Research on Meditation and MBSR

Research on Meditation and MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction)(This is the tip of the iceberg on what is available in research)

The following comes from research by Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the University of Massachusetts’ Stress Reduction Clinic, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Massachusetts General Hospital Numerous studies show the positive effects of Meditation on the brain and in the well being of participants. This information was published in the Globe and Mail, Sunday Feb 20, 2011 in the article Meditation alters your grey matter, studies show.

Meditation and MBSR participants show increased grey-matter density in regions of the brain involving learning and memory, emotion regulation and self-awareness. And there was found to be a decrease in the amygdala(the brain region that controls anxiety) which was correlated to lower stress levels reported by participants.

A 2010 study found that non-meditators who had specific MBSR training were more likely than the control group to access the brain region that provides a sense of the “here and now” as opposed to the region associated with worry.

The studied MBSR program found this as an effective medical intervention for chronic pain and stress-related illnesses such as high blood pressure. Scientists found that graduates of an MBSR course produced more antibodies after flu shots than did non-meditators, which indicated a stronger immune response.

Mindfulness meditation helps to reduce stress by providing insight, among other things. The response to situations is often more the result of our habits of perception and attitude rather than the circumstances, explains L Sykes, a Toronto physician. The University of Toronto concluded that Mindful Meditation was as effective as antidepressants in preventing relapse from clinical depression.

A pilot study published in Health Education & Behavior and based at OSU showed that a 6 week program of guided workplace meditation and yoga improved sleep quality and decreased perceived stress and daytime dysfunction. There are numerous studies on the 8 week MBSR program and our own research and other documentation show that even shorter programs have the positive affect of changing people’s lives.

Contact us for details for the next course beginning September 15, 2011.