Studies/Articles/Benefits of Mindfulness

The past few years have seen a flurry of scientific studies showing the incredible benefits of mindfulness practice. Below is a short list of findings from the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine:

A little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation. (Zeidan, Journal of Neuroscience)

You don’t have to be a seasoned meditator to see positive changes to your brain. New meditators who went through an 8-week meditation program saw changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved with learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking. (Lazar, Psychiatry Research, 2011)

Increases in mindfulness correlated with reductions in burnout and total mood disturbance, as well as increased stress resilience. (Krasner, JAMA).

Participants who received mindfulness training showed a 42% decrease in the frequency and severity of primary IBS symptoms. (G. Andersson, Behavior Research and Therapy)

Mindfulness meditation is affecting brain activity. Brain waves associated with integration increase during compassion meditation. When meditating, brain scans found increased activity in the following areas of the brain: insula, termporal pole/ superior temporal gyrus, anterior cingulate, while the amygdala is less active. Overall, this is consistent with decreased arousal and an increased sense of well- being. (S. Lazar)

Meditation improves attention. (Jha et al., 2007), (Slagter 2007), (Pagnoni & Cekic 2007), (Valentine & Sweet, 1999)

Below is a list of recent articles and studies about mindfulness:

Science Journal, Dec. 13, 2013
Study Reveals Gene Expression Changes With Meditation

Massachusetts General Hospital, Nov. 12, 2012
Meditation appears to produce enduring changes in emotional processing in the brain

Daily Mail UK June 12, 2012
Meditation improves brain wiring in just one month

Time Magazine, Jan. 11, 2012
Mind Reading: Meditation isn’t just for hippies anymore. And it’s not all about saying ommmm. 

ABC News, Nov. 22, 2011
Brain Imaging Illuminates Neuro Basis of Meditation

The Washington Post, Feb. 18, 2013
Mindfulness and meditation training could ease PTSD symptoms, researchers say

The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 15, 2011
Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain: Brain Scans Fuel Efforts to Teach Patients How to Short-Circuit Hurtful Signals

Psychology Today, April 26, 2011
Mindfulness: Potent Medicine for Easing Physical Suffering

The Huffington Post, March 7, 2012
Why Mindfulness Meditation Makes Us Healthier

Oncology, Nurse Edition, Oct. 19, 2010
Integrative Oncology: Mindfulness Meditation

The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine:
Mindfulness or Medication: Who Will Beat Insomnia?

Harvard Gazette, Feb. 2, 2006
Meditation Found to Increase Brain Size

Huffington Post Healthy Living, May 24, 2012
How to Best Help Alzheimer’s Caregivers? Teach Them Mindfulness

Wildmind, No. 29, 2011
The Science of Lovingkindness