ON DEPRESSION, ADDICTION
MBSR on Depression, Addiction and Dis-ease of the Body
We have unwittingly become a society of pill-poppers, hoping that an army of prescribed capsules and tablets will solve our ills. Undoubtedly, there are some conditions that absolutely require the help of pharmaceuticals. Yet, there are many who would like to reduce their reliance on big pharma and are searching for more holistic ways of coping. Meditation is a scientifically proven means of managing painful and overwhelming challenges associated with depression, addiction, and disease. Below is a more in-depth overview of several studies on mindfulness training. There are hundreds more, but when you are in the trenches of suffering, you just want relief. If you want to continue reading a variety of research papers on this subject, go to the Science and Resources page for more information. Please email us your confidential questions. We look forward to being a resource for you.
Researchers at Oxford University conducted a study in which they compared mindfulness training to anti-depressant medications in the treatment of chronic depression. The study looked at 424 adults who were on maintenance medication; the adults were randomly chosen to either stay on the medication or to wean off the pills and participate in daily home mindfulness practices. At the end of two years, both groups reported nearly identical relapse rates, suggesting that daily mindfulness practice is as effective as pharmaceuticals in treating depression. [i]
This practice is so powerful that it has been adopted nationwide by thousands of hospitals, the US Military, and high-performance companies such as Blackrock Financial Firm, the Oprah Network, Google, and Apple as a means to measurably reduce stress and improve the health of mind and work performance. Anderson Cooper featured the practice in a story on 60 Minutes, and reported that learning MBSR changed his life.
A study from the University of Washington in Seattle determined that mindfulness meditation may be a better long-term treatment for addiction and substance abuse than traditional therapy or 12-step programs. Researchers found that one year after treatment for substance abuse, those patients who participated in mindfulness training were more likely to stay sober than those who went through traditional treatment.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is the official eight-week/nine session program that introduces you to the "Mindfulness" training practice created by founder Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD. at UMASS Medical Center. Hundreds of scientific studies from prestigious schools such as Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford show that, in addition to reducing stress and improving mind fitness, MBSR is helping people who suffer from chronic pain, hot flashes, depression, anxiety, weight issues, alcohol, and prescription drug abuse.
The practical course includes:
• Guided instruction in several meditation practices (you will find your favorite)
• Group dialogue and discussions aimed at enhancing awareness in everyday life
• Gentle stretching and mindful movement
• Individually tailored instruction and course material provided
• Home practice CD, book and manual (included in fee)
A study conducted by UMASS Medical Center determined that participation in the MBSR stress-management training program also had significant positive effects on relieving irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), “and on the expression of genes related to inflammation and the body’s response to stress.”[ii]
A study from the American Heart Association determined that regular meditation twice a day (20 minutes each time) was correlated with a 48% reduced rate of heart attack and stroke immediately. According to the report, meditation appears to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. “It appears that Transcendental Meditation is a technique that turns on the body’s own pharmacy – to repair and maintain itself,” said lead researcher Dr. Robert Schneider. A study funded by the US Heart, Lung and Blood Institute corroborated the AHA’s findings