From Meditation to MBSR

meditationVery nice Los Ange­les Times arti­cle on the grow­ing research behind, and accep­tance of, med­i­ta­tion in main­stream med­i­cine (through what is called Mind­ful­ness-Based Stress Reduc­tion, or MBSR): Doc­tor’s orders: Cross your legs and say ‘Om’.

A few quotes:

- “It appears to work. In a new study, pub­lished in Octo­ber in the jour­nal Pain, Natalia Morone, an assis­tant pro­fes­sor of med­i­cine at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Pitts­burgh, tracked the effect of mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion on chron­ic low­er back pain in adults 65 and old­er. The ran­dom­ized, con­trolled clin­i­cal tri­al found that the 37 peo­ple who par­tic­i­pat­ed in an eight-week mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion pro­gram had sig­nif­i­cant­ly greater pain accep­tance and phys­i­cal func­tion than a sim­i­lar size con­trol group. Sub­se­quent­ly, the con­trol group took the same eight-week pro­gram and had sim­i­lar results.”

- “As a med­i­ta­tor, I learned the val­ue of being present and how that allows clar­i­ty in pro­cess­ing our dai­ly lives,” Zeltzer said. “The clin­i­cal team sees chil­dren with chron­ic pain who are very dif­fi­cult to treat and have been to many oth­er spe­cial­ists and feel dis­cour­aged by the time they come to us. I felt that learn­ing to med­i­tate would help the team feel a sense of bal­ance and equa­nim­i­ty in the face of the anx­i­ety and dis­tress brought to them by these patients and their families.”

- “SCIENTISTS have stud­ied the effects of med­i­ta­tion on pain for near­ly three decades, ever since 1979, when MIT-trained micro­bi­ol­o­gist Jon Kabat-Zinn, pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus and founder of the Cen­ter for Mind­ful­ness at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mass­a­chu­setts Med­ical Cen­ter, used mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion in a 10-week pro­gram to teach chron­ic pain patients how to cope. Kabat-Zin­n’s 1990 best­seller, “Full Cat­a­stro­phe Liv­ing,” described the tech­nique he used — mind­ful­ness-based stress reduc­tion, or MBSR.”

Full arti­cle: Doc­tor’s orders: Cross your legs and say ‘Om’

Relat­ed posts:

- Mind­ful­ness-Based Stress Reduc­tion (MBSR) and oth­er stress man­age­ment techniques

- Mind & Life Institute

Pic: Den­nis Col­lette, via Flickr


  1. Albert | UrbanMonk.Net on November 15, 2007 at 5:42

    Hey, great stuff. I’ve always been look­ing for infor­ma­tion on the sci­en­tif­ic per­spec­tive on some­thing “spir­i­tu­al” like med­i­ta­tion, and this is some nice info. Thanks for dig­ging it up.

  2. Alvaro on November 16, 2007 at 10:25

    Thank you for stop­ping by, Albert. Yes, it is very inter­est­ing how prac­tices like med­i­ta­tion are being shown to have a clear effect on our brain, like Sharon Beg­ley wrote in her great book Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain.

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