Chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and arthritis have caused not only higher costs of health care, but also elevated psychological stress among both the patients and the care givers. Mind-body interventions may be helpful to address such issues of social stress.
A recent study at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston investigated the effectiveness of a multimodal mind-body therapeutic program on physical and psychological health among patients (Vranceanu et al., 2014). The program lasted 8 weeks. The 226 participating patients had chronic diseases with physical, mental and comorbid problems.
The participants completed a series of evaluations including the check lists for medical symptoms and lifestyle profiles. With the completion of the program, the study found remarkable improvement on 9 of 23 medical symptoms and all of the mental health symptoms (Vranceanu et al., 2014). Furthermore, significant progress was observed with increased health promoting lifestyle behaviors.
These findings show that a multimodal mind-body program can be very beneficial for relieving chronic diseases with physical and mental symptoms (Vranceanu et al., 2014). Such methods can be used as a complementary intervention for the conventional therapies. Such preliminary results suggest that randomized controlled trials with various groups of population would be helpful for the further assessment of the effects of comprehensive mind-body interventions on chronic diseases.
Vranceanu AM, Gonzalez A, Niles H, Fricchione G, Baim M, Yeung A, Denninger JW, Park ER. Exploring the effectiveness of a modified comprehensive mind-body intervention for medical and psychologic symptom relief. Psychosomatics. 2014 Jul-Aug;55(4):386-91. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2014.01.005.