If you’re hip to holistic medicine, you’re probably familiar with the word psychosomatic. If you aren’t, it’s the term used to describe a psychological or emotional issue occurring in the mind with a corresponding manifestation in the body; stress and anxiety are top contributors to psychosomatic disorders.
Checkout this recent US News & World Report on meditation and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). According to Ellin Holohan, a study on meditation and IBS conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that a meditation practice helped to reduce emotional and psychological stressors. Moreover, women suffering from IBS who practiced mindfulness meditation experienced a 38 percent drop in their symptoms.
One of the study authors said the practice, based on a Buddhist meditative technique, “empowers” patients to deal with an illness that is difficult to treat.
“It’s not easy to treat IBS [irritable bowel syndrome], even with the best standard medical approaches,” said study co-author Olafur Palsson, an associate professor, clinical psychologist and research in the gastroenterolgoy department at the university. “It’s chronic and, over time, it’s hard to treat because it is complicated.”
Mindful meditation helps practitioners relax by focusing on the moment, paying attention to breathing, the body and thoughts as they occur, without judgment.
Read more on using meditation to help cure IBS here.