Stress related illnesses are on the rise. Add that to rising healthcare costs and it doesn't pay to let stress go unchecked. Starting a regular yoga and/or meditation practice can help decrease stress and reduce your healthcare costs, according to a study by the Benson-Henry Institute for Body Mind Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The study found that patients that participated in the mind-body programs were able to decrease the number of office visits they had by 43%. With copays on the rise, that can add up!
According to Dr. James E. Stahl, who led the study, “Our study’s primary finding is that programs that train patients to elicit the relaxation response – specifically those taught at the BHI – can also dramatically reduce health care utilization. These programs promote wellness and, in our environment of constrained health care resources, could potentially ease the burden on our health delivery systems at minimal cost and at no real risk.”
Setting aside 20-30 minutes per day for relaxation, or longer if your day is more stressful than usual, can help combat the effects of stress. Since every person is different, it's important to find the technique that works for you. Yoga, meditation, prayer, breathing (pranayama), tai chi, and massage therapy are a few of the options available.