Overview: clinical and physiological comparison of meditation with other self-control strategies

Am J Psychiatry. 1982 Mar;139(3):267-74. doi: 10.1176/ajp.139.3.267.


In 1977 the American Psychiatric Association called for a critical examination of the clinical effectiveness of meditation. The author provides a review of the literature bearing on clinical and physiological comparisons of meditation with other self-control strategies. He begins by providing a definition of mediation and then cites the literature comparing mediation with such self-regulation strategies as biofeedback, hypnosis, and progressive relaxation. He pays particular attention to the "uniqueness" of mediation as a clinical intervention strategy a well as the adverse effects of meditation. Finally, he offers suggestions and guidelines for future research.

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation
  • Anxiety Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Arousal*
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / rehabilitation
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Relaxation Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Research
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / rehabilitation