The Effects of Meditation and Yoga on Cardiovascular Disease

  • Sonia Suchday
  • Maria Dziok
  • Miriam Katzenstein
  • Erica Kaplan
  • Michelle Kahan


Cardiovascular disease is a chronic illness with physiological, behavioral, and psychosocial components implicated in the etiology and course of the disorder. Given its multifaceted nature, management of cardiovascular disease needs to be multidimensional and include attention to all risk factors. Research has indicated that modification of one risk factor (e.g., diet) does not lead to automatic benefits to other risk factors (e.g., exercise) (Prochaska, Nigg, Spring, Velicer, & Prochaska, 2010). Hence, attention needs to be focused simultaneously on both physiological and psychological components. For example, medical regimens need to be augmented by lifestyle changes that include diet and exercise. Psychosocial variables such as depression, hostility, and stress also play a key role in morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease and need to be independently managed. An explicit focus on techniques that involve concurrent physiological and psychological interventions makes mind-body therapies effective and appealing in dealing with cardiovascular disorders. Mind-body medicine is the most widely used domain of complementary and alternative medicine among the US population for treatment of medical conditions (NIH, 2004). Examples of mind-body medicine include meditation, yoga, relaxation, visual imagery, biofeedback, qigong, cognitive-behavioral therapies, support groups, tai chi, and spirituality. This chapter will focus on the most widely studied and used interventions, specifically, yoga and meditation.


Coronary Heart Disease Generalize Anxiety Disorder Mindfulness Meditation Meditation Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonia Suchday
    • 1
  • Maria Dziok
    • 1
  • Miriam Katzenstein
    • 1
  • Erica Kaplan
    • 1
  • Michelle Kahan
    • 1
  1. 1.Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Albert Einstein College of MedicineYeshiva UniversityBronxUSA

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