Cheng's approach isn't unconventional. Meditation is a well-studied practice shown to have many health benefits. It's commonly prescribed as a way to help treat chronic disease and mood disorders. That makes meditation a natural fit, Cheng says, when older age brings physical, mental and emotional changes.
Meditation is associated with many psychological and physical benefits. "In general, it's been shown to decrease blood pressure and inflammation. And there's some data around improving coronary artery disease outcomes and helping with post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and headaches," Cheng says.
Cheng has noticed that some of her patients who meditate are able to reduce medications (such as antihypertensives and antidepressants) as their blood pressure, stress and depression decrease. She also observes that they experience greater well-being, increased peace and quality of life. "One thing I see commonly is people noticing the blessings and abundance in their lives. It increases gratitude for what they have," she says.