Take Two of These and Call Me in the Morning

New medical trend shows a growing number of doctors prescribing meditation.

Posted: 05/19/2011 12:15 PM EDT


(Photo: Landov)

The next time your doctor whips out his prescription pad you may be surprised to get a prescription not for a pill but for a few hours of mind-body therapy: yoga, tai chi, meditation and deep breathing.


A new study from Harvard University found that more doctors these days are recommending yoga, tai chi, meditation and deep breathing instead of traditional medication. Out of the 70 percent of the population around the world that uses mind-body therapies, 6.3 million sought them out themselves, while around 34.8 million do because their doctor suggested it.


"What we learned suggests that providers are referring their patients for mind-body therapies as a last resort once conventional therapeutic options have failed," said Dr. Aditi Nerurkar in a statement. "It makes us wonder whether referring patients for these therapies earlier in the treatment process could lead to less use of the health care system and, possibly, better outcomes for these patients.”


The concept is simple, to be alone with your thoughts and focus solely on yourself.


But you don’t have to leave the house to get the full benefit of these alternative methods. Follow these tips to clear a little space in your house or apartment for your own meditation oasis:


Stick to the basics. You don’t need an elaborate set up. Simply find an uncluttered space in your home that is clean and quiet, wherever you can fit a cushion or chair will do.


No room, no problem. If you don’t have access to a separate room you can wall off a corner of any room using fabric or a dressing screen.


Set the mood. Burn your favorite incenses, potpourri or scented candle. If you live in the city or a noisy environment turn on some soothing music or chants to help keep you focused.


The concept is simple, to be alone with your thoughts and focus solely on yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask anyone else you share your house with to not disturb you unless you ask otherwise.