Background: Meditation’s health benefits
Meditation and mindfulness practices have become more accepted in Western cultures since the late 1990’s. There are several reasons for this. A primary one is the research and writing of Jon Kabat-Zinn, a scientist who adapted a Southeast Asian Buddhist meditation practice for a Western audience.
His work focuses on a practice called mindfulness meditation. Kabat-Zinn initially, in the late 1970s, focused on patients suffering from chronic pain. His research showed promising results for these patients. His work led to an expansion in research on what other conditions improve with mindfulness meditation. In the following years, studies showed that mindfulness and meditation produce benefit for those suffering from other conditions as well. These include hypertension, insomnia, as well as various anxiety and mood disorders.[Read more…]