Five days of meditation eases stress, improves attention

Oct. 26, 2007
Study indicates that even a "rookie's" first week of meditation offers health benefits.

Many people believe that meditation takes years of practice to truly reap the benefits. But a recent study published in the Oct. 8, 2007, issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that less than one week of daily meditation can significantly improve attention and mood.

The 40 undergraduates in the study participated in integrative meditation sessions or relaxation training for 20 minutes each day for five days. Those doing the meditation showed greater improvement in attention and overall mood, and less anxiety, depression, anger, and fatigue compared with those who did the general relaxation training.

The researchers explain that integrative meditation combines body relaxation, breathing adjustment, mental imagery, and mindfulness training. They go on to say, "This combination may amplify the training effect over the use of only one of these components."

Source: Cathy Wong, ND, CNS, is a licensed naturopathic doctor and certified nutrition specialist with the American College of Nutrition. She is the author of the detox diet weight loss book, The Inside-Out Diet (Wiley, July 2007).