Meditation Normal results The scientific study of the physiological effects of meditation began in the early 1960s. These studies demonstrated that meditation affects metabolism, the endocrine system, the central nervous system, and the autonomic nervous system. In particular, there is a slowing of cardiac and respiratory rates, a decrease in blood pressure, and an increase in alpha brain waves. These effects are typical of reduced anxiety. There is a growing body of evidence supporting the medical benefits of meditation. For example, meditation is particularly effective as a treatment for chronic pain. Researchers have found that meditation reduces symptoms of pain and reliance on drugs used to control pain. For example, in one four-year follow-up study, the majority of patients in an MBSR program reported improvement in the experience of pain as a result of participation in the program. For many years, meditation has been recommended as a treatment for high blood pressure;
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