health

Meditation offers slight relief from anxiety

8 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2014 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

8 Comments
Login to comment

As someone who suffered from anxiety and "moderate" depression, I can say that, for me at least, meditation was not helpful. It eased my anxiety only as long as I meditated, and had zero effect on my depression. Point of interest, anti-depressants were also ineffective, technically speaking. I started off on a 20mg dose of Citalopram, before being moved onto a similar dose of a stronger anti-depressant; Fluoxitine. Neither actually worked. They blocked the feeling of depression, but that's all. It was like I forgot what depression felt like, but I was still depressed. Once the anti-depressants wore off, the feeling of depression returned full force. Counselling also ended up being of little benefit. I did eventually get over it, last year, approximately March or April. I'm bound to get a lot of stick for saying this, but it was anime that got me out of depression. I started watching anime, and I quickly stopped feeling depressed. It saved my life (cliche I know, but true in my case).

Meditation might work on some patients though, but only in minor cases I should imagine. For someone like me, or more serious cases, it's ineffective. I use it only for emotional balance nowadays, and sometimes to attempt to calm my mind.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

that's brilliant

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mindfulness meditation is a form of mediation I started to practice back in mid 1960's, and in the beginning put in a lot of time and effort to master it. I no longer practice on a daily basis but it has been a part of my life for all those decades. I don't suffer from anxiety or depression and although I won't go has far as saying that's because of mindfulness mediation it's definitely part of the package that has helped me stay on a healthy mental meridian.

I spent some money in the beginning, attended courses and retreats, bought books but for more than four decades I haven't spent anything except some of my time, and a little brain matter. I have found it a useful source for my art and painting too.

I have also learnt many other techniques and methods too, and it's certainly been a whole lot more fun than spending time visiting hospitals, therapists or whatever.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Without a doubt it works. Without a doubt. As does exercise and diet. I have been on citalopram and decided to stop.it numbed me to the anxiety , but it was still there. I focused on diet , physical exercise and daily meditation. It has been 4 years and I have never felt better. I meditate twice a day by focusing on watching my thoughts and looking at them as an observer. I run between 250 and 300 kilometres a month and lift weights four times a week. I cut out all meat except fish , and focus on a plant based diet. There is no better cure than doing the work yourself , investing in yourself , knowing yourself and loving yourself. The pills prevented me from taking this demon of mental illness on by myself. Do this. Do this. Do this. It is hard , but life is hard and it is by what we go through which builds character , fortitude and self esteem. There is no easy way out and you will be surprised by what you are capable of.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just goes to show that, once again, American academics know less than nothing.

Meditation systems use parasympathetic breathing, which has time and again been shown to be useful in the treatment of anxiety and panic attacks. Even if the meditation just consists of breathing exercises then I could quote a hundred different papers that show the effectiveness of parasympathetic breathing in the treatment of anxiety and panic attacks.

The article above is pure misinformation, and the academics from "famous" U.S. institutions such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins are just displaying this own ignorance of their own claimed areas of expertise.

But don't take my word on it, check out these papers: Lum, L. C. "Hyperventilation and anxiety state." Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 74.1 (1981): 1.

Gerbarg, P. "How can breathing balance the stress response system." (2011).

Sakakibara, Masahito, Satoshi Takeuchi, and Junichiro Hayano. "Effect of relaxation training on cardiac parasympathetic tone." Psychophysiology 31.3 (1994): 223-228.

Chiang, Li-Chi, et al. "Effect of relaxation-breathing training on anxiety and asthma signs/symptoms of children with moderate-to-severe asthma: a randomized controlled trial." International journal of nursing studies 46.8 (2009): 1061-1070.

Gilbert, Christopher. "Clinical Applications of Breathing Regulation Beyond Anxiety Management." Behavior modification 27.5 (2003): 692-709.

Somerstein, Lynn. "Together in a room to alleviate anxiety: Yoga breathing and psychotherapy." Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 5 (2010): 267-271.

Jerath, Ravinder, et al. "Physiology of long pranayamic breathing: neural respiratory elements may provide a mechanism that explains how slow deep breathing shifts the autonomic nervous system." Medical hypotheses 67.3 (2006): 566-571.

Yuen, Alan WC, and Josemir W. Sander. "Can slow breathing exercises improve seizure control in people with refractory epilepsy? A hypothesis." Epilepsy & Behavior 18.4 (2010): 331-334.

etc... etc... etc... Time and again the effectiveness of parasympathetic breathing (a common feature of almost every form of meditation) has been demonstrated as simple, effective and free. The problem is that the established paradigm in U.S. medicine is to automatically dismiss anything that doesn't involve a large payment to the pharmaceuticals companies.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Just goes to show that, once again, American academics know less than nothing.

Did you not happen to notice that four of your listed medical experts (Patricia L. Gerbarg, M.D [who graduated from Harvard, oops!,Christopher Gilbert, who works out of San Francisco,Dr. Lynn Somerstein, RYT , who works out of NY and Dr. Ravinder Jerath, MD, Augusta, GA ) are American academics and American medical professionals?

Nah, why notice that when you can throw stones right?

The problem is that the established paradigm in U.S. medicine is to automatically dismiss anything that doesn't involve a large payment to the pharmaceuticals companies.

Oops for you!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

slumdogJan. 13, 2014 - 07:25PM JST

Did you not happen to notice that four of your listed medical experts (Patricia L. Gerbarg, M.D [who graduated from Harvard, oops!,Christopher Gilbert, who works out of San Francisco,Dr. Lynn Somerstein, RYT , who works out of NY and Dr. Ravinder Jerath, MD, Augusta, GA ) are American academics and American medical professionals?

Nah, why notice that when you can throw stones right?

80/20 rule.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

80/20 rule.

At least half of the people you listed are US academics. I guess we can add math to the subjects you should consider working on. Sorry, you are mistaken again. You were wrong with your claim about arrested journalists in the US in a post as the end of last year as well.

Perhaps you should finally relent and consider focusing on the subjects and topics of people and not the country they come from. In addition, you did not even read the article correctly in your jump to bash a country you seem to loath.

From the article:

“The evidence suggests that mindfulness meditation programs could help reduce anxiety, depression, and pain in some clinical populations,” it said.

“Thus, clinicians should be prepared to talk with their patients about the role that a meditation program could have in addressing psychological stress.”

Of the thousands of studies the authors found on the topic, just three percent were scientifically rigorous enough to meet the criteria for inclusion in the JAMA review.

So, what the heck does your list have to do with anything?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites