Meditation could help you heal your healthcare.
Have you ever thought about why our healthcare system is failing? It’s because we are spending too much and getting too little. It can be fixed.
Many of the problems we face are complex and deeply rooted. It would be great if there were a single problem that could be addressed quickly and cheaply to improve healthcare and decrease costs.
Chronic stress is the root cause of my problems. There is a solution. I have been a primary-care physician for over 35 years and have been a meditator since 1975. Teaching Meditation in middle schools would lower healthcare costs and improve the system. This is my reasoning and why I think this.
The United States spends over $4.01 trillion annually on healthcare. The United States healthcare spending is expected to reach $6.19 Trillion by 2028. This will be 19.7% more than the 17.7% in 2018. Healthcare spending is higher than in any other developed country per capita. With such a high level of investment, shouldn’t we be able to provide affordable, quality healthcare to all our citizens? We are far from that goal. According to the U.S. According to the U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 rankings of “Best Countries,” the United States now ranks 22nd in their order of the most effective public healthcare systems around the globe. We fell seven places this year compared to their 2020 ranking.
The World Health Organization has called stress the “health epidemic” of the 21st Century. The American healthcare system suffers from chronic stress, which can lead to many problems. American companies are losing about $300 billion annually due to poor performance, absenteeism, and employee turnover.
A large percentage of disability can be attributed to stress and its comorbid conditions. It has been shown that parental stress is linked to higher pediatric emergency department utilization. Moreover, decreasing parental stress decreases these costs. Over 35 years of providing meditation advice to patients, I have seen it repeatedly. Patients who meditate are happier, more productive parents, better employees, and require my care less.
Meditation can help you to heal stress
It would be a good idea to teach meditation in middle school before stress-related diseases become too familiar. This will make students more healthy and help them save money. Preventing illness is cheaper and more effective than treating it. Teaching children meditation improves their focus, psychological well-being, immune system strength, and mental and physical health, and is cheaper than treating existing illnesses.
Can healthcare costs be reduced by teaching middle school students how to meditate? Although most studies have focused on teaching meditation to adults, there would be even more savings if the technique was taught to middle schoolers. A study that looked at patients with high healthcare costs found that they saw a 28% decrease in physician fees when they practiced Transcendental meditation for five years. This was compared to the baseline. A Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital study showed that meditation training can reduce the need for healthcare services by 43% in the first year.
Teach Our Children
What would happen if middle schoolers learned meditation? A “Quiet Time” project in middle schools offers insight into what might happen.
The results of teaching students to meditate for 15 minutes twice daily in “quiet” time at four schools located in a San Francisco neighborhood have been excellent. Sixth-, seventh, and eighth-grade students were taught to meditate for 15 minutes twice a day during “quiet” time. Suspensions dropped by 79 percent, attendance increased, and academic performance improved over four years. James S. Dierke is the former Executive Vice President of the American Federation of School Administrators. He was also the ACSA Middle School Principal of the Year in 2007. “The Quiet Time Program has been the most powerful and effective program I have ever seen in my 40-year career as a public school educator.” It provides a valuable tool for life and nourishment to these children. It saves lives.
What if adults were taught to meditate in middle school? If meditation can reduce healthcare utilization by 43 percent in one year, how would that impact healthcare spending in the future? What would happen to the healthcare costs of our most vulnerable, sickest, and most expensive population if they were taught meditation as teens? Our annual healthcare costs would be lower than $4.01 trillion, and we would rank higher than 22nd on the U.S. News & World Report list.
It’s reasonable to conclude, based on science, that teaching children meditation could help heal the healthcare system and reduce its high costs. This simple, inexpensive solution is now available. Let’s see if it works.