Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Meditation
Meditation is the practice of
focusing your attention to help you feel calm and give you a clear awareness
about your life. Eastern philosophies have recognized the health benefits of
meditation for thousands of years. Meditation is now widely practiced in the
West, with the belief that it has positive effects on health.
meditation techniques are most commonly used: concentrative and mindful.
Meditation usually involves slow, regular breathing and
sitting quietly for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
People use meditation
to help treat a wide range of physical and mental problems, including:
Most of these conditions may also require conventional
treatment for best results.
People also use meditation to relieve
anxieties from long-term (chronic) conditions such as
HIV and cancer.
meditation usually involves sitting quietly for a
period of time and breathing deeply, anyone who cannot sit comfortably or who
has respiratory problems may have difficulty practicing meditation. Some people
with mental health problems, such as
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or
schizophrenia, may not be able to use meditation
Meditation is not thought to have any
negative side effects or complications alone or when combined with conventional
medical treatment, but it is not considered appropriate or safe for acute,
Always tell your doctor if you are
using an alternative therapy or if you are thinking about combining an
alternative therapy with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be
safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an
Other Works Consulted
Freeman L (2009). Meditation. In L Freeman, ed., Mosby’s Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Research-Based Approach, 3rd ed., pp. 158–188. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofMay 26, 2016
Current as of:
May 26, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.