Desperate times call for meditation

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Desperate times call for meditation As anxieties associated with the bad economy are adding to the stresses of daily life, health experts have suggested powerful natural techniques that can help people get through difficult periods.

One such non-drug therapy is meditation, which has grown out of ancient spiritual traditions and has been attracting growing numbers of followers in recent years, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Practitioners have praised its effectiveness on calming nerves and improving mood, and there are various techniques to choose from, depending on individual needs, the article says.

They include mindfulness meditation which focuses on awareness and acceptance of the present moment, transcendental meditation and compassion meditation whose goal is to foster a feeling of loving kindness toward others.

The article also discusses growing evidence supporting the value of meditation as a health resource. Studies have shown meditation and other relaxation techniques work in cells, turning off genes that are associated with inflammation, cell aging and free radicals.

It has also long been known to help battle eating disorders, substance abuse, ease chronic pain and reduce blood pressure.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health estimates some 9.4 percent of adults surveyed in 2007 had tried meditation at least once during the previous 12 months, a significant increase from 7.6 percent in 2002.

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