Is Meditation Really Worth Your Time?

Everyone knows somebody who swears by meditation. Whether they subscribe to mantra meditation, yoga, or tai chi, fans of mindfulness practices are enthusiastic about its benefits. But a recent study says those benefits could be all in the meditator's head.

"There is an enormous amount of interest in using meditation as a form of therapy to cope with a variety of modern-day health problems, especially hypertension, stress and chronic pain," stated researchers at the University of Alberta/Capital Health Evidence-Based Practice Centre, "but the majority of evidence that seems to support this notion is anecdotal, or it comes from poor-quality studies."

Reviewing over 800 studies about the impact several forms of meditation on various health issues, the researchers noted that it's impossible to draw firm conclusions because the studies were plagued by poor methodologies.

Does this mean you should cancel your spa retreat? No. The research team simply wanted to remind meditators and doctors that there's very little concrete evidence of meditation's health benefits, and that proof will come only with more scientifically sound studies in the future. But if you feel good doing it, keep meditating.