The major foundation for meditation's popularity, especially as a benefit to personal health, is the belief that the mind can cause changes in the body. Many cultures, particularly those in Asia where meditative strategies have long been included in health regimens, have relied on this idea for millennia. A more recent underlying belief is the idea that stress itself has harmful effects on the body. Because meditation emphasizes mental training and relaxation and imparts a sense of control, it is considered a potent agent against stress and anxiety. That is part of the reason that meditation has gained widespread acceptance as a valid, beneficial medical therapy.
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