Mind Body Medicine
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III The Relaxation Response and Mental Health

Studies hebben aangetoond dat de Relaxatie Respons een positief effect heeft op stress, chronische pijn, angst en drugs en alcohol misbruik.

a. Reducing anxiety.

Kabat-Zinn, J., Massion, A.O., Kristeller, J., Peterson, L.G., Fletcher, K.B., Pbert, L., Lenderk:ing, W.R., & Santorelli, S.F. (1992). Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 936-943. Study of 22 patients referred for meditation and relaxation program who had generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder (ages 26-65, 17 women). The intervention consisted of a 8-week long course involving weekly 2-hour classes and a 7.5 hour intensive meditation retreat session in week six. Subjects were assessed at the start and end of intervention and at monthly intervals for 3 months after treatment. A. significant reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression was identified during treatment and maintained for at least 3 months after treatment ended. The authors indicated that a 3 year follow-up showed that 18/22 subjects maintained these beneficial effects.

b. Reducing Chronic. Pain.

Kabat-Zinn, J., Lipworth, L., & Bumey, R. (1985). The clinical use of mindfulness meditation for the self-regulation of chronic pain. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 8, 163-190. Investigators compared patients in two hospital clinics involving. One hospital clinic treated patients using "mindfulness meditation".; 90 chronic pain patients received 10 weeks of a Stress-Reduction and Relaxation Program (SRRP). In these patients, investigators found statistically significant reductions in pain symptoms, mood disturbance, and psychological symptoms. Pain-related drug utilization also decreased and self-esteem increased. Improvement was independent of sex, source of referral or type of pain. A comparison group of patients in the other hospital pain clinic (n=21) and referrals to the SRRP from the pain clinic (n =21) did not show similar improvement after traditional treatment protocols. At follow-up, improvements were maintained for 15 months for all measures except one measure of pain; the majority of subjects reported high compliance with daily meditation.

c. Preventing and Treating Substance Abuse.

Gelderloos, P ., Wa.ltOn, K.G., Orme-Johnson, D. W., & Alexander, C.N. (1991). Effectiveness of the transcendental meditation program in preventing and treating substance misuse: A Review. International Journal of the Addictions, 26, 293-325. These investigators reviewed 24 studies on the benefits of Transcendental Meditation in treating and preventing substance abuse. They concluded from this review that "all studies showed positive effects of the TM program. Only two studies, however, used longitudinal experimental designs with random assignment of subjects. Myers & Eisner (1974) randomly assigned young male students from a community college (selected from a large pool of volunteers). Sixty were assigned to TM, 60 to karate, and 60 to a no-treatment control group. After 4 months, investigators compared groups on use of marijuana, psychedelics, uppers, downers, and hard drugs. There was a significant drop in one or more categories of substance abuse in TM participants relative to controls. The second Study (Bounouar 1989), examined 923 TM participants and 6,145 controls who attended an introductory lecture on TM. Subjccts were followed for 20 months, examining tobacco consumption levels. Over 80% of those who meditated twice a day quit or decreased smoking after 20 months vs. 55% of irregular meditators and 33% of controls(P<.0001). Also see Alexander, C.N., et al (1994). Treating and preventing alcohol, nicotine, and drug abuse through transcendental meditation: A review and meta-analysis. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 11(1/2), 13-87.