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Mindfulness and Meditation in Schools: Mindful Kids, Peaceful Schools

Mind­ful Kids, Peace­ful Schools

With eyes closed and deep breaths, stu­dents are learn­ing a new method to reduce anx­i­ety, con­flict, and atten­tion dis­or­ders. But don’t call it med­i­ta­tion.

— By Jill Sut­tie

At Tolu­ca Lake ele­men­tary school in Los Ange­les, a cyclone fence enclos­es the asphalt black­top, which is teem­ing with kids. It’s recess time and the kids, who are most­ly mindfulness exercises for teenagersLati­no, are play­ing tag, yelling, throw­ing balls, and jump­ing rope. When the bell rings, they reluc­tant­ly stop and head back to their class­rooms except for Daniel Mur­phy’s sec­ond grade class.

Mur­phy’s stu­dents file into the school audi­to­ri­um, each car­ry­ing a round blue pil­low dec­o­rat­ed with white stars. They enter gig­gling and chat­ting, but soon they are seat­ed in a cir­cle on their cush­ions, eyes closed, qui­et and con­cen­trat­ing. Two teach­ers give the chil­dren instruc­tions on how to pay atten­tion to their breath­ing, telling them to notice the rise and fall of their bel­lies and chests, the pas­sage of air in and out of their noses. Though the room is chilly the heat­ing sys­tem broke down ear­li­er that day the chil­dren appear com­fort­able, many with Read the rest of this entry »

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

Online Brain Fitness Gym

See our sec­ond press release below, and vis­it our Press Room for the great press we are start­ing to get about our brain fit­ness gym.

Spe­cial Offer: For a lim­it­ed time, you can receive a com­pli­men­ta­ry copy of our Brain Fit­ness 101 e‑Guide: Answers to your Top 25 Ques­tions, writ­ten by Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg and Alvaro Fer­nan­dez, by sub­scrib­ing to our month­ly newslet­ter. You can sub­scribe Here.

Sharp­Brains intro­duces First Online Brain Fit­ness Cen­ter

Unique, Full-Ser­vice, Sci­ence-Based Fit­ness Cen­ter Ush­ers in the Next Work­out Rev­o­lu­tion: Men­tal Exer­cise

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Thirty years after the emer­gence of the exer­cise boom, the fit­ness rev­o­lu­tion has final­ly gone to peo­ple’s heads: SharpBrains.com has launched the first online brain fit­ness cen­ter. Com­plete with a vari­ety of sci­ence-based men­tal exer­cise equip­ment, per­son­al brain train­ers, and near­ly 200 arti­cles, inter­ac­tive blog post­ings and inter­views with indus­try experts, Sharp­Brains is spear­head­ing the evo­lu­tion of the fit­ness indus­try to include a sound mind as well as a healthy body.

The new men­tal exer­cise move­ment is found­ed on using struc­tured, com­put­er-based brain fit­ness rou­tines tai­lored to each mem­ber’s spe­cif­ic needs and lev­el of abil­i­ty. Just as crunch­es and kick-box­ing tone abs and increase car­dio strength, Read the rest of this entry »

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