A US study found that practices like yoga and meditation can help curb the need for general healthcare services by about 43%.
“Evoking the relaxation response or a physiologic state of deep rest, helps alleviate stress and anxiety, while also affecting heart rate and blood pressure,” according to the study conducted by Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Technology Assessment and the Benson-Henry Institute.
“Our study’s primary finding is that programs that train patients to elicit the relaxation response can also dramatically reduce health care utilisation,” said James E Stahl.
“These programs promote wellness and in our environment of constrained health care resources, could potentially ease the burden on our health delivery systems at minimal cost and at no real risk,” he said.
By doing a comparative analysis of information available on Research Patient Data Registry (RPDR) of Partners HealthCare and data on individuals participating in the BHI Relaxation Response Resiliency Program (3RP) from 2006 to 2014, researchers came to the conclusion that practitioners of yoga, meditation, prayer spent significantly lower than non-practitioners, on medical services.
The study also found that practitioners primarily benefited from neurological, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal ailments.