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J Altern Complement Med. 2016 Aug;22(8):627-34. doi: 10.1089/acm.2016.0002. Epub 2016 Jun 28.

The Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative and Well-Being.

Author information

1
1 Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California , San Diego, La Jolla, CA.
2
2 Department of Psychiatry, University of California , San Diego, La Jolla, CA.
3
3 Fellow, Samueli Institute , Alexandria, VA.
4
4 The Chopra Center for Wellbeing , Carlsbad, CA.
5
5 Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, Duke University , Durham, NC.
6
6 Genetics and Genomics Sciences, Mount Sinai Hospital , New York, NY.
7
7 Massachusetts General Hospital , Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the effects of a comprehensive residential mind-body program on well-being.

DESIGN:

The Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative was a quasi-randomized trial comparing the effects of participation in a 6-day Ayurvedic system of medicine-based comprehensive residential program with a 6-day residential vacation at the same retreat location.

SETTING:

Retreat setting.

PARTICIPANTS:

69 healthy women (n = 58) and men (n = 11) (mean age ± standard deviation, 53.6 ± 12 years).

INTERVENTION:

The Ayurvedic intervention addressed physical and emotional well-being through group meditation and yoga, massage, diet, adaptogenic herbs, lectures, and journaling.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

A battery of standardized questionnaires.

RESULTS:

Participants in the Ayurvedic program showed significant and sustained increases in ratings of spirituality (p < 0.01) and gratitude (p < 0.05) compared with the vacation group, which showed no change. The Ayurvedic participants also showed increased ratings for self-compassion (p < 0.01) as well as less anxiety at the 1-month follow-up (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings suggest that a short-term intensive program providing holistic instruction and experience in mind-body healing practices can lead to significant and sustained increases in perceived well-being and that relaxation alone is not enough to improve certain aspects of well-being.

PMID:
27351443
DOI:
10.1089/acm.2016.0002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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