Health intervention

330 views

Published on

10 week health intervention involving mindfulness-based stress reduction

Published in: Spiritual, Health & Medicine
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
330
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
7
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Health intervention

  1. 1. Vipassana MeditationA mindfulness-based practiceTranslation of ‘vipassana’:To see things as they really are
  2. 2. AS THINGS ARE...REALLYOK, IT’S NOT THAT BAD BUT...MEDITATION WAS THE FIRST THINGI THOUGHT OF WHEN I READ THEWORDS“HEALTH INTERVENTION”WHICH TELLS YOU SOMETHING
  3. 3. symptomsthat inspired this interventionPOOR READING AND/OR RESPONSES TO BODILY CUES:•HEADACHES, MAINLY ASSOCIATED WITH LONG PERIODS IN FRONT OF THECOMPUTER SCREEN•THAT CUP OF COFFEE AT 4 IN THE AFTERNOON WHEN AN ORANGE WOULDHAVE SUFFICED•INTERPRETING DEHYDRATION AS HUNGER (NOT MINDFUL OF WATERINTAKE)•NOT RESTING OR RELAXING FATIGUED BODY PARTS, WANTING TO ‘PUSHTHROUGH’•STRESS, MANIFESTED IN NECK AND BACK TENSION, UNEVEN OR SHALLOWBREATH, MUSCULAR TIGHTNESS, ACHES AND PAINSTHE MIND:•STRESS, MANIFESTED IN CYCLICAL OR UNWANTED THINKING AND/ORBEHAVIORS•DISTRACTION, PROCRASTINATION, ATTENTION SPAN•OCCASIONAL LOW MOOD STATE ESPECIALLY AROUND THE SENSE OFCONNECTION (OR LACK THEREOF) TO WHAT I’M DOING, NEGATIVERUMINATION AND MEMORY RECALL
  4. 4. THE SCIENCE ON MINDFULNESS MEDITATIONOVERVIEW:•VARIOUS TYPES OF MINDFULNESS MEDITATION ARE GROUPEDTOGETHER IN THE SCEINTIFIC LITERATURE UNDER MBSR:MINDFULNESS-BASED STRESS REDUCTION.•IF INDEED THE STUDY OF THE EFFECTS OF MEDITATION IS STILL IN ITSINFANCY IT IS DUE TO A LACK OF CONSISTENCY IN THE METHODOLOGYACROSS STUDIESFINDINGS:•SIMILAR TO RELAXATION TRAINING, MBSR IS SHOWN TO MEDIATEDISTRESS, DEPRESSIVE RUMINATION, AND POSITIVE MOOD STATES OVERTHE SHORT AND LONG TERM. MODELING SHOWS THAT MBSR’S MEDIATIONOF DISTRESS MAY CAUSED BY ITS EFFECT ON RUMINATION. INFACT,MBSR MAY BE UNIQUE IN ITS EFFECT ON DISTRACTION ANDRUMINATION (1)•A STUDY ON MBSR AND MOTOR CONSCIOUSNESS SUGGESTED THAT, WHILEA MBSR GROUP FOUND A PHYSICAL TASK JUST AS HARD AS A CONTROLGROUP, THE MBSR GROUP EXPERIENCED MORE PLEASURE DURING THETASK AND A GREATER SENSE OF CONTROL AND CALMNESS.(2)
  5. 5. BY NOW...WE KNOW THAT MBSR ENJOYS WIDE APPLICATION IN CLINICAL AND NON-CLINICAL SETTINGS BUT HOW DOES IT WORK, REALLY?ONE STUDY SUGGESTS THAT MINDFULNESS CHANGES EMOTIONALINFORMATION PROCESSING. MBSR INCREASES POSITIVE WORD RECALLAND POSITIVE MEMORY RECALL. WITH THE BRAIN DRAWING FROM ITS‘SUNNIER’ PARTS ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION DROP SIGNIFICANTLY.NEUROLOGICALLY THIS IS DESCRIBED AS IMPROVED PREFONTALATTENTIONAL CONTROL OVER THE AMYGDALA.(3)IT IS NATURAL THAT THE AMYGDALA IS USED IN MOMENTS OF PHYSICALAND EMOTIONAL DISCOMFORT OR THREAT. BUT CHRONIC STRESS OR PAINCAN CAUSE IT TO BE OVERUSED.IN OTHER WORDS, THE AMYGDALA IS VERY FAST AND VERY DECISIVE BUTSHOULD ONLY HAVE THE MICROPHONE WHEN THE AUDITORIUM IS ONFIRE...SO...DID IT WORK FOR ME?
  6. 6. INTERVENTION•THE NEXT STEP WAS TO FIND INSTRUCTION IN HOW TO INTERVENETHROUGH MBSR: I ATTENDED SEVERAL BEGINNER MEDITATIONS AT THENEW YORK INSIGHT MEDITATION CENTER (NYIMC.ORG) IN MANHATTAN.•THE BEGINNER’S SIT WAS ONLY ONCE A WEEK, TUESDAY NIGHTS. THISDIDN’T SEEM LIKE ENOUGH FOR A TEN WEEK INTERVENTION. I FOUNDTHROUGH THE CENTER A SIT IN BROOKLYN MUCH CLOSER TO HOME THATHAPPENED BIMONTHLY ON MONDAYS.I’VE ALREADY IDENTIFIED BIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMSOF STRESS DUE TO A BUSY LIFE
  7. 7. •IN BOTH CASES I STAYED FOR THE DHAMMA TALK AFTERWARDS. IWASN’T REALLY LOOKING FOR A BELIEF SYSTEM (AND NONE WAS PUSHEDON ME) BUT THE LECTURES HELPED ME TO UNDERSTAND OTHER PEOPLE’SEXPECTATIONS FOR THEIR MEDITATION, GAIN ADDITIONAL INSIGHTINTO HOW TO MEDITATE AND, PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY, A SENSE OFWHAT ARE CONSIDERED UNIVERSAL GOALS AND EXPERIENCES INVIPASSANA.INTERVENTION CONT’D
  8. 8. •THE COST OF ATTENDING GROUP MEDITATIONS WAS BASED ON THEBUDDHIST NOTION OF DANA: VOLUNTARY DONATION TO THE ‘TEMPLE’THAT IN MY CASE WORKED OUT TO 5 TO 10 DOLLARS PER SIT. THIS WASIMPORTANT FOR MY ATTENDANCE AND ADHERENCE BECAUSE, HAD THEPRICING BEEN HIGHER OR MANDATORY, I WOULD HAVE GONE LESS ORMIGHT HAVE COME TO THINK OF THE INTERVENTION AS INDULGENTRATHER THAN PERSONAL MAINTENANCE. IT MIGHT HAVE ACTIVATEDPART OF MY SELF-CONCEPT: A MILD CONTEMPT FOR THEFITNESS/SPIRITUAL COMPLEX...INTERVENTION CONT’D
  9. 9. BUMPS IN THE ROAD•IT SEEMED OBVIOUS TO MEDITATE IN THE MORNINGS BUT I COULDN’T DOIT. I TRIED AND TRIED BUT MY ADHERENCE WAS POOR.•MY BEST TIMES FOR ADHERENCE TURNED OUT TO BE FRIDAY THROUGHMONDAY AT AROUND FIVE IN THE AFTERNOON.•I FOUND THAT I HAD TO REDUCE MY COFFEE INTAKE, EVEN IN THEMORNINGS, TO GET THE MOST OUT OF MY AFTERNOON SITS. OVER THECOURSE OF THE INTERVENTION I HAVE REDUCED MY COFFEE INTAKE BYABOUT HALF -A WELCOME CHANGE.AS I STARTED TO TRY AND BRING A MEDITATION PRACTICE HOME WITHMEIT FELT AS THOUGH MY ENVIRONMENT WAS SUDDENLY COMPRISEDOF ONLY TWO COMPONENTS:AND,OF COURSE,
  10. 10. •SOME OF MY MEDIA HABITS, NAMELY POLITICAL SCREEDS AND COMMENTBOARDS, PROVED COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE.•FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP PROVED ESSENTIAL. WITHOUT PROPER SLEEP I’DGROW SLEEPY WHILE MEDITATING OR BE TOO WIRED.•THE HARDEST CHALLENGE BY FAR, AND I KNOW I’M NOT ALONE ON THIS,WAS SIMPLY GETTING MY BODY TO STOP FOR A MINUTE EVEN WITHALTERATIONS IN STIMULI. AS A NOVICE MEDITATOR I KNOW MY MINDWILL TAKE TIME TO HAVE REAL MOMENTS OF PAUSE AND NON-JUDGMENT.BUT THE BODY HAS ITS OWN ATTENTION SPAN AND MINE IS PRETTYSMALL WITHOUT HELP...•I STARTED TO TIRE MYSELF BEFORE SITTING BY JUGGLING A SOCCERBALL IN THE PARK FOR AN HOUR. THE ADVANTAGE HERE WAS THAT I DOTHIS ANYWAY BUT ALSO JUGGLING A SOCCER BALL HAS A WAY OFCLEARING THE MIND OF ALL ELSE.•MAYBE THIS IS CHEATING BUT EXERCISE BEFORE SITTING ALSOPRODUCED ENDORPHINS WHICH, UNLIKE CAFFEINE, FEEL LIKE STABLEENERGY.STRATEGIES AND HABIT CHANGES
  11. 11. monday tuesday wednesday thursday friday saturday sundaymeditationsit80% 30% 10% 10% 100% 70% 80%exercisetime100% 10% 0% 10% 100% 90% 100%amount ofsleep8hrs 7hrs 7hrs 6.5hrs 8hrs 8hrs 8hrscoffeeintake2 cups 3 cups 3 cups 3 cups 2 cups 3 cups 2 cups•BELOW IS AN OBSERVATION TABLE WITH THE AVERAGE RATES OFADHERENCE TO MEDITATION AND EXERCISE, AS WELL AS AVERAGEAMOUNTS OF SLEEP AND COFFEE OVER THE TEN WEEK INTERVENTIONPERIOD. PLEASE NOTE: I DIDN’T RECORD LENGTH OF MEDITATIONS (NEVERLESS THE 20 MIN., NEVER MORE THAN 45 MIN.) NOR QUALITY OF THEM. THEFIRST TWO ROWS SIMPLY DOCUMENT THE 10 WEEK AVERAGE OF ADHERENCE.•TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY ARE MY BUSIEST DAYS; THAT ISREFLECTED IN THE TABLE BELOWOBSERVATION
  12. 12. OBSERVATION CONT’D•ADHERENCE TO BOTH MEDITATION AND EXERCISE AS WELL AS, TO SOMEEXTENT, REDUCED COFFEE INTAKE AND SUFFICIENT SLEEP PROVEDDIFFICULT MID-WEEK WHEN I HAD BOTH WORK AND SCHOOL. OFTENTHERE WAS LITERALLY NO TIME FOR MEDITATION AND EXERCISE; SLEEPAND CAFFEINE INTERVENTIONS COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OBSERVEDDURING THE BUSIEST PART OF THE WEEK•FRIDAY WAS MY BEST DAY ADHERENCE-WISE. THIS REFLECTED ANEXCITEMENT TO RESUME THE INTERVENTION AFTER THE KIND OF BUSYDAYS THAT INSPIRED THE INTERVENTION IN THE FIRST PLACE•SATURDAY’S LOW MEDITATION ADHERENCE REFLECTED TWO THINGS:FRIDAY NIGHT IS MY NIGHT TO GO OUT SOCIALLY AND SATURDAY IS ABIG DAY TO PREPARE FOR DEADLINES.•PERHAPS MY COFFEE INTAKE SEEMS LIKE A LOT BUT THE TABLEACTUALLY REFLECTS A REDUCTION FROM PRE-INTERVENTION LEVELS (BYHALF!, EMBARASSINGLY)•THIS MEDITATION INTERVENTION ALSO INSPIRED GREATERADHERENCE TO AN EXERCISE REGIME AS I FOUND A TIRING OF THE BODYUSEFUL PRIOR TO EACH SIT. AS THE TABLE SUGGESTS I DID NOT ALWAYSFOLLOW THROUGH ON MEDITATION AFTER EXERCISE.
  13. 13. CONCLUSIONS•THE USE OF EXERCISE IN THIS INTERVENTION HAD TWO BENEFITSSPECIFIC TO IT:IT HELPED TO REDUCE FIDGETING DURING MEDITATIONIT HELPED STRENGTHEN MY CORE WHICH FACILITATED PROPER POSTUREAND STAMINA DURING MEDITATION: A MAJOR DETAIL THAT IMPROVEDRESULTS HERE AND MORE GENERALLY•THE RESTING OF THE EYES INHERENT TO MEDITATION (EYES CLOSED ORGENTLY FOCUSED ON A POINT IN FRONT OF YOU) SHARPLY REDUCEDHEADACHES ASSOCIATED WITH COMPUTER SCREENS EVEN WITHOUTSIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN TIME IN FRONT OF THE COMPUTER•ALTHOUGH ADHERENCE WAS POOR MIDWEEK THERE WAS A GENERALIZEDIMPULSE TO “TAKE A MOMENT” AND “DEEP BREATHS” WHICH INDICATES ANIMPROVED SELF-CALMING SKILL SET•I WAS LESS WILLING TO ENGAGE IN PROCRASTINATION BECAUSE OF AMORE LOGICAL ANTICIPATION OF WHAT IT WOULD FEEL LIKE IF I DID:MINDFULNESS AT WORK…•I COULD FOCUS ON WORK FOR LONGER AND MORE HAPPILY•AS PER THE STUDY MENTIONED EARLIER I DID EXPERIENCE A CHANGE INMEMORY RECALL: SHORT TERM MEMORY WAS MORE EFFICIENT ANDNEGATIVE LONG-TERM MEMORY RECALL LESS FREQUENT. I WAS MORE‘UNDERSTANDING’ WITH MYSELF
  14. 14. CONCLUSIONS CONT’D•VIPASSANA, THE MBSR I TRIED, INVOLVES TRYING TO MINDFULLYOBSERVE THE BODY’S SENSATIONS AND LET THE MIND’S INSISTENTGENERATIONS COME AND GO WITHOUT JUDGMENT. VIPASSANA’SINNOVATION FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS A TEN DAY SILENT RETREATWHERE PRACTITIONERS MEDITATE 8 HOURS A DAY. THE BENEFITS OFTHE PRACTICE CAN BE HAD WITHOUT THE RETREAT ALTHOUGH I NOWLOOK FORWARD, WITH EXCITEMENT AND FEAR, TO MY FIRST CHANCE TODO SUCH A RETREAT.
  15. 15. AN INCREDIBLE DOCUMENTARY ON THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION UNDERFAR MORE STRESSFUL CIRCUMSTANCES THAN THOSE I’VE KNOW IS THEDHAMMA BROTHERS (http://www.hulu.com/watch/255596)EVEN WITH REAL ATROCITIES IN ONE’S PAST AND AN ENVIRONMENT THATVIRTUALLY ASSURES SOMEONE A SHORTENED LIFESPAN THERE IS THEPOSSIBILITY AND REASON TO GROW.MEDIA
  16. 16. the metta prayerI CONCLUDE MANY OF MY SITS WITH THE METTA PRAYER WHICH ILEARNED AT THE BROOKLYN GROUP I MENTIONED. IT IS A USEFULREMINDER BUT ALSO GIVES THE MEDITATION A FEELING OF USEFULNESSOUTSIDE OF JUST MYSELF. I HOPE YOU ENJOY!
  17. 17. REFERENCES1 Jain, S., Shapiro, S. L., Swanick, S., Roesch, S. C., Mills, P. J., & Schwartz, G. E. (2007). Arandomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation training: Effects on distress, positivestates of mind, rumination, and distraction. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 33(1), 11-21.2 Delevoye-Turrell, Y. N., & Bobineau, C. (2012). Motor consciousness during intention-based andstimulus-based actions: modulating attention resources through mindfulness meditation. Frontiers inPsychology, 3.3 Roberts-Wolfe, D., Sacchet, M., Hastings, E., Roth, H., Britton, W., Roberts-Wolfe, D., ... &Britton, W. (2012). Mindfulness training alters emotional memory recall compared to active controls:support for an emotional information processing model of mindfulness. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience,6, 15.ACKOWLEDGEMENTSTHE NEW YORK INSIGHT MEDITATION CENTERJOSHUA, A GREAT TEACHER

×