Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders, Shanghai, China
Shanghai Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine for Mental Health, Shanghai, China
Department of Pharmacology, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University, Islamabad, Pakistan
Study Finds Meditation May Improve Your Gut Health Over Time
January 22, 2023
The study was published in BMJ General Psychiatry, analyzing samples of 56 Tibetan Buddhist monks and local residents - and found two good forms of gut bacteria were boosted in the group who meditated regularly, and that they also had lower cholesterol levels than the control group.
The bacteria are linked with a lower risk of anxiety, depression, and heart disease, and has also been associated with an “enhanced immune function,” the researchers noted. “Overall, these results suggest that meditation plays a positive role in psychosomatic conditions and well-being.”
Universities of York, Reading and Surrey:
Research Shows Link Between Self-Identify and Environmental Concern
November 10, 2022
Techniques to improve mental health, such as meditation, walking, bird watching etc may encourage people to look after the environment, researchers have found. Researchers at the Universities of York, Reading and Surrey examined the link between ego and how people look after their surroundings, collating studies across a large range of research fields.
They discovered those with a strong sense of ego and individuality saw themselves as more isolated from the natural world, and it was observed their care for the environment, recycling, carbon footprint, plants, wildlife etc was reduced.
Professor Bob Doherty, from the University of York’s School for Business and Society, said: "At a time when world leaders are meeting for COP27, our research shows the crucial need for international cooperation between governments, business and civil society to develop new pro-environmental interventions to promote new behaviour and action".
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem:
Study Shows Link Between Mindfulness and Empathy
November 8, 2022
Researchers at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem investigated the relationship between brief exposure to mindfulness and displaying helpful behavior toward a stranger.
It showed that approximately 20% more of the group were willing to help a stranger, after just two brief mindfulness sessions, than those who listened to music or lecture.
Published in Mindfulness, it supports the hypothesis that even brief exposure to mindfulness increases prosocial behaviors, as well as has been shown to increase empathy.
Study authors Yael Malin and Thomas Gumpel were curious about the effects of short-term exposure, and recruited 189 participants between the ages of 18 and 30, with no experience with mindfulness.
Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University:
Research Shows How Our Breathing Affects the Brain
November 8, 2022
Professor Micah Allen from the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University has headed a study analysing results from more than a dozen studies with human brain imaging, along with rodent and monkey, to create a model that explains how our breathing influences the brain.
Brain rhythms were shown to be closely tied to the rhythm of breath - with greater sensitivity to the outside world upon inhaling, while exhaling causes the brain to tune out, which is in keeping with how sports performance uses breath.
"It suggests that the brain and breathing are closely intertwined in a way that goes far beyond survival, to actually impact our emotions, our attention, and how we process the outside world. Our model suggests there is a common mechanism in the brain which links the rhythm of breathing to these events." Allen said.
This extends to understanding how breathing affects mood, thoughts, behaviours and mental health, as breathing difficulties are associated with a large increase in risk of anxiety and depression.
Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, University of Ottawa, Canada
Mindfulness for Substance Use Disorders
This study conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials on the effectiveness of mindfulness for substance use disorders and found that mindfulness can significantly reduce substance use, cravings, and negative consequences of substance use.
Citations: Li, W., Howard, M. O., Garland, E. L., McGovern, P., & Lazar, M. (2017). Mindfulness treatment for substance misuse: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of substance abuse treatment, 75, 62-96.
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Effects of Hypnosis on Smoking Cessation
Hypnosis may be an effective tool for smoking cessation, according to a randomized controlled trial conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa.
The study involved 286 smokers who were randomized to receive either hypnosis or behavioral counseling for smoking cessation.
At six months, the hypnosis group had a significantly higher abstinence rate (20%) compared to the counseling group (14%).
The study also found that the hypnosis group reported fewer cravings and less irritability than the counseling group.
Citations: Ahijevych K, Yerardi R, Nedilsky N. Effects of hypnosis on smoking cessation: a randomized controlled trial. Chest. 2000 Jul;118(1):128-35. doi: 10.1378/chest.118.1.128.
University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Health-Related Quality of Life in a Heterogeneous Patient Population
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can improve health-related quality of life in a diverse patient population, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
The study involved 150 patients with a range of medical conditions who participated in an eight-week MBSR program. The study found significant improvements in health-related quality of life, including physical functioning, pain, and vitality, as well as reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms. The study suggests that MBSR may be a useful intervention for improving quality of life in patients with chronic illness.
Citations: Gross CR, Kreitzer MJ, Reilly-Spong M, et al. Mindfulness-based stress reduction versus pharmacotherapy for chronic primary insomnia: a randomized controlled clinical trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Feb;17(2):251-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0037.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
The Effect of Hypnosis on Surgical Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis
Hypnosis may improve surgical outcomes by reducing pain, anxiety, and other adverse effects, according to a meta-analysis conducted by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. The analysis included 20 randomized controlled trials involving a total of 983 patients who received hypnosis before or during surgery.
The analysis found that hypnosis was associated with significant reductions in pain, nausea and vomiting, length of hospital stay, and analgesic use. The study suggests that hypnosis may be a useful adjunct to standard anesthesia and analgesia in surgical settings.
Citations: Schnur JB, Kafer I, Marcus C, et al. Hypnosis to manage distress related to medical procedures: a meta-analysis. Contemp Hypn. 2008;25(3-4):114-28. doi: 10.1002/ch.372.
Maharishi University of Management:
Maharishi University of Management
in Fairfield, Iowa. The first 100 days of a $12 million scientific
study to monitor the effects of 1200 advanced meditators
on aspects normally beyond our field of influence.
meditation of the money markets, showed that since the project
began on July 23, the Dow Jones Industrial Index and the S&P
500 have posted total gains of approximately 12%, and the
Nasdaq has climbed nearly 18%--with the Dow repeatedly hitting
all-time record levels, the S&P reaching a 5.5-year high,
and the Nasdaq climbing to a five-year high.
John Hagelin, Ph.D., director of the Institute of Science,
Technology and Public Policy;
Ken Cavanaugh, Ph.D., professor of applied statistics and
senior research scientist at the Institute of Science, Technology
and Public Policy;
Fred Travis, Ph.D., director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness,
Robert Schneider, M.D., F.A.C.C., director of the NIH-funded
Institute of Natural Medicine and Prevention
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