Mind Neuroscience News

Is mindfulness meditation good medicine?

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Yes, apparently, when properly used, according to a recent piece in Scientific American:

Indeed, some support exists for the efficacy of such training in ameliorating symptoms of depression and possibly anxiety. In a 2010 meta-analysis (quantitative review), psychologist Stefan Hofmann of Boston University and his colleagues examined studies that tested both forms of mindfulness meditation as a remedy for anxiety disorders and depression. They found that the meditation sessions led to significant improvements in both conditions immediately after therapy, as well as approximately three months later. Given the relatively small number of well-designed studies available at that time, however, the authors were appropriately cautious in their conclusions.

Still, a 2013 meta-analysis partly backs up the 2010 assessment. In that review, psychologist Bassam Khoury, then at the University of Montreal, and his colleagues found that both types of mindfulness-based therapies were effective for depression and anxiety disorders, though not more so than cognitive therapy without mindfulness.

One problem that afflicts the field is how to classify mental health concerns. As authors Arkowitz and Lilienfeld point out,

… some studies include individuals afflicted with anxiety disorders who also have significant health problems such as cancer, whereas others do not. How well mindfulness works may depend somewhat on the source of a patient’s anxiety.

Yes indeed. Some people, for example, live in dangerous places or with dangerous people, to say nothing of living with life-threatening diseases. Possibly, what’s most relevant here is whether the patient’s anxiety stems from a threat that could just be ignored without risk.

Some people obsess about spiders in the basement; others about the tenant downstairs who is off his meds and has acquired a gun …

Crippling anxiety is not a reasonable reaction to life. But sometimes it has reasonable causes and sometimes not. How mindfulness could help might differ a great deal, depending on a true threat assessment.

One problem that afflicts the whole field is the need to pretend that the mind is just an illusion. Every three months or so, it seems, a new gimcrack “explanation” appears for consciousness. Yet see what great physicists have said about consciousness as immaterial.

By the very nature of the case, part of what is happening to any human person is what they think is happening to them, Watch for my upcoming series on how materialism tackles the mind, and spins out into thin air.

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6 Replies to “Is mindfulness meditation good medicine?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    If you like meditating with music, Here is some good medicine for you:

    This guy starts to play on a public street. As soon as he touches his guitar…magic happens. – video
    http://www.frequency.com/video...../-/5-23917

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    that link seems to be funky, here is the youtube link:

    This guy starts to play on a public street. As soon as he touches his guitar…magic happens. – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsmeuC38nkw

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    a few related studies;

    Scientists Finally Show How Your Thoughts Can Cause Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes, – December 10, 2013
    Excerpt: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice,” says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    “Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs,” says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.,,,
    the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.
    http://www.tunedbody.com/scien.....ges-genes/

    Networks of Genes Respond to Social Experiences – October 13, 2013
    Excerpt: It is subjective mind and perception that changes genes, not just external situations.
    http://jonlieffmd.com/blog/net.....xperiences

    How those marital rows can be bad for your health by JENNY HOPE – December 2005
    Excerpt: Married couples who constantly argue risk damaging their health, according to a study.
    It found that marital rows can prolong the time it takes the body to heal itself after an injury.
    One argument alone can slow this process by a day.
    And the study claims that when married couples feel consistently hostile towards one another, the delay in the healing process can be doubled.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/hea.....ealth.html

    To point out the obvious, findings such as these, in which mental states change genetic expression, are directly contrary to the materialistic assumption that we are merely helpless ‘victims of our genes’. Victims who are forever trapped to whatever misfortune our genes happen to throw at us. ‘Mental states’ which give us a certain measure of control over our ‘genetic fate’:

    The health benefits of happiness – Mark Easton – 2006
    Excerpt: “It’s not just that if you’re physically well you’re likely to be happy but actually the opposite way round,” said Dr Cox.
    (Extensive studies show that) “If you are happy you are (much more) likely in the future to have less in the way of physical illness than those who are unhappy”.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/pro.....924180.stm

    Proverbs 17:22
    A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

    Are Religious People Happier Than Atheists? – 2000
    Excerpt: there does indeed appear to be a link between religion and happiness. Several studies have been done, but to give an example, one study found that the more frequently people attended religious events, the happier they were; 47% of people who attended several types a week reported that they were ‘very happy’, as opposed to 28% who attended less than monthly.
    http://generallythinking.com/a.....-atheists/

    Music and Verse:

    Chris Tomlin – Joy to the World (unspeakable Joy) – Lyrics
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC3SwhJsLqU

    Psalm 16:11
    You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: The Biology of the Second Reich: Social Darwinism and the Origins of World War 1 – video 14 min.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n900e80R30

  5. 5
    Acartia_bogart says:

    The idea of ‘mind over matter’ is well known. It is why we require double blind studies for drug studies. The way we feel affects our body and brain chemistry. We can also intentionally trigger anxiety attacks and resolve them all through our knowledge of body chemistry, without the use of externally administered drugs.

  6. 6
    idnet.com.au says:

    My understanding of mindfulness is that it largely involves the modification of desires. If I am poor and I want to be rich then I become frustrated and sad. If I am poor and I don’t desire riches then my life is not as sad. This seems to make sense to me.

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