Does meditation play an integral role in achieving high-level wellness as defined by Travis and Ryan (2004)?

J Complement Integr Med. 2011 Jan;8. doi: 10.2202/1553-3840.1373.


In the emerging discipline of wellness, Travis and Ryan (2004) develop a dynamic theory of wellness that while not explicitly stated takes a systems theory approach to health and wellness. As a result, their theory of wellness resonates with many of the concepts and ideals experienced through a meditation practice. It is with this congruence in mind that the current paper explores whether there is any relationship between meditation and high-level wellness and if meditation techniques play an integral role in helping to achieve enhanced levels of wellness. A wide range of research across disciplines is reviewed, and despite controversies in the methodology employed to test meditation's efficacy, it is readily apparent that numerous benefits or wellness outcomes are derived from a meditation practice. However, it is doubtful that meditation is the only path to deliver high-level wellness, other means exist-some that may be a function of the natural human condition.

MeSH terms

  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Meditation / methods*
  • Meditation / psychology*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy