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Many studies show that regular meditation can benefit overall health, and that the benefits can be lasting. Researchers believe meditation may decrease activity in the sympathetic nervous system (which controls the body’s reaction to stress), leading to decreased heart and respiratory rates, and lower blood pressure. Some studies have suggested that meditation lowers cortisol levels in the blood and encourages relaxed brain waves. It is especially effective for fibromyalgia, particularly when combined with other mind-body therapies.

A 1993 uncontrolled study of people with fibromyalgia found that all showed improvement in symptoms after a 10-week meditation-based relaxation program [Gen Hospital Psychiatry 15, 284-289, 1993].

(Source: Natural Treatments for Fibromyalgia: An A to Z Guide, by Kenna Simmons. An official publication of the Arthritis Foundation. To purchase, visit www.arthritis.org.)

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