20151221

Yoga and meditation offer savings and health care you can do at home

Yoga and meditation offer savings and health care you can do at home
Yoga and meditation offer savings and health care you can do at home - A new research study shows that some yoga or meditation a day could keep the doctor only.

Stress-related health problems are responsible for up to 80% of doctor visits and represent the third highest health care spending, behind heart disease and cancer. But only 3% of doctors actually talk to patients about how to reduce stress.

It has been shown that the mind-body practices like yoga and meditation to reduce stress response in your body by increasing the relaxation response and reduce stress hormones like cortisol. Yoga has been shown to have many health benefits, including improved heart health and help relieve depression and anxiety.

But the cost-effectiveness of these therapies has been less well established - until now.


The study

Dr. James E. Stahl and his team of Harvard researchers studied a relaxing mind-body program offered by the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. 8-week program taught participants several different mind-body approaches, including meditation, yoga, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral skills, and positive psychology. The study volunteers participated in weekly sessions and practice at home too.

Researchers found that people in the relaxation program using 43% fewer medical services than they did the previous year, an average savings of $ 2,360 per person in visits to emergency rooms only. This means that this type of yoga and meditation programs could result in $ 640 health savings as much as $ 25 500 per patient per year.


"There are many ways to achieve good status. - Many doors to health, but not every door is open to everyone one of the highlights of the program is based on many different tools which are mutually reinforcing and allow many doors that open to a wide range of people, "said the lead researcher, Dr. Stahl, who is now a chief of general internal medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center section.

Yoga and meditation are exploding in popularity - but will have to pay for insurance?

Programs yoga and meditation are wider audience. Almost one in 10 Americans practice yoga, and 45% of adults who do not practice yoga say they are interested in trying. Americans also use other forms of complementary therapies, such as meditation (8%) and deep breathing (11%).

Many health plans do not cover the yoga or meditation, although some offer discounts for fitness programs like yoga or tai chi. States and Washington require private health insurers to cover additional healthcare providers allowed, but most states do not. But that could soon change.


Evidence-based A recent article in the Harvard Business Review has recommended that health insurers cover wellness and therapies to prevent and that are inexpensive, both as yoga and meditation are.  

The article deals with the study of Aetna employees participating in the company and care program experienced a 28% reduction in stress, better sleep by 20%, and 19% less pain and increased productivity Workers value of $ 3,000 a year the employee said. The company offers yoga and meditation to their employees programs.

"There are many major studies on the biological side, but not enough on the economy," says Dr. Stahl, who is trying to change that with their ongoing investigation. As evidence of the health benefits and cost-effectiveness Yoga meditation programs and continuing to grow, we can expect to see more interest from health care insurers.


"If I have a tool that works in clinical medicine that has very few side effects and considerable profit, why not use the tool?", Says Dr. Stahl.

By: Marlynn Wei,MD,JD

 

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