Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention to help you feel calm and give you a clear awareness about your life. Eastern philosophies have recognized the health benefits of meditation for thousands of years. Meditation is now widely practiced in the West, with the belief that it has positive effects on health.
Two meditation techniques are most commonly used: concentrative and mindful.
By Helen Kirwan-Taylor
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Concentrative meditation, such as transcendental meditation (TM), focuses on a single image, sound, or mantra (words spoken or sung in a pattern), or on your own breathing.
Mindful meditation, such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), does not focus on a single purpose. Rather, you are aware of all thoughts, feelings, sounds, or images that pass through your mind.
Meditation usually involves slow, regular breathing and sitting quietly for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
What is meditation used for?
People use meditation to help treat a wide range of physical and mental problems, including:
Addictive behaviors, such as drug, nicotine, and alcohol use.
Meditation is not thought to have any negative side effects or complications alone or when combined with conventional medical treatment, but it is not considered appropriate or safe for acute, life-threatening situations.
Always tell your doctor if you are using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking about combining an alternative therapy with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative therapy.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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