Home Health To fight depression in Seniors, Meditation is the solution

To fight depression in Seniors, Meditation is the solution

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Meditation is proving out to be the best solution which is an effective treatment to treat mental health conditions like late-life depression.

Meditation – not just medication – is an effective treatment for elderly patients with late-life depression, London researchers say in a new study of seniors struggling with the mood disorder.

There was a study conducted in which eighty-three men and women took part who were of the age of 60-85 at London Health Sciences Centre. One group was performing the medication technique and standard depression treatment. Various things were used to calm down the patients and the combination of mind-calming activity and standard techniques will help the patients to overcome the mental pressure.

“They got into remission much faster,” said Dr. Akshya Vasudev, an associate scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute and associate professor at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

“We do know meditation helps but I was surprised in clinical patients with pretty bad depression . . . they came out with thumbs up, they were happy with it.”

The Art of Living is telling the people about the meditation techniques and the Sahaj Samadhi meditation techniques helped the participants a lot and there they learn how to do meditation.

The technique involves patients winding themselves down and relaxing, breathing deeply and then becoming aware of their thoughts, Vasudev said.

“We give so much impetus on our thoughts. We become stuck, attached to our thoughts even. . . We get used to the chatter in our minds,” he said, adding that when the patients meditated, they reported a feeling of calm. “Slowly they notice their thoughts, by nature, tend to wind down.”

People who were having loss of appetite and moderate depression and the mood disorder also have affected the pattern of their sleep and their appetite also.

The study group involved patients with moderate depression. The mood disorder had affected their sleep patterns and appetite, reduced their desire to leave their home or interact with others and made many feel their life was not worth living, Vasudev said.

The five-year study involved researchers from Lawson Health Research Institute – the research arm of St. Joseph’s Health Care London and the London Health Sciences Centre – and Western University.

“Meditation is something I’ve kind of been exposed to in my culture but never really learned a technique,” said Jayneel Limbachia, lead co-author of the study along with Emily Ionson. “This was fascinating and interesting, to begin with.”

Late-life depression affects as many as 300,000 Canadians, a key segment of the population that has its own unique challenges, Vasudev said.

After suffering from the mental trauma they start feeling they should leave their homes and loss of interest in work and financial stress, decreased social interactions, all these are the unique factors which leads to the depression in the seniormost people, according to Vasudev.

The next study will see how meditation helps depression that’s resistant to traditional treatment and will also closely analyze how the mind-calming technique affects physical symptoms of depression, including whether it improves slowed gait, cognition and brain volume.

“We hope in the next couple of years we will have more data to share,” Vasudev said.

More About Meditation

According to Wiki

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state

Meditation has been practiced since antiquity in numerous religious traditions and beliefs. Since the 19th century, it has spread from its origins to other cultures where it is commonly practiced in private and business life.

Meditation may be used with the aim of reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, and increasing peace, perception, self-concept, and well-being. Meditation is under research to define its possible health (psychological, neurological, and cardiovascular) and other effects.

Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to training the body. But many meditation techniques exist

“In Buddhist tradition, the word ‘meditation’ is equivalent to a word like ‘sports’ in the U.S. It’s a family of activities, not a single thing,” University of Wisconsin neuroscience lab director Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D., told The New York Times. And different meditation practices require different mental skills.

Studies on the meditation have been done and your thoughts will soon tend to move out in particular pattern.

“In Buddhist tradition, the word ‘meditation’ is equivalent to a word like ‘sports’ in the U.S. It’s a family of activities, not a single thing,” University of Wisconsin neuroscience lab director Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D., told The New York Times. And different meditation practices require different mental skills.

If talking about the short term benefits then they are listed below:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Lower heart rate
  • Less perspiration
  • Slower respiratory rate
  • Less anxiety
  • Lower blood cortisol levels
  • More feelings of well-being
  • Less stress
  • Deeper relaxation

How to meditate?

First you have to sit in a comfortable position and then you can have a comfortable cushion also and then you have to close your eyes. Cooling eye masks are also recommended. Breathe naturally and do not try to control your breath. Now focus your attention on the breath and see how the body is moving with the inhalation and exhalation process, all the things will be noticed like inhalation and exhalation process.

Repeat this meditation process for two to minutes daily and then when you become used it of it then you can try it for longer periods.

In Buddhist philosophy, the ultimate benefit of meditation is the liberation of the mind from attachment to things it cannot control, such as external circumstances or strong internal emotions. The liberated or “enlightened” practitioner no longer needlessly follows desires or clings to experiences, but instead maintains a calm mind and sense of inner harmony.

If relaxation is not the goal of meditation, it is often a result. In the 1970s, Herbert Benson, MD, a researcher at Harvard University Medical School, coined the term “relaxation response” after conducting research on people who practiced transcendental meditation. The relaxation response, in Benson’s words, is “an opposite, involuntary response that causes a reduction in the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.”

There are also different techniques of meditation like moving meditation such as tal chl, qigong, and walking meditation. Over time you will be able to quickly judge an experience as good or bad and an inner balance will also develop up which will allow your senses to become strong and good. Many disciplines call for stillness to a greater or lesser degree.

Buddhist monks are focussing on the cultivation of compassion and it can also involve the exposure of seeing the negative events and recasting them in a positive manner.

MINDFULNESS

Over the past 20 years, mindfulness and mindfulness-based programs have been used to assist people, whether they be clinically sick or healthy. Jon Kabat-Zinn, who founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program in 1979, has defined mindfulness as ‘moment to moment non-judgmental awareness. Several methods are used during the time set aside specifically for mindfulness meditation, such as body scan techniques or letting thought arise and pass, and also during our daily lives, such as being aware of the taste and texture of the food that we eat.

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