Mind-Body Medicine and Heart Diseases

Even though medical treatments have successfully reduced the rate of cardiovascular deaths in recent years, it is still necessary to focus on the prevention of heart disease and the promotion of quality of life for the patients. In addition to traditional methods, mind-body practices have been found effective for such purposes.

A recent meta-analysis reviewed the effectiveness of mind-body methods among patients with cardiac disease (Younge et al., 2014). The study examined published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that reported mind-body trainings for cardiac patients. The study included various parameters such as the features of the trials, measurements of the quality of life, factors of anxiety and depression, as well as physical parameters such as systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure (Younge et al., 2014).

The mind-body methods evaluated in the meta-analysis included various stress management techniques such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), transcendental meditation, as well as the method of progressive muscle relaxation. The study found that mind-body practices are beneficial for cardiac patients in many aspects, especially the mental quality of life (Younge et al., 2014). More studies are needed to find out not only the effectiveness but also the mechanisms of the mind-body methods on cardiac disease.

Reference:

Younge JO, Gotink RA, Baena CP, Roos-Hesselink JW, Hunink MM. Mind-body practices for patients with cardiac disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2014 Sep 16. pii: 2047487314549927.

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