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Written By THT Editorial Team

Sabina Maharjan

Reviewed by Sabina Maharjan, Clinical Psychologist(M.Phil, IOM TUTH), Bsc Nurse

Meditation and mindfulness practices have gained significant attention in recent years as alternative approaches to promote mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Rooted in ancient traditions, these practices involve focusing attention, cultivating awareness, and developing a non-judgmental attitude towards one’s experiences. This article explores the emerging trend of meditation and mindfulness as alternative medicine, highlighting research findings that support their effectiveness in various health conditions.

Stress Reduction and Mental Health: Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of meditation and mindfulness in reducing stress and promoting mental health. A meta-analysis examining the effects of mindfulness-based interventions found significant reductions in stress, anxiety, and depression levels (1). Mindfulness-based stress reduction programs have also shown efficacy in reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and improving psychological well-being (2). Additionally, research suggests that meditation practices can enhance resilience, improve attention, and promote emotional regulation (3).

Pain Management: Meditation and mindfulness techniques have been investigated as adjunctive therapies for pain management. Research findings indicate that mindfulness-based interventions can reduce pain intensity, improve pain tolerance, and enhance overall quality of life in individuals with chronic pain conditions (4)(5). Studies have also demonstrated the effectiveness of mindfulness practices in reducing pain-related distress and improving the psychological well-being of patients undergoing medical procedures (6).

Cardiovascular Health: Emerging evidence suggests that meditation and mindfulness practices can have positive effects on cardiovascular health. Research findings indicate that mindfulness-based interventions can lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate, and improve overall cardiovascular function (7). Moreover, a systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that meditation practices are associated with a modest reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes (8).

Cancer Care and Survivorship: Meditation and mindfulness-based interventions are increasingly being integrated into cancer care to support patients during treatment and survivorship. Research suggests that these practices can alleviate cancer-related symptoms, including anxiety, depression, fatigue, and sleep disturbances (9). Mindfulness-based stress reduction programs have also shown promising results in improving the psychological well-being and quality of life of cancer survivors (10).

Neuroscience and Brain Plasticity: Advancements in neuroscientific research have provided insights into the effects of meditation and mindfulness on brain structure and function. Studies using neuroimaging techniques have demonstrated changes in brain regions associated with attention, emotional regulation, and self-awareness following mindfulness training (11). Furthermore, research findings suggest that regular meditation practice can promote neuroplasticity, potentially leading to improvements in cognitive function and emotional well-being (12).

Conclusion: Meditation and mindfulness practices are emerging trends in alternative medicine, backed by a growing body of research evidence. These practices have shown promise in reducing stress, managing pain, improving mental health, enhancing cardiovascular function, supporting cancer care, and promoting brain plasticity. As the scientific understanding of meditation and mindfulness continues to evolve, further research is needed to explore their mechanisms of action, optimize intervention protocols, and integrate them into mainstream healthcare practices.


  • Goldberg, S. B., Tucker, R. P., Greene, P. A., Davidson, R. J., Wampold, B. E., Kearney, D. J., & Simpson, T. L. (2021). Mindfulness-based interventions for psychiatric disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 86, 102047.
  • Hölzel, B. K., Lazar, S. W., Gard, T., Schuman-Olivier, Z., Vago, D. R., & Ott, U. (2011). How does mindfulness meditation work? Proposing mechanisms of action from a conceptual and neural perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(6), 537-559.
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144-156.
  • Garland, E. L., & Howard, M. O. (2018). Mindfulness-based treatment of addiction: Current state of the field and envisioning the next wave of research. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 13(1), 14.
  • Marchand, W. R. (2012). Mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and Zen meditation for depression, anxiety, pain, and psychological distress. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 18(4), 233-252.
  • Gotink, R. A., Chu, P., Busschbach, J. J., Benson, H., Fricchione, G. L., & Hunink, M. G. (2015). Standardised mindfulness-based interventions in healthcare: An overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of RCTs. PLoS One, 10(4), e0124344.
  • Hofmann, S. G., Sawyer, A. T., Witt, A. A., & Oh, D. (2010). The effect of mindfulness-based therapy on anxiety and depression: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(2), 169-183.
  • Tang, Y. Y., Hölzel, B. K., & Posner, M. I. (2015). The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 16(4), 213-225.
  • Veehof, M. M., Trompetter, H. R., Bohlmeijer, E. T., & Schreurs, K. M. (2016). Acceptance- and mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of chronic pain: A meta-analytic review. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 45(1), 5-31.
  • Goyal, M., Singh, S., Sibinga, E. M., Gould, N. F., Rowland-Seymour, A., Sharma, R., … & Ranasinghe, P. D. (2014). Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174(3), 357-368.
  • Prasad, K., Wahner-Roedler, D. L., Cha, S. S., & Sood, A. (2011). Effect of a singlesession meditation training to reduce stress and improve quality of life among health care professionals: A “dose-ranging” feasibility study. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 17(3), 46-49.
  • Sharma, M., & Rush, S. E. (2014). Mindfulness-based stress reduction as a stress management intervention for healthy individuals: A systematic review. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 19(4), 271-286.