Group Urges Docs to Prescribe Meditation
'Mindfulness' effective in preventing relapse
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2010 5:00 AM CST
Meditation should be made widely available to treat depression, a mental health group urges.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – The best prescription for recurrent depression isn't pills or talk therapy, it's "mindfulness"—a combination of meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques that empties the mind of negative thoughts. So claims a UK mental health organization so impressed by its effectiveness in combating chronic depression that they're urging doctors to start prescribing courses for patients. Clinical trials have shown that it halves the rate of relapse in people with recurrent depression, they note, urging Britain's national health insurance system to start covering it.

Mindfulness-based therapy could be helping to prevent thousands of people from relapsing into depression every year," a doctor tells the Guardian. "This would have huge knock-on benefits both socially and economically, making it a sensible treatment to be making available, even at a time when money is short."