By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

Oct 07, 2007

Mastery of the mind east and west

Mastery of the Mind East and West: Excellence in Being and Doing and Everyday Happiness.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Sep 28;

Authors: Brown DP

Western psychological research on positive psychology and Buddhism have recently converged in their emphasis on the development of positive states, like states of excellence and veryday happiness. Yet, these traditions differ in their approaches to positive states, with respect to a state-trait and doing-being distinction. Western scientific research on peak performance emphasizes discontinuous, time-limited peak performance states wherein individuals do things extraordinarily well in sports and in the arts. The Eastern spiritual traditions emphasize continuous excellence of being, in the form of traits or character strengths. In both traditions mental imagery is a key ingredient to excellence training. With respect to everyday happiness, Western psychological research has focused on the role of meaning systems in the transformation of flow states into vital engagement in everyday life, while Buddhism stresses the role of meditation training to gain mastery over all levels of mind that leads to everyday happiness. Rorschach and tachistoscopic research on advanced meditators suggests that advance meditators have gained unusual mastery over states of mind not yet documented in the Western psychological research on positive psychology.

Oct 01, 2007

Survival in HIV-1-positve adults practicing psychological or spiritual activities

Survival in HIV-1-positve adults practicing psychological or spiritual activities for one year.

Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Sep-Oct;13(5):18-20, 22-4

Authors: Fitzpatrick AL, Standish LJ, Berger J, Kim JG, Calabrese C, Polissar N

OBJECTIVE: To investigate associations between survival and use of psychological and spiritual activities practiced over 1 year in HIV-positive (HIV+) patients. METHOD: Nine hundred one HIV+ adults living in the United States using at least 1 form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) completed a questionnaire 3 times between 1995 and 1998. Information on specific mind-body therapies included psychotherapy (group therapy, support groups, individual therapy) and spiritual therapies (self-defined "spiritual" activities, prayer, meditation, affirmations, psychic healing, visualizations). Subsequent death was ascertained from the National Death Index (NDI). Cox proportional-hazards regression assessed risk of death through 1999. RESULTS: Use of any psychological therapy reported in both the 6-month and 12-month follow-up questionnaires (1 year continuous use) was associated with a reduced risk of death (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.5, 95% CI: 0.3-0.9) adjusted for income, clinical acquired immune deficiency syndrome, CD4 count, smoking, alcohol use, and use of antiretroviral therapy or highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). The relationship between spiritual activities and survival was modified by use of HAART, which may reflect severity of illness. Individuals not currently using HAART and who participated in spiritual activities over the previous year were found to be at a reduced risk of death (HR: 0.4, 95% CI: 0.2-0.9) compared to those not practicing spirituality. CONCLUSIONS: Participation in spiritual and psychological therapies may be related to beneficial clinical outcomes in HIV+ individuals, including improved survival. Due to the self-selection of therapies in this observational cohort, it is not possible to distinguish use of the therapies from other characteristics or activities of the people participating in them.

Relationships between mindfulness practice and wellbeing

Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and well-being in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program.

J Behav Med. 2007 Sep 25;

Authors: Carmody J, Baer RA

Relationships were investigated between home practice of mindfulness meditation exercises and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms, perceived stress, and psychological well-being in a sample of 174 adults in a clinical Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. This is an 8- session group program for individuals dealing with stress-related problems, illness, anxiety, and chronic pain. Participants completed measures of mindfulness, perceived stress, symptoms, and well-being at pre- and post-MBSR, and monitored their home practice time throughout the intervention. Results showed increases in mindfulness and well-being, and decreases in stress and symptoms, from pre- to post-MBSR. Time spent engaging in home practice of formal meditation exercises (body scan, yoga, sitting meditation) was significantly related to extent of improvement in most facets of mindfulness and several measures of symptoms and well-being. Increases in mindfulness were found to mediate the relationships between formal mindfulness practice and improvements in psychological functioning, suggesting that the practice of mindfulness meditation leads to increases in mindfulness, which in turn leads to symptom reduction and improved well-being.

Sep 20, 2007

Psychophysiological effects of breathing instructions for stress management

Psychophysiological effects of breathing instructions for stress management.

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2007 Jun;32(2):89-98

Authors: Conrad A, Müller A, Doberenz S, Kim S, Meuret AE, Wollburg E, Roth WT

Stressed and tense individuals often are recommended to change the way they breathe. However, psychophysiological effects of breathing instructions on respiration are rarely measured. We tested the immediate effects of short and simple breathing instructions in 13 people seeking treatment for panic disorder, 15 people complaining of daily tension, and 15 controls. Participants underwent a 3-hour laboratory session during which instructions to direct attention to breathing and anti-hyperventilation instructions to breathe more slowly, shallowly, or both were given. Respiratory, cardiac, and electrodermal measures were recorded. The anti-hyperventilation instructions failed to raise end-tidal pCO(2) above initial baseline levels for any of the groups because changes in respiratory rate were compensated for by changes in tidal volume and vice versa. Paying attention to breathing significantly reduced respiratory rate and decreased tidal volume instability compared to the other instructions. Shallow breathing made all groups more anxious than did other instructions. Heart rate and skin conductance were not differentially affected by instructions. We conclude that simple and short instructions to alter breathing do not change respiratory or autonomic measures in the direction of relaxation, except for attention to breathing, which increases respiratory stability. To understand the results of breathing instructions for stress and anxiety management, respiration needs to be monitored physiologically.

Sep 06, 2007

Changes in heart rate variability during concentration meditation.

Changes in heart rate variability during concentration meditation.

Int J Cardiol. 2007 Aug 29;

Authors: Phongsuphap S, Pongsupap Y, Chandanamattha P, Lursinsap C

This study aims at investigating changes in heart rate variability (HRV) measured during meditation. The statistical and spectral measures of HRV from the RR intervals were analyzed. Results indicate that meditation may have different effects on health depending on frequency of the resonant peak that each meditator can achieve. The possible effects may concern resetting baroreflex sensitivity, increasing the parasympathetic tone, and improving efficiency of gas exchange in the lung.

Sep 05, 2007

Effects of level of meditation experience on attentional focus

Effects of level of meditation experience on attentional focus: is the efficiency of executive or orientation networks improved?

J Altern Complement Med. 2007 Jul-Aug;13(6):651-8

Authors: Chan D, Woollacott M

The present investigation examined the contributions of specific attentional networks to long-term trait effects of meditation. It was hypothesized that meditation could improve the efficiency of executive processing (inhibits prepotent/incorrect responses) or orientational processing (orients to specific objects in the attentional field). Participants (50 meditators and 10 controls) were given the Stroop (measures executive attention) and Global-Local Letters (measures orientational attention) tasks. Results showed that meditation experience was associated with reduced interference on the Stroop task (p < 0.03), in contrast with a lack of effect on interference in the Global-Local Letters task. This suggests that meditation produces long-term increases in the efficiency of the executive attentional network (anterior cingulate/prefrontal cortex) but no effect on the orientation network (parietal systems). The amount of time participants spent meditating each day, rather than the total number of hours of meditative practice over their lifetime, was negatively correlated with interference on the Stroop task (r = -0.31, p < 0.005).

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for generalized anxiety disorder

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for generalized anxiety disorder.

J Anxiety Disord. 2007 Jul 22;

Authors: Evans S, Ferrando S, Findler M, Stowell C, Smart C, Haglin D

While cognitive behavior therapy has been found to be effective in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a significant percentage of patients struggle with residual symptoms. There is some conceptual basis for suggesting that cultivation of mindfulness may be helpful for people with GAD. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a group treatment derived from mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and colleagues. MBSR uses training in mindfulness meditation as the core of the program. MBCT incorporates cognitive strategies and has been found effective in reducing relapse in patients with major depression (Teasdale, J. D., Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G., Ridgeway, V., Soulsby, J., & Lau, M. (2000). Prevention of relapse/recurrence in major depression by mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 6, 615-623). METHOD: Eligible subjects recruited to a major academic medical center participated in the group MBCT course and completed measures of anxiety, worry, depressive symptoms, mood states and mindful awareness in everyday life at baseline and end of treatment. RESULTS: Eleven subjects (six female and five male) with a mean age of 49 (range=36-72) met criteria and completed the study. There were significant reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms from baseline to end of treatment. CONCLUSION: MBCT may be an acceptable and potentially effective treatment for reducing anxiety and mood symptoms and increasing awareness of everyday experiences in patients with GAD. Future directions include development of a randomized clinical trial of MBCT for GAD.

Aug 04, 2007

Mindfulness training modifies subsystems of attention

Mindfulness training modifies subsystems of attention.

Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2007 Jun;7(2):109-19

Authors: Jha AP, Krompinger J, Baime MJ

Mindfulness is defined as paying attention in the present moment. We investigate the hypothesis that mindfulness training may alter or enhance specific aspects of attention. We examined three functionally and neuroanatomically distinct but overlapping attentional subsystems: alerting, orienting, and conflict monitoring. Functioning of each subsystem was indexed by performance on the Attention Network Test. Two types of mindfulness training (MT) programs were examined, and behavioral testing was conducted on participants before (Time 1) and after (Time 2) training. One training group consisted of individuals naive to mindfulness techniques who participated in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course that emphasized the development of concentrative meditation skills. The other training group consisted of individuals experienced in concentrative meditation techniques who participated in a 1-month intensive mindfulness retreat. Performance of these groups was compared with that of control participants who were meditation naive and received no MT. At Time 1, the participants in the retreat group demonstrated improved conflict monitoring performance relative to those in the MBSR and control groups. At Time 2, the participants in the MBSR course demonstrated significantly improved orienting in comparison with the control and retreat participants. In contrast, the participants in the retreat group demonstrated altered performance on the alerting component, with improvements in exogenous stimulus detection in comparison with the control and MBSR participants. The groups did not differ in conflict monitoring performance at Time 2. These results suggest that mindfulness training may improve attention-related behavioral responses by enhancing functioning of specific subcomponents of attention. Whereas participation in the MBSR course improved the ability to endogenously orient attention, retreat participation appeared to allow for the development and emergence of receptive attentional skills, which improved exogenous alerting-related process.

Aug 01, 2007

Yoga Asana sessions increase brain GABA levels: a pilot study

Yoga Asana sessions increase brain GABA levels: a pilot study.

J Altern Complement Med. 2007 May;13(4):419-26

Authors: Streeter CC, Jensen JE, Perlmutter RM, Cabral HJ, Tian H, Terhune DB, Ciraulo DA, Renshaw PF

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to compare changes in brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels associated with an acute yoga session versus a reading session. It was hypothesized that an individual yoga session would be associated with an increase in brain GABA levels. DESIGN: This is a parallel-groups design. SETTINGS/LOCATION: Screenings, scan acquisitions, and interventions took place at medical school-affiliated centers. SUBJECTS: The sample comprised 8 yoga practitioners and 11 comparison subjects. INTERVENTIONS: Yoga practitioners completed a 60-minute yoga session and comparison subjects completed a 60-minute reading session. OUTCOME MEASURES: GABA-to-creatine ratios were measured in a 2-cm axial slab using magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging immediately prior to and immediately after interventions. RESULTS: There was a 27% increase in GABA levels in the yoga practitioner group after the yoga session (0.20 mmol/kg) but no change in the comparison subject group after the reading session ( -0.001 mmol/kg) (t = -2.99, df = 7.87, p = 0.018). CONCLUSIONS:These findings demonstrate that in experienced yoga practitioners, brain GABA levels increase after a session of yoga. This suggests that the practice of yoga should be explored as a treatment for disorders with low GABA levels such as depression and anxiety disorders. Future studies should compare yoga to other forms of exercise to help determine whether yoga or exercise alone can alter GABA levels.

22:34 Posted in Meditation & brain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: meditation

Jul 29, 2007

Age effects on gray matter volume and attentional performance in Zen meditation

Age effects on gray matter volume and attentional performance in Zen meditation.

Neurobiol Aging. 2007 Jul 24;

Authors: Pagnoni G, Cekic M

Zen meditation, a Buddhist practice centered on attentional and postural self-regulation, has been speculated to bring about beneficial long-term effects for the individual, ranging from stress reduction to improvement of cognitive function. In this study, we examined how the regular practice of meditation may affect the normal age-related decline of cerebral gray matter volume and attentional performance observed in healthy individuals. Voxel-based morphometry for MRI anatomical brain images and a computerized sustained attention task were employed in 13 regular practitioners of Zen meditation and 13 matched controls. While control subjects displayed the expected negative correlation of both gray matter volume and attentional performance with age, meditators did not show a significant correlation of either measure with age. The effect of meditation on gray matter volume was most prominent in the putamen, a structure strongly implicated in attentional processing. These findings suggest that the regular practice of meditation may have neuroprotective effects and reduce the cognitive decline associated with normal aging.

Jul 23, 2007

Neural correlates of dispositional mindfulness during affect labeling

Neural correlates of dispositional mindfulness during affect labeling.

Psychosom Med. 2007 Jul;69(6):560-5

Authors: Creswell JD, Way BM, Eisenberger NI, Lieberman MD

Objective: Mindfulness is a process whereby one is aware and receptive to present moment experiences. Although mindfulness-enhancing interventions reduce pathological mental and physical health symptoms across a wide variety of conditions and diseases, the mechanisms underlying these effects remain unknown. Converging evidence from the mindfulness and neuroscience literature suggests that labeling affect may be one mechanism for these effects. Methods: Participants (n = 27) indicated trait levels of mindfulness and then completed an affect labeling task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. The labeling task consisted of matching facial expressions to appropriate affect words (affect labeling) or to gender-appropriate names (gender labeling control task). Results: After controlling for multiple individual difference measures, dispositional mindfulness was associated with greater widespread prefrontal cortical activation, and reduced bilateral amygdala activity during affect labeling, compared with the gender labeling control task. Further, strong negative associations were found between areas of prefrontal cortex and right amygdala responses in participants high in mindfulness but not in participants low in mindfulness. Conclusions: The present findings with a dispositional measure of mindfulness suggest one potential neurocognitive mechanism for understanding how mindfulness meditation interventions reduce negative affect and improve health outcomes, showing that mindfulness is associated with enhanced prefrontal cortical regulation of affect through labeling of negative affective stimuli.

Jul 06, 2007

Mind-body interventions for chronic pain in older adults: a structured review

Mind-body interventions for chronic pain in older adults: a structured review.

Pain Med. 2007 May;8(4):359-75

Authors: Morone NE, Greco CM

Study Design. We conducted a structured review of eight mind-body interventions for older adults with chronic nonmalignant pain. Objectives. To evaluate the feasibility, safety, and evidence for pain reduction in older adults with chronic nonmalignant pain in the following mind-body therapies: biofeedback, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, guided imagery, hypnosis, tai chi, qi gong, and yoga. Methods. Relevant studies in the MEDLINE, PsycINFO, AMED, and CINAHL databases were located. A manual search of references from retrieved articles was also conducted. Of 381 articles retrieved through search strategies, 20 trials that included older adults with chronic pain were reviewed. Results. Fourteen articles included participants aged 50 years and above, while only two of these focused specifically on persons aged >/=65 years. An additional six articles included persons aged >/=50 years. Fourteen articles were controlled trials. There is some support for the efficacy of progressive muscle relaxation plus guided imagery for osteoarthritis pain. There is limited support for meditation and tai chi for improving function or coping in older adults with low back pain or osteoarthritis. In an uncontrolled biofeedback trial that stratified by age group, both older and younger adults had significant reductions in pain following the intervention. Several studies included older adults, but did not analyze benefits by age. Tai chi, yoga, hypnosis, and progressive muscle relaxation were significantly associated with pain reduction in these studies. Conclusion. The eight mind-body interventions reviewed are feasible in an older population. They are likely safe, but many of the therapies included modifications tailored for older adults. There is not yet sufficient evidence to conclude that these eight mind-body interventions reduce chronic nonmalignant pain in older adults. Further research should focus on larger, clinical trials of mind-body interventions to answer this question.

Jun 29, 2007

Neural correlates of attentional expertise in long-term meditation practitioners

Neural correlates of attentional expertise in long-term meditation practitioners.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jun 27;

Authors: Brefczynski-Lewis JA, Lutz A, Schaefer HS, Levinson DB, Davidson RJ

Meditation refers to a family of mental training practices that are designed to familiarize the practitioner with specific types of mental processes. One of the most basic forms of meditation is concentration meditation, in which sustained attention is focused on an object such as a small visual stimulus or the breath. In age-matched participants, using functional MRI, we found that activation in a network of brain regions typically involved in sustained attention showed an inverted u-shaped curve in which expert meditators (EMs) with an average of 19,000 h of practice had more activation than novices, but EMs with an average of 44,000 h had less activation. In response to distracter sounds used to probe the meditation, EMs vs. novices had less brain activation in regions related to discursive thoughts and emotions and more activation in regions related to response inhibition and attention. Correlation with hours of practice suggests possible plasticity in these mechanisms.

Meditation among incarcerated individuals

PTSD symptoms, substance use, and vipassana meditation among incarcerated individuals.

J Trauma Stress. 2007 Jun 27;20(3):239-249

Authors: Simpson TL, Kaysen D, Bowen S, Macpherson LM, Chawla N, Blume A, Marlatt GA, Larimer M

The present study evaluated whether Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptom severity was associated with participation and treatment outcomes comparing a Vipassana meditation course to treatment as usual in an incarcerated sample. This study utilizes secondary data. The original study demonstrated that Vipassana meditation is associated with reductions in substance use. The present study found that PTSD symptom severity did not differ significantly between those who did and did not volunteer to take the course. Participation in the Vipassana course was associated with significantly greater reductions in substance use than treatment as usual, regardless of PTSD symptom severity levels. These results suggest that Vipassana meditation is worthy of further study for those with comorbid PTSD and substance use problems.

Jun 05, 2007

Mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic low back pain

Mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic low back pain in older adults: A randomized controlled pilot study.

Pain. 2007 May 31;

Authors: Morone NE, Greco CM, Weiner DK

The objectives of this pilot study were to assess the feasibility of recruitment and adherence to an eight-session mindfulness meditation program for community-dwelling older adults with chronic low back pain (CLBP) and to develop initial estimates of treatment effects. It was designed as a randomized, controlled clinical trial. Participants were 37 community-dwelling older adults aged 65 years and older with CLBP of moderate intensity occurring daily or almost every day. Participants were randomized to an 8-week mindfulness-based meditation program or to a wait-list control group. Baseline, 8-week and 3-month follow-up measures of pain, physical function, and quality of life were assessed. Eighty-nine older adults were screened and 37 found to be eligible and randomized within a 6-month period. The mean age of the sample was 74.9 years, 21/37 (57%) of participants were female and 33/37 (89%) were white. At the end of the intervention 30/37 (81%) participants completed 8-week assessments. Average class attendance of the intervention arm was 6.7 out of 8. They meditated an average of 4.3 days a week and the average minutes per day was 31.6. Compared to the control group, the intervention group displayed significant improvement in the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire Total Score and Activities Engagement subscale (P=.008, P=.004) and SF-36 Physical Function (P=.03). An 8-week mindfulness-based meditation program is feasible for older adults with CLBP. The program may lead to improvement in pain acceptance and physical function.

May 16, 2007

Does mindfulness meditation improve anxiety and mood symptoms?

Does mindfulness meditation improve anxiety and mood symptoms? A review of the controlled research.

Can J Psychiatry.
2007 Apr;52(4):260-6

Authors: Toneatto T, Nguyen L

OBJECTIVE: To review the impact of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on symptoms of anxiety and depression in a range of clinical populations. METHOD: Our review included any study that was published in a peer-reviewed journal, used a control group, and reported outcomes related to changes in depression and anxiety. We extracted the following key variables from each of the 15 studies identified: anxiety or depression outcomes after the MBSR program, measurement of compliance with MBSR instructions, type of control group included, type of clinical population studied, and length of follow-up. We also summarized modifications to the MBSR program. RESULTS: Measures of depression and anxiety were included as outcome variables for a broad range of medical and emotional disorders. Evidence for a beneficial effect of MBSR on depression and anxiety was equivocal. When active control groups were used, MBSR did not show an effect on depression and anxiety. Adherence to the MBSR program was infrequently assessed. Where it was assessed, the relation between practising mindfulness and changes in depression and anxiety was equivocal. CONCLUSIONS: MBSR does not have a reliable effect on depression and anxiety.

May 14, 2007

Mental Training Affects Distribution of Limited Brain Resources

Mental Training Affects Distribution of Limited Brain Resources.

PLoS Biol. 2007 May 8;5(6):e138

Authors: Slagter HA, Lutz A, Greischar LL, Francis AD, Nieuwenhuis S, Davis JM, Davidson RJ

The information processing capacity of the human mind is limited, as is evidenced by the so-called "attentional-blink" deficit: When two targets (T1 and T2) embedded in a rapid stream of events are presented in close temporal proximity, the second target is often not seen. This deficit is believed to result from competition between the two targets for limited attentional resources. Here we show, using performance in an attentional-blink task and scalp-recorded brain potentials, that meditation, or mental training, affects the distribution of limited brain resources. Three months of intensive mental training resulted in a smaller attentional blink and reduced brain-resource allocation to the first target, as reflected by a smaller T1-elicited P3b, a brain-potential index of resource allocation. Furthermore, those individuals that showed the largest decrease in brain-resource allocation to T1 generally showed the greatest reduction in attentional-blink size. These observations provide novel support for the view that the ability to accurately identify T2 depends upon the efficient deployment of resources to T1. The results also demonstrate that mental training can result in increased control over the distribution of limited brain resources. Our study supports the idea that plasticity in brain and mental function exists throughout life and illustrates the usefulness of systematic mental training in the study of the human mind.

19:24 Posted in Meditation & brain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: meditation

May 07, 2007

Spirituality and addiction: a research and clinical perspective

Spirituality and addiction: a research and clinical perspective.

Am J Addict. 2006 Jul-Aug;15(4):286-92

Authors: Galanter M

Spirituality is a construct that has recently gained currency among clinicians because of its close association with twelve-step modalities and its perceived role in the promotion of meaningfulness in recovery from addiction. This article draws on studies from physiology, psychology, and cross-cultural sources to examine its nature and its relationship to substance use disorders. Illustrations of its potential and limitations as a component of treatment in spiritually oriented recovery movements like Alcoholics Anonymous, meditative practices, and treatment systems for the dually diagnosed are given.

Apr 15, 2007

Effects of meditation on frontal alpha-asymmetry in previously suicidal individuals

Effects of meditation on frontal alpha-asymmetry in previously suicidal individuals.

Neuroreport. 2007 May 7;18(7):709-12

Authors: Barnhofer T, Duggan D, Crane C, Hepburn S, Fennell MJ, Williams JM

This study investigated the effects of a meditation-based treatment for preventing relapse to depression, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), on prefrontal alpha-asymmetry in resting electroencephalogram (EEG), a biological indicator of affective style. Twenty-two individuals with a previous history of suicidal depression were randomly assigned to either MBCT (N=10) or treatment-as-usual (TAU, N=12). Resting electroencephalogram was measured before and after an 8-week course of treatment. The TAU group showed a significant deterioration toward decreased relative left-frontal activation, indexing decreases in positive affective style, while there was no significant change in the MBCT group. The findings suggest that MBCT can help individuals at high risk for suicidal depression to retain a balanced pattern of baseline emotion-related brain activation.

Mar 05, 2007

Mindfulness meditation and alcohol use

The role of thought suppression in the relationship between mindfulness meditation and alcohol use.

Addict Behav. 2007 Jan 23;

Authors: Bowen S, Witkiewitz K, Dillworth TM, Marlatt GA

Previous studies have demonstrated that attempts to suppress thoughts about using substances may actually lead to increases in substance use. Vipassana, a mindfulness meditation practice, emphasizes acceptance, rather than suppression, of unwanted thoughts. A study by Bowen and colleagues examining the effects of a Vipassana course on substance use in an incarcerated population showed significant reductions in substance use among the Vipassana group as compared to a treatment - usual control condition [Bowen S., Witkiewitz K., Dillworth T.M., Chawla N., Simpson T.L., Ostafin B.D., et al. (2006). Mindfulness Meditation and Substance Use in an Incarcerated Population. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.]. The current study further examines the mediating effects of thought suppression in the relationship between participation in the course and subsequent alcohol use. Those who participated in the course reported significant decreases in avoidance of thoughts when compared to controls. The decrease in avoidance partially mediated effects of the course on post-release alcohol use and consequences.

19:38 Posted in Meditation & brain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: meditation