It's so important not to throw in the towel too early! We westerners are so addicted to instant gratification. We need patience from the get-go and a willingness to persevere until the benefits of meditation have time to kick in.
With an average age of 54, most of the patients were female, white, married, college-educated, middle-class, and all were free of either psychiatric illness or alcohol or drug addiction.
During the trial, all the patients continued to be treated by their regular doctor and to take whatever medication they'd been taking before the study began.
At the start of the study, and two and six months later, all the patients completed questionnaires to assess depressive symptoms and psychological distress. Also, blood measures of inflammation were taken and an assessment of tender and swollen joints was done to evaluate current RA status.
By the two-month mark, both the meditation and the non-meditation groups had shown equal levels of improvement in terms of depression and emotional symptoms.
But by six months, there was a "significant" difference in perceived psychological distress between the two groups -- those practicing mediation reported a 35 percent reduction in psychological distress.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Why perseverence matters
I've known for some time that there are studies demonstrating the effectiveness of meditation in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Only today have I learned some important details about how that works: