Yoga And Meditation Shown To Drastically Reduce Hospital Visits

Yoga and meditation can be great ways to relax and quiet the mind, and a growing body of research has shown that these mindfulness practices may even be effective for treating physical and mental health problems ranging from heart disease to depression.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Mind-body practices may also keep you away from the hospital, according to a study by researchers at Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, and recently published in the journal PLOS One.

“These practices can … decrease the anxiety associated with many health conditions, lead to improved self-awareness, and may enhance other self-care behaviors,” Dr. Michelle Dossett, a physician and researcher at the Benson-Henry Institute and one of the study’s authors, told The Huffington Post in an email. “These practices can decrease a wide range of stress-related symptoms and medical conditions.”

For the study, the researchers analyzed 4,000 records from patients, taken between 2006 and 2014, who followed a doctor’s recommendation to use relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga and Tai Chi as an adjunct therapy for a stress-related health problem. They also studied the records of 13,000 patients whose doctors did not make these recommendations.

Their analysis revealed that people who used relaxation techniques were 43 percent less likely to visit the hospital, be ordered a medical test by their doctor and to need emergency care, compared to those who did not use the practices.

After crunching the numbers, the researchers found that mind-body practices resulted in annual health care savings of $2,360 per patient, based on reduced emergency room visits alone.

“We live in a society in which stress and stress-related health conditions are rampant and medical costs are soaring,” Dossett said. “Mind-body interventions are minimal risk, low cost, and —> Read More