In the 1960's Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical School was one of the first people to recognise and measure the physiological effects of meditation. Benson became convinced that meditation was a distinct type of therapy and he referred to it's therapeutic effect as the relaxation response. This was the opposite of the fight-or-flight response.
Benson went on to study monks from India and Tibet, and he studied the extent that health might be affected by thoughts and lifestyle. He referred to this aspect of health maintenance as behavioural medicine. The value of his work can be found in the evidence that he produced showing that the mind and body do affect each other.
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