Meditation belongs to a group of therapies known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
There are various types of meditation, but it is generally described as a mental technique that requires inward focus and mental concentration. An individual may choose to practice meditation independently, perhaps with the guidance of a book, or attend meditation classes where various techniques may be taught to a group of individuals.
Where it is practiced correctly, meditation is said to induce a state of calm and mental clarity. Proponents of meditation frequently point to the therapeutic value of the 'relaxation response' that meditation helps to promote.
Though no formal studies have fully evaluated the effects of meditation in people with multiple sclerosis, other research has examined the effect it has on symptoms that are common to both MS and other conditions. Such studies have shown that meditation can help improve stress, anxiety, depression and various types of pain.
Mindfulness is a related approach based on the Buddhist meditative tradition.
- New York: Demos Medical Publishing; 2007. Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Multiple Sclerosis. 2nd ed.
Last updated: 19 May 2015
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