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Meditation in Health Care Systems

Prem Amala, Psychiatric Nurse and Meditator

Amala's E-mail address

Meditation for Psychiatric Workers

Quebec was put on the meditation map by Prem Amala, a psychiatric nurse, who presented Osho Meditations in a competition for new ideas run by Merrel Dow, one of America's biggest pharmaceutical companies. They were so impressed with her presentation that they awarded Amala first prize. She's running meditation courses in Quebec for people working in psychiatry –with an attendance of up to seventy people at a time.

Amala says of this experience:
     "I was working as a psychiatric nurse in a general university hospital in Quebec city, the Centre Hospitalier De L'universite Laval, where I became aware that the primary cause of absence from work for nurses was burnout. So, with a friend who won the second prize of Merrel Dow's by presenting a talk on her experience of burnout, we gave presentations together at a special day for nurses. We even repeated it the day after and, as I was very interested to offer more than a talk, I suggested that the participants write on their evaluation a request to experiment.
     "They did, and I started with a ten-weeks' program of 2 hours a week...beginning with Nadabrahma, then Kundalini, then the Prayer Meditation, Nataraj, Vipassana, Gourishankar, Gibberish etc. I did not offer Dynamic then, feeling it was not appropriate given the environment, but I gave participants information about where they could do it in town every Saturday morning.
     "They did not have to pay for the program I was offering as I convinced the Nursing Director that a place that creates burnout should also provide the cure for free, at least!
     "All nurses were welcome, not only those in psychiatry. A total of 70 people came, in groups of 15-20 at a time, female nurses being in the majority. In the hospital the shortage of space was a real problem and we were often hearing the intercom looking for doctors – a little disturbing. I offered the course outside the hospital setting, charging a minimal fee, and non-nurses joined in. The response was magnificent.
     "What were the specific effects? I cannot say participants were less stressed but rather more aware of their stress and willing to look at the source, both inside and out. It was clear to me they were also more open and were able to share more easily their secret worries. They were happy at the possibility of laughing for no reason [in the Laughter Meditation], of cry and laughing together, of being allowed to shake [in the Kundalini meditation]. Many walls between them fell.
     "They were mostly happy that they had dared to do this course for themselves. They looked more alive when expressing the importance to them of finally be able to care for themselves.
     "I also had more support from my fellow nurses after a few of them took a meditation session. I felt that then they were more able to understand my way and to express their fear of being asked to do the same with the patients. I even discovered that one of the residents [doctors] did Kundalini meditation with a friend for two years. He confessed that to me one day, saying that it had to be kept secret; otherwise his credibility with the psychiatrist in charge could be at risk."

Copyright© Osho Times International

Naples, Italy
Burnout Prevention

Dhyan Chetana, aka Dr Floriana Formicola, is a 40-year old clinical psychologist who is the director of a therapy service for mental health patients in Naples and also for the psychologists who work with them.
     According to Chetana, the biggest problem for the psychologists is the phenomenon of burnout, when they have been working too hard, too long, under stress. She organizes a burnout prevention group for the psychologists and also for doctors, nurses, secretaries and everyone else who works in the health department, which is a government-run service.
     "In the program I begin with Osho's Kundalini and Nataraj, meditations, and end with the Golden Flower meditation," Chetana explains. "In between I work with bodily and emotional expression –encouraging people to release any kind of feelings that they cannot usually express during their work. A similar but softer group is held for the patients.
     "This is the first program in Italy dealing with bodily and emotional expression that has been accepted by the government, so it is really a breakthrough," adds Chetana.
Floriana is a member of the activemeditation.com team. To read more about her use of the active meditations in her therapeutic work see...Meditation as an Aid to Self-diagnosis

Copyright© Osho Times International

Dhyan Chetana, Psychologist and Meditator

Chetana's E-mail address

London, UK
Dynamizing London

Osho's major meditations are now being offered three times a week at the prestigious Lambton Health Club in London.
     When Mary Greenwell, an internationally know make-up artist, returned from her trip to the Osho meditation resort in Pune, she asked her club's management to include them.
     "Dynamic is a wonderful way to start the day" she says in the brochure advertising the program.

Copyright©Osho Times International

(TV report)
Anchorman: In a small town of southern Brazil called Floriano Peixoto, techniques from the East were brought in to counter depression. Agricultural workers who exchanged traditional health treatment for meditation say it worked!
[footage of someone having chiropractic, followed by a group in a gym doing the second (catharsis) and third ("Hoo") stages of Dynamic Meditation].
Reporter: "The calm landscapes of the southern valleys suggest a stress-free life. However the mayor of this 25000 city realized that every month 40 citizens were admitted to country hospitals, victims of depression. Most of them were humble field workers, living in loneliness, poverty and ill health. The hospital admissions overbudgeted by double what the city could afford. The alternative was to change to a totally different approach.
     "The public administration hired a holistic therapist who takes care of the patients' bodies, emotion and spirit. He works with methods from India, such as chiropractice."
Peoples' statements:
     "Today everything is better; I work with better health and disposition."
     "Before the treatment I couldn't sleep well. I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Now I am feeling very well, more relaxed."
Reporter: "Breathing exercises, relaxation and plenty of meditation, using Indian music as a soundtrack. Each person is encouraged to face his or her issues and wounds."
Anchorwoman: "According to the city statistics, 600 people were treated successfully over 8 months. The health expenses were cut in half."

Jornal Nacional (Global network television/daily audience: 80 million)

Meditation in Drug Addiction Treatment
     A statistical meta-analysis of 198 independent treatment outcomes found that meditation produced a significantly larger reduction in tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use than either standard substance abuse treatments (including counseling, pharmacological treatments, relaxation training, and Twelve-Step programs) or prevention programs (such as programs to counteract peer pressure and promote personal development).
     This meta-analysis controlled for strength of study design and included both heavy and casual users. Whereas, the effects of conventional programs typically decrease sharply by three months, effects of meditation on total abstinence from tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug ranged from 50% to 89% over a 18 to 22 month period of study.

Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 11: 13-87
International Journal of the Addictions 26: 293-325, 1991.

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