Effect of Healing Meditation on stress and eating behavior in overweight and obese women: A randomized clinical trial

Author: Cynthia Vieira Sanches Sampaio1, Guilherme Magnavita2, Ana Marice Ladeia3
1 Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health, Bahia Foundation for the Development of Sciences, FBDC, Av. Tancredo Neves, 805-A. Centro Médico Iguatemi, sala 301, Caminho das Árvores, Salvador, Bahia, CEP: 41820-021, Brazil. Electronic address: cysampaio@gmail.com.
2 Department of Psychiatry, Hospital Universitário Professor Edgard Santos, R. Dr. Augusto Viana, s/n -Canela, Salvador, Bahia, CEP: 40301-155, Brazil. Electronic address: Guilherme.magnavita@gmail.com.
3 Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health, Bahia Foundation for the Development of Sciences, FBDC, Rua Ceará 320. Edf. Mansão Calasans Neto apto 802, Pituba, Salvador, Bahia, 41820-021, Brazil. Electronic address: anamarice@bahiana.edu.br.
Conference/Journal: Complement Ther Clin Pract
Date published: 2021 Jul 30
Other: Volume ID: 45 , Pages: 101468 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2021.101468. , Word Count: 264

A randomized, parallel-controlled, blinded clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of Healing Meditation on stress and eating behavior of women undergoing standard weight-loss treatment.

Materials and methods:
An outpatient clinic in Brazil, 55 women with overweight and obesity were included and randomized: 27 for the Meditation Group, and 28 for the Control Group. Randomization was stratified by body mass index category and based on blocks of four. For eight weeks, in addition to the standard weight loss treatment, the Intervention Group underwent a Healing Meditation program, and the Control Group participated in a round table to observe compliance. Reduction in stress and changes in eating behavior were assessed at baseline, and in the 8th, and 16th week using the Perceived Stress Scale, the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire, and Binge Eating Scale.

The sample mean age was 49 ± 11 years, 72.7% were obese, with a predominance of mixed (49.1%) and black (41.8%) ethnicity. After eight weeks, the Meditation Group showed a mean reduction in total stress of -17.4 (IC 95% -19.5 to -15.3 p < 0.001). In eating behavior, a mean reduction of -7.9 (p < 0.001) in external eating, of -11.4 (p < 0.0001) in emotional eating, and a rise of 9.6 (p < 0.0001) in restrained eating were found. Score levels remained stable between the 8th and 16th week. Binge eating had a mean variation of -22.2%(p = 0.011).

The addition of Healing Meditation to the standard weight-loss treatment may significantly reduce stress and produce positive changes in the eating behavior of overweight and obese women.

Trial registration:

Keywords: Binge eating; Eating behavior; HPA-Axis; Healing; Meditation; Stress.

PMID: 34352597 DOI: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2021.101468