Meditation vs. Relaxation
In a study , researchers reviewed research on meditation and other types of relaxation techniques. Only two studies that compared meditation to other relaxation techniques met the researchers’ requirements for review.
The first compared transcendental meditation to relaxation therapy and EMG (electromyography) biofeedback.
Transcendental meditation involves focusing the mind on an object until the mind achieves stillness. EMG biofeedback measures muscle relaxation and teaches people to control their own level of muscle relaxation.
The second study compared mindfulness meditation, which encourages awareness of one’s thoughts while maintaining detachment, to Kundalini yoga. Kundalini yoga includes a meditative form of breathing known as pranayama.
Researchers say both studies showed that meditation was comparable to other forms of relaxation therapy in reducing anxiety overall. But the small number of people involved in the studies makes it difficult to draw any firm conclusions about the effectiveness of meditation in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
In particular, the results showed:
All relaxation and meditation techniques resulted in improved scores on measures of anxiety, current mood, and symptoms of distress, but sleep disturbances did not improve.
Work, social functioning, and family relations also improved among all treatment groups, but marital relations and sex life were not affected.
Kundalini yoga wasn’t as effective in treating obsessive-compulsive disorders as mindful meditation, although participants who practiced this form of yoga had more improvement on scores of perceived stress and purpose in life.
So what are your thoughts?….What technique works for you…day to day?