Tag Archives: mindfulness

Mindfulness Rx Allows Doctors to Ignore Pain

Prescribing Mindfulness Allows Doctors to Ignore Legitimate Female Pain – Feb 2018 – by Sarah Yahm

A few years ago, after a series of cascading injuries and illnesses that rendered me unable to type, drive, or sleep, I briefly became a professional patient.

Like all of my professions, I took it seriously. I went to appointments armed with lists of well-researched questions written down neatly on my yellow legal pad, brought in the occasional medical journal article, and compiled detailed descriptions of my array of increasingly bizarre symptoms.

My goal was to get my doctors to take me seriously so they would dive into the complexities of my case.   Continue reading

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It is what it is

https://aeon.co/essays/this-is-why-cognitive-behavioural-therapy-works-so-well

Whether we feel happy, engaged and full of energy is derived from the belief that we are in harmony with the world around us.

We maintain this sense of harmony by viewing ourselves, others and the events around us in a relatively benign light: things are fine, we’re safe.

When we perceive the slings and arrows of life as non-events – when we can say: ‘It is what it is’ – we can face difficult circumstances and effectively disarm potential emotional landmines. Continue reading

Hype around Mindfulness and Meditation

Mind the Hype: A Critical Evaluation and Prescriptive Agenda for Research on Mindfulness and Meditation Perspectives on Psychological Science – Oct 2017

During the past two decades, mindfulness meditation has gone from being a fringe topic of scientific investigation to being

  • an occasional replacement for psychotherapy, 
  • tool of corporate well-being,
  • widely implemented educational practice, and
  • “key to building more resilient soldiers.

Yet the mindfulness movement and empirical evidence supporting it have not gone without criticism.  Continue reading

Mindfulness as Panacea for all Ills

Unintended consequences of universal mindfulness training for schoolchildren – Coyne of the Realm – by James C Coyne November 16, 2016

The UK is following the U.S. lead in forcing their doctors to prescribe fewer opioids and send everyone to mindfulness training instead. Both governments have anointed “mindfulness” and/or “meditation” as the cure-all for both physical and mental problems.

It is becoming clear that increasing numbers of people are descending into addiction as a response to the chronic debt, unemployment, and pain brought on by the ruthless winner-take-all culture in both countries,

Instead of tackling the difficult task of easing regressive economic policies, putting in place a better social safety net, and repairing the broken medical system, various forms of “mindfulness” and/or “meditation” are currently being promoted for all unhappy citizens (not just those in pain).   Continue reading

Meditation for Psychological Stress and Well-being

Meditation for Psychological Stress and Well-being | Complementary and Alternative Medicine | JAMA Internal Medicine – Jan 2014

Importance  Many people meditate to reduce psychological stress and stress-related health problems. To counsel people appropriately, clinicians need to know what the evidence says about the health benefits of meditation.

Objective  To determine the efficacy of meditation programs in improving stress-related outcomes (anxiety, depression, stress/distress, positive mood, mental health–related quality of life, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, pain, and weight) in diverse adult clinical populations.   Continue reading

Growing Concern With Mindfulness Meditation

Psychologists Express Growing Concern With Mindfulness Meditation | Inverse| By Peter Hess on October 10, 2017

Mindfulness, which involves the simple act of paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings, has become something of a buzzword in the past couple of decades, and psychologists are concerned.

More than just a meditation practice, mindfulness is an industry — with some proponents saying it can treat anxiety, cancer, and everything in between.

The problem is, in many cases, those treatments haven’t sufficiently been scrutinized by trained professionals, and psychologists aren’t impressed.   Continue reading

Too Many Positive Results in Trials of Mindfulness

Reporting of Positive Results in Randomized Controlled Trials of Mindfulness-Based Mental Health Interventions – PlosOne – April 8, 2016 – Free full-text study

A large proportion of mindfulness-based therapy trials report statistically significant results, even in the context of very low statistical power.

We have the same problem with the studies used to support the CDC guidelines.

The objective of the present study was to characterize the reporting of “positive” results in randomized controlled trials of mindfulness-based therapy.   Continue reading

The morals of Mindfulness – Patching the Soul

The morals of Mindfulness – Patching the Soul – Aug 2017 –  https://lindagask.com/

I’ve long been bothered by the relentless promotion of superficial mindfulness as a balm for all pain, mental and physical. Linda’s post points out exactly what I find so offensive too: the marketing of mindfulness as a “personal growth” tool and/or a corporate tool to exert control over employees’ thinking.

In one sentence, Linda describes exactly the obstacle I’d encountered during my own efforts at meditation:

“There is nothing quite as depressing
as focusing on how awful you are feeling
‘in the moment'”

Continue reading

Practical Approaches to Meditation

Meditation Benefits: 10 Ways It Helps Your Mind – PsyBlog

This article is the first in a series about meditation. The 11 articles make meditation a simple task that can be done at any time of day and in many diverse situations.

I know the benefits of a true consistent practice are tremendous, but the way this practice (and the silly mental visualizations that go with it) are described for pain sound more like marketing than therapy.

Additionally, the physical constraints make traditional meditation difficult for an EDS patient like me. Even for 30 minutes, I can neither sit completely still nor make repetitive movements like slow walking without pain.  

Continue reading

Existential Therapy from the Universe

Existential Therapy from the Universe: Physicist Sean Carroll on How Poetic Naturalism Illuminates Our Human Search for Meaning – Brain Pickings

This article is about our human search for meaning, which becomes so difficult when living with chronic pain.

When concrete accomplishments become almost impossible, I struggle to define my place in the world. When I feel really bad, I wonder if there IS a place for me in the world.

We are — as far as we know — the only part of the universe that’s self-conscious,” the poet Mark Strand marveled in his beautiful meditation on the artist’s task to bear witness to existence

Where poets and scientists converge is the idea that while the universe itself isn’t inherently imbued with meaning, it is in this self-conscious human act of paying attention that meaning arises.   Continue reading