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Meditation May Yield Little Benefits

Update Date: Mar 04, 2014 06:31 PM EST

Meditation can reduce anxiety, depression and pain, according to a new study. However, mindfulness meditation may not help addiction, sleep or weight loss, according to researchers.

While meditation can relieve stress, researchers found no evidence that meditation programs were better than drugs, exercise or other behavioral therapies at addressing issues of mental health, according to the latest meta-analysis.

The review found a "small and consistent signal" that stress, anxiety and depression improved in people who practiced mindfulness meditation, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Researchers found that mindfulness meditation seemed to improve anxiety symptoms by 22 percent to 38 percent, depressive symptoms by 23 percent to 30 percent and pain by an average of 33 percent.

Researchers noted that the less-than-robust findings on the benefits of meditation may be caused by little or poorly designed research. They explained that only 47 of 18,753 studies of meditation were clinical trials designed and conducted with enough precision to be included in the review.

The findings are published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.  

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