing, guided imagery, inward attention, and mindfulness, on addiction recovery. Those who chose to participate in the meditation showed a treatment completion rate of 92% versus 78% (p < 01) and reported a reduction in craving, anxiety, and withdrawal symptoms, although it was dependent on the quality they approached the meditation with. While all in the meditation group reported reduced anxiety, the female participants reported significantly more reduction in anxiety and withdrawal symptoms than their male counterparts. Overall this shows positive evidence for the integration of meditation into established addiction recovery procedures.
Psychological stress can be viewed as an imbalance in person‐environment relationships. This relationship is mediated by 2 main factors: cognitive appraisal and coping. If a situation is appraised as stressful, negative coping will occur. One such coping mechanism is substance abuse. This paper explores the use of meditation as an alternative coping strategy. Meditation affects the appraisal of the situation helping people to avoid judgment and instead except the present moment. Mindful meditation can help to recover addicts and form an alternative relationship to difficult thoughts, feelings, and sensations associated with withdrawal and thus decrease relapse and suffering.
This study was conducted on 74 military Service Members with documented PTSD or ADNOS diagnoses. 34 received training and performed Transcendental Meditation, once per day, five days per week for a minimum of 3 months in addition to their traditional therapies. This experimental group showed a decrease in medication reliance and psychological symptom severity compared to the control. This shows that meditation can help stabilize and reduce PTSD symptoms in as little as a month, with increased duration leading to a better response.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder stemming from traumatic events and comes with persistent symptoms of increased arousal and exaggerated sympathetic stress response. It is very common among veterans but can be very challenging and expensive to treat. This study followed five men between the ages of 25 and 40 with a history of combat-related PTSD. They practiced Transcendental Meditation for 20 minutes twice a day. All participants found the meditations relaxing and easy to perform and reported reduced anxiety and stress levels. However, without a control group placebo cannot be ruled out.
The core symptoms of addiction are hypothesized to reflect a switch to habitual drug-taking behavior underlined by craving, impaired self-control, emotional dysregulation, and increased stress reactivity. In this study, mindfulness meditation was practiced daily after brief training. This was shown to increase connectivity and activity in ACC/mPFC regions responsible for emotion regulation. These changes were reflected by heightened self-control in both smokers and nonsmokers. This indicates that meditation can help circumvent the craving and impulsive behavior that trap addicts in a cycle of abuse.
This study focuses on meditation’s ability to prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. As an aging population decreasing cognitive function has posed increasing challenges. One of the big contributors to these types of degeneration is stress: defined here as any state that disrupts the body’s homeostasis. Here we see significant evidence that practicing meditation, such as Kirtan Kriya meditation for only 12 minutes a day, improves memory in those with cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment, and highly stressed caregivers. It also improves sleep quality, lessens depression, and decreases anxiety. On a biological level, it helps upregulate immune system genes and improves insulin and glucose regulation, and increases telomerase by 43%.
This study shows the effect of daily meditation over an 8-week period. Subjects were novices at meditation and between the ages of 18 and 45. The experimental group performed daily 13-minute guided meditation while the control listened to a podcast. After 4 weeks, no significant effect was found. However, after 8 weeks, the meditation decreased negative mood, stated anxiety, and general fatigue. It also improved the participant’s attention, working memory, and recognition memory. An overall decrease in participants’ behavioral anxiety response to the Trier social stress test was also shown, although baseline cortisol measures did not change significantly.