Past four decades has witnessed substantial scientific research on meditation as an al- ternative mind-body therapy. This paper is an attempt to provide a comprehensive view of the present state of the research in meditation and health. It reviews major findings related to meditation and its effects on various disorders. Two major types of meditation practices dominating presently (concentration and mindfulness) are introduced. Effects of meditation on human physiology such as heart beat, blood pressure, cortical activity, metabolism, respiration, and skin resistance are discussed. Impact of meditation on human perception and cognition is also addressed. Possible pathways or mechanisms through which meditation impacts health such as, relaxation, systematic desensitization, release of repressed memories, un-stressing and so on are also discussed. Finally, major conceptual and methodological issues that need serious attention from researchers in this area for future research is addressed.
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