Meditation has long been known to have benefits on many aspects of life, but for a new user the choice of meditation techniques may seem daunting. According to a study by ‘Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing’, users choosing the ‘most popular’ or ‘most accessible’ technique of meditation to them may not be getting as much benefit as they could from other techniques.
According to the study, new users who find a method of meditation that feels comfortable to them are more likely to use it regularly rather than abandon the idea of meditation altogether.
Professor Adam Burke, the author, said “Because of the increase in both general and clinical use of meditation, you want to make sure you’re finding the right method for each person.” Four meditation methods were used in the study – Mantra, Mindfulness, Zen and Qigong Visualization.
Each of the novice participants were taught each method, and then practiced them at home over the period of the study, after which they evaluated them and chose the method they would continue to use.
The results of the study showed that Mindfulness and Mantra were techniques that appealed to most of the participants, whereas older participants showed a preference for Zen.
Burke continued “If someone is exposed to a particular technique through the media or a healthcare provider, they might assume because it’s popular it’s the best for everyone, but that’s like saying because a pink dress or a blue sport coat is popular this year, it’s going to look good on everybody. In truth, different people like different things. One size does not fit all.”
Although this study has revealed some interesting results, Burke would like to see more studies comparing different techniques and their effect on specific health issues. This would then (according to Burke) give health professionals more information on guiding patients to the techniques most effective for them.
More on this study can be viewed on the Science Daily website