The Zoomer Report: More Doctors Prescribing Yoga & Meditation

We’ve heard a lot about the benefits of alternative therapies, like yoga, meditation and deep breathing. Now it looks like the medical profession is starting to accept that evidence.

A study out of Harvard medical School shows that about one in 30 Americans use mind-body therapies due to a physician’s referral. The findings indicate these therapies may be becoming a more mainstream.

That surprised the researchers who didn’t expect to see referral rates that were quite so high. They collected information from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey and found more than 6.3 million Americans used mind-and-body therapies due to provider referral. That compares with 34.8 million who were self-referred. Those who were referred by their doctors tended to be sicker and used the health care system more than people who self-referred.

The researchers think doctors are referring their patients for mind-body therapies as a last resort once conventional therapeutic options have failed. They wonder whether referring patients for these therapies earlier in the treatment process could lead to less use of the health care system, and possibly, better outcomes for these patients.

Photo © lunanaranja

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Libby ZnaimerAbout The Zoomer Report

Libby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.

Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.

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