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Health Too Costly? Try Meditation

How Meditation Can Help You Save on Healthcare Costs

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The daily stresses of our lives often cause us to self-medicate with substances that aren’t good for our body—alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, television, junk food, etc.

We use them to escape, when that’s the last thing we should be doing. Getting away from it all doesn’t mean taking a vacation in the local bar everyday after work.

Meditation, while not an escape, can, on the other hand, improve our lives, especially those with recurrent health problems.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion shows that people who regularly pay high sums of money for their healthcare could reduce their spending through meditation.

Just as a tiny fraction of wealthy people in America hold more money than the rest of the population combined, there are an upper 10 percent of people who account for 60 to 70 percent of healthcare spending annually, according to psychcentral.com

The study looked at this 10 percent, and compared those who meditated with those who did not. The result? Those who meditated spent less on healthcare. That doesn’t mean that meditation drops the cost of healthcare—believing that would be like believing that praying can help you to win the lottery. What the study does show, in my layman view, is that meditation improved their health.

Meditation is one of many mind-body techniques used to combat an array of chronic conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and pain.

Dr. Mason Turner, Chief of Psychiatry, Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, told helpfordepression.com that meditation can calm a person’s mind so he or she can think through problems clearly.

In the excellent, easy-to-use (and FREE!) book Mindfulness in Plain English, the Ven. Henepola Gunaratana explains that the point of meditation is to learn to pay attention and to break free of the illusion that we are aware of what is going on around us.

“Through the process of mindfulness, we slowly become aware of what we really are down below the ego image. We wake up to what life really is,” the book states. “It is not just a parade of ups and downs, lollipops and smacks on the wrist. That is an illusion. Life has a much deeper texture than that if we bother to look, and if we look in the right way.” 

Meditation is not some super-spiritual, psychic mind game meant for only holy men. You don’t have to go on a retreat, shave your head, or wear a robe. Meditation is the retreat, but instead of retreating away from your problems, you learn to jump directly into them and accept the realities of life to help better understand and accept them.

Meditation is a simple and free way to combat many health problems, whether they be psychological or physical, that can benefit many people and can reduce your spending on healthcare.

If you don’t want to do it for yourself, try doing it for your wallet.  

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About the Author

Brian Krans is an Assistant Editor and writer at Healthline.com.

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