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Yoga and Meditation Covered by Medicare

Mar 11th, 2013
Staff Writer

Yoga and meditation are now covered by Medicare and other insurance providers through the Doctor Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease. The first program scientifically proven to reverse the progression of heart disease, the program includes a low-fat, vegetarian nutrition plan, relaxation techniques to reduce stress, low-impact exercise such as yoga, and group support.

Over the course of 12 weeks, participants utilize each of these four components for an hour at a time. The Ornish Program “is a lifestyle modification program that enables participants to reverse many of the symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD),” as well as helps people “avoid invasive procedures such as bypass surgery or angioplasty,” according to the program website and West Virginia University.

Ornish’s scientific studies have shown, “for the first time, that the progression of even severe coronary heart disease can often be reversed by making comprehensive lifestyle changes,” according to the Preventive Medicine Research Institute. The bountiful benefits of yoga are beginning to be accepted by mainstream insurance agencies and many individuals as a way to bring awareness to one’s life.

“Awareness is the first step in healing,” the PMRI states on their website. “When we become more aware of how powerfully our choices in diet and lifestyle affect us—for better and for worse—then we can make different ones.”