Can meditation reduce work stress?

Can meditation reduce work stress?

By Dr Ramesh Manocha of Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women, February 2009.

Scientific studies have consistently found that meditation does not give better results than taking a short nap, listening to pleasant music or thinking pleasant thoughts.

However, according to recent research, the application of a new definition of meditation involving “mental silence” appears to have effects substantially greater than this, especially with regard to the impact of stress.

Although more than 3,000 scientific studies exist on meditation within the major scientific databases, only about 4% are reports on randomised controlled trials (RCTs), the only way to reliably exclude the placebo effect. Researchers who have systematically evaluated these RCTs consistently fmd that meditation, as it is practised and defined in Western society (eg relaxation, attention focusing and mindfulness), is little more than a sophisticated way of generating a placebo effect.

Descriptions of the meditative experience that originated in ancient India, however, reveal that a key feature of meditation is the experience of mental silence.

Western definitions have not emphasised this feature. Currently, the Royal Hospital for Women’s Meditation Research Program (MRP) is systematically evaluating the mental silence perspective of meditation.

Over the past nine years, a multifaceted evaluation program has been conducted to evaluate the effect of mental silence on a variety of health and behavioural factors, especially stress. Key studies In 2000, a health and well being survey of 348 long-term meditators who used a single, homogenous form of meditation called Sahaja Yoga Meditation (SYM), which focuses on the experience of mental silence, demonstrated that these meditators had better mental and physical health than the general population.

It also showed that a consistent relationship existed between health, especially mental health, and how often meditators reported experiencing mental silence.

An RCT of SYM for asthma demonstrated that mental silence meditation not only was significantly more effective at improving psychological factors and quality of life when compared to a standardised stress management strategy, but also showed that it reduced the severity of the physical disease process, whereas stress management did not (Manocha R et al, Thorax 2002; 57:110-115).

Details in the pdf :


Source –

Related posts

Leave a Comment