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Scientific Research

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Research Summary
University of Massachusetts School of Medicine 2005

Published research has  repeatedly shown that meditation and relaxation training can be a powerful adjunct to conventional medical treatment for many disorders. The Stress Reduction Program incorporates the critical elements of all of these relaxation and meditation programs and takes the healing process one important step further. A central feature of the program is the teaching of a gentle but effective method that encourages the patient to develop a deep level of inquiry into the  application of care mindfulness (moment-to-moment awareness, non-judgmental) and mindfulness-based coping strategies in everyday life. Program patients are taught to become aware and
develop their own resources to support their health, making them more resistant to stress, a quality that is associated with better health throughout life.

The Stress Reduction Program has been at the forefront of mind / body and integrative medicine for twenty-two years and represents participatory and integrative medicine at its best.
moment. More than 18,000 patients with all types of diagnoses have successfully completed the eight-week course and 1,400 physicians have referred patients to this program. Published evaluations of medical outcomes resulting from patient participation have shown a 35% reduction in the number of medical symptoms and a 40% reduction in psychological symptoms (stable for four years) (Kabat-Zinn 1982, 1985, 1986, 1992, 1998, Miller 1995, etc.).

Stress and patient presentation
The American Academy of Family Physicians has estimated that up to two-thirds of all
visits to the family doctor’s office are for stress-related symptoms.
Recent research has indicated that up to 60% of all HMO visits are made by people without diagnosable disorder, the ‘well-concerned’ (Sobel 1995), and that many of these presenting symptoms are related to the patient’s psychosocial functioning, such as depression, anxiety, social isolation, overwork, etc. (Kroenke and Mangelsdorff 1989). At least one third of cardiology patients with chest pain with normal or near normal coronary arteries have been found to have panic disorder (Kushner 1989).

Mindfulness training has been shown to be effective in addressing the discomfort that often underlies these presentations (Kabat-Zinn 1982, 1985, 1986, 1992, Miller 1995, etc.), and you can see additional evidence for this in studies showing decreased need for clinical services after meditation training (Kabat-Zinn, 1987b, Hellman 1990, Caudill 1991a, 1991b, Tate 1994, Orme-Johnson 1994).

Since its inception in 1979, more than 18,000 people have completed the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program and learned to use their innate resources and skills to respond more effectively to stress, pain, and stress. disease. The core focus of the SR Program is intensive training in mindfulness mediation and its integration into the challenges / adventures of everyday life.

Coronary heart disease.
The addition of meditation training to standard cardiac rehabilitation regimens has been shown to reduce mortality (41% decrease during the next two years and a 46% reduction in recurrence rates), morbidity, psychological distress, and some biological risk factors (plasma lipids, weight, blood pressure
arterial, blood glucose) (Linden 1996, Zammara 1996). Meditation practice alone has been shown to reduce exercise-induced myocardial ischemia in patients with coronary artery disease (Zamarra 1996, Ornish 1983).

Hypertension.
Meditation training has been shown to lower blood pressure by amounts comparable to changes brought about by medication and other lifestyle modifications, such as weight loss, sodium restriction, and increased aerobic exercise (Schneider 1995, Linden and Chambers 1994, Alexander 1994).

Cancer.
A randomized trial with outpatients with cancer showed that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was effective in significantly reducing the disorder of mood (65%), including depression, anxiety, anger and confusion, and also to decrease symptoms of stress, such as cardiopulmonary and gastrointestinal symptoms. (Speca 2000). These changes were maintained at six months follow-up (Carlson 2001). Survival rates for both melanoma and metastatic breast cancer patients have been significantly improved with relaxation training and meditation (Fawzy 1993, Speigal 1989) and psychological distress was reduced in women with early breast cancer (Bridge 1988).

Chronic pain.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce both the experience of pain and its inhibition of patients’ daily activities. In addition, mood disorders and psychological symptoms (including anxiety and depression) are also reduced. The use of drugs related to pain decreased and the levels of activity and
self-esteem increased. This was in stark contrast to a traditional pain clinic comparison group, which showed no changes in these dimensions (Kabat-Zinn 1982, 85). These
gains were almost all sustained over a four-year follow-up (Kabat-Zinn 1987).

Fibromyalgia
Mindfulness training resulted in clinically significant improvements in physical fitness and in the psychological and social spheres (Kaplan 1993, Goldenberg 1994, Weissbecker

Type I diabetes.
Meditation training significantly reduced glucose levels in patients with poorly controlled type I diabetes (McGrady 1991).

Irritable colon.
Meditation training has been shown to be effective in improving this condition (Blanchard 1992).

Anxiety.
Mindfulness training has been shown to clinically reduce symptoms of anxiety, psychological distress and secondary depression (Kabat-Zinn 1992). These changes
they were maintained at 3 years of follow-up (Miller 1995).

Asthma / Breathing Problems.
Relaxation training has been shown to improve
psychological well-being, functional status and frequency of attacks of patients with asthma, as well as adherence to treatment (Devine 1996). It has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on dyspnea and psychological well-being in adults with obstructive pulmonary disease (Devine & Pearcy, in press).

Psoriasis.
Recently published research has shown that mindfulness meditation increases skin cleansing rates four times when used in conjunction with phototherapy and
photochemotherapy (Kabat-Zinn 1998).

Headache.
Meditation has been shown to decrease headache activity (Anastasio 1987).

Depression.
Skills derived from mindfulness training and cognitive therapy have been shown to be effective in significantly reducing the recurrence of major depressive episodes in patients who have been treated for depression (Teasdale 2000).

Multiple sclerosis. Training in movement mindfulness caused MS patients to report improvement in a wide range of symptoms, including balance (Mills 2000).

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