Meditation therapy for rheumatoid arthritis patients

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Meditation and rheumatoid arthritis treatment

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A revered contemplative practice for centuries, meditation has recently inspired research into its therapeutic value for everything from anxiety disorders to heart attack prevention. A painful, progressive autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with a high risk of depression - double the risk of the healthy population, by conservative estimates - and various forms of psychological distress. Increasingly, RA patients are turning to alternative therapies like meditation to ease the toll of their disease.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a meditation training program developed by Dr. Kabat-Zinn and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. MBSR teaches participants to relate differently to thoughts and emotions, and continually focus the mind on the present moment to increase clarity and calmness. The program has been shown to improve psychological symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia, cancer, and multiple sclerosis, among other conditions. Researchers with the University of Maryland School of Medicine set out to assess the effect of this meditation therapy on depressive symptoms, psychological distress, general well-being, and disease activity among

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