Exciting research has recently been published showing the effectiveness of breathing, exercise, and guided mindfulness practice in treating anxiety and depression. But, even more exciting is the push from the researchers to clinicians, insurers, and healthcare systems to recommend, include and provide reimbursement for mindfulness-based stress reduction as an effective treatment for anxiety disorders. This is BIG news because currently, such programs are not reimbursed or covered by insurance.
A study published in JAMA Psychiatry on November 9, 2022, suggested a guided mindfulness-based stress reduction program was as effective as using the gold standard drug—the common antidepressant drug escitalopram (Lexapro)—for patients with anxiety disorders. This was according to the results of a first-of-its-kind randomized clinical trial led by researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center.
Many studies are underway looking at the same thing with a large number of participants, but this is a strong start to push insurance and clinicians to offer mindfulness and exercise programs to their patients.
It is important to remember there are many causes for depression and anxiety, and you should always consult your medical provider before making any changes to your treatment. Still, this information is worth discussing with your provider. This is exciting news, and I am sure we will be hearing more in the next eighteen months. So be sure to breathe, exercise, and practice mindfulness daily! I will keep you updated.
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