Ultimately stress-related health problems account for 60 to 80% of physician visits in the United States (link to a national study that analyzed over 100,000 physician visits), and accounts for the third largest health care expenditure after heart disease and cancer. But only 3% of doctors actually talk to patients about how to reduce stress. Psychological practices such as yoga and meditation reduce the body’s response to stress by enhancing the relaxation response and lowering levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. Yoga has been shown to provide many health benefits, including improving heart health and helping relieve depression and anxiety. But until now, the cost-effectiveness of these treatments has not been properly studied.
The researchers found that relaxation program participants used 43% fewer medical services than last year, saving an average of $ 2,360 per person on emergency room visits alone. This means that such yoga and meditation programs can result in health care savings of $ 640 to $ 25,500 per patient per year.
Another recent article in the Harvard Business Review recommends that health insurance companies cover wellness and preventative treatments such as yoga and meditation. This article discusses a study of Aetna employees who participated in a mindfulness program and enjoyed 28% less stress, 20% better sleep and 19% less pain, and about $ 3,000 in productivity gains per employee per employee. person per year. The company offers its employees free yoga and meditation programs.
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