Since today we need a 'research study' to validate that something truly has value, here's one for you.
A study just published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that depression can be treated with "mindfulness" more effectively than with an antidepressant drug or a placebo. Since according to the National Institute of Health (NIH) there are 14 million or so Americans suffering from depression, I'm doing my part in spreading the word.
What exactly is "mindfulness"? Generally it refers to being in the present moment. It incorporates meditation and "helping patients watch their feelings and thoughts in a way that lets them work with them differently", said Zindel Segal of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, in Toronto, Ontario.
Participants who received mindfulness therapy learned how to meditate on their own for 40 minutes a day, in addition to going to a session with a therapist.
"It’s kind of like going like going to the gym and working a muscle, except in this case you’re not working a muscle in your body, you’re working the muscles in your brain that help you understand and control your emotions," Segal said. Ahh, this might explain the popularity of yoga studios, we become mindful when doing yoga.
Now if you live in San Diego there is a place called "The Healing Playground" at Herbin Acupuncture and Wellness which is the perfect place to exercise your "Mindfulness".
The founders and creators of this incredible "Healing Playground" concept are Lori Powell and Lara Koljonen, who is also a Licensed Acupuncturist. It's a place to carve 30 minutes (or more if you like) out of your day to listen to meditation cd's, relax in a zero gravity chair or sofa and rejuvenate. This is an alternative to the standard coffee house. It’s a place that will help you gain perspective, de-stress and unwind. You can drink a cup of organic tea or use many of the healing stations at your fingertips such as the biofeedback stress reduction station, a dvd station with movies centered around healing and emotional health, or aromatherapy audio programs on everything from breast health to meditation and more.
If you don't have a "Healing Playground" near you create your own meditation spot in a small corner of your favorite room. Adding some mindful meditation or Chinese herbs to your life will help you relax and de-stress. A great option before succumbing to the soon to be out-dated anti-depressant drug therapy.
(The National Institutes of Health was established by the United States Congress to support the mission of the National Institutes of Health—improving health through scientific discovery.)