Study: Short daily meditation is good for caregivers

Benefits include reducing symptoms of depression and boosting mental health. The study also alludes to discovering benefits at the cellular level.

The study involved 49 caregivers who were taking care of family members with dementia. Caregivers are at risk for high stress levels, which can lead to health problems. Participants were randomly assigned to either yoga meditation or passive relaxation with instrumental music. Both were done for 12 minutes a day over eight weeks.

At the end of the study the meditation group seemed to come out ahead—65% showed 50% improvement on a depression rating scale, and 52% showed a 50% improvement on a mental health scale compared to those who did passive relaxation. Those numbers were 31.2% for depression and 19% for mental health.

More evidence was found on the cellular level. The meditation group had a 43.3% improvement in telomerase activity, while the relaxation group saw only 3.7%. (Higher telomerase activity can help improve the durability of immune cells.)

To read the abstract, click here, and for more about the study in the LA Times, click here. T