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A study out of the University of Rochester shows that meditation and the opportunity to share emotions in a non judgmental way helps decrease physician stress while enhancing an experience of connectedness between physician and patient. The study, recently published in JAMA (9/23/09) was authored by a group led by Michael Krasner, M.D. They found that, with the meditation practices, physicians experienced a greater sense of well-being and satisfaction with their work.
Meditation, focused breathing, and the teachings which help one train the mind to be present with what is and those practices which help us deal skillfully with relationships and choices from a deep Inner Wisdom, are invaluable. Without any negative side effects, and in no way obstructing a person’s current medical regimen, these practices help one slowly “heal” those limitations which prevent us from attaining the health, happiness, and lives we desire.
Physicians as well as other healthcare practitioners often experience intense levels of stress which then lead to mental and emotional dis-ease, physical disease, difficulties in relationships, marital discord, feelings of resentment and inadequacy, and significant burnout and dissatisfaction with life. The stresses include time pressures, internal and external pressures to “be perfect” or to “never make a mistake”, and financial pressures due to overwhelming student loan payments. With training in practices such as meditation, physicians will not only feel better and be able to connect with their patients in a more heart-centered and connected way, but they will be able to then pass on these non-invasive yet powerfully health-supporting skills to their patients.