Reduce Fatigue and Depression in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis with Mindfulness

Reduce Fatigue and Depression in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

the pragmatic resiliency skills of mindfulness training may be beneficial in helping to mitigate unpleasant and unpredictable mental and physical symptoms that are associated with an MS diagnosis.” – Rachel M. Gilbertson

 

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a progressive demyelinating disease which attacks the coating on the neural axons which send messages throughout the body and nervous system. It affects about 2 million people worldwide and about 400,000 in the U.S. It is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 50 years. Unfortunately, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis. There are a number of approved medications that are used to treat MS but are designed to lessen frequency of relapses and slow the progression of the disease, but they don’t address individual symptoms. But MS is not fatal with MS patients having about the same life expectancy as the general population. Hence, most MS sufferers have to live with the disease for many years. Mindfulness practices have been shown to improve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness training during brief periods of hospitalization in multiple sclerosis (MS): beneficial alterations in fatigue and the mediating role of depression.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8499486/ ) Sauder and colleagues recruited patients diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) who also had symptoms of fatigue and depression during a brief (>5-day) hospital stay. During their hospital stay the patients were administered daily 45-minute mindfulness training based upon Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). They were measured before and after the hospital stay for depression, fatigue, rumination, mindfulness, cognition, and attention.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline after training there were significant increases in mindfulness and distraction techniques to cope with a negative mood and significant decreases in depression, general fatigue, and physical fatigue. Further, they found that the greater the increases in mindfulness the greater the reductions in fatigue and depression. A mediation analysis revealed that mindfulness decreased fatigue indirectly by reducing depression that in turn reduced fatigue.

 

The study lacked a control, comparison, condition and as such caution must be exercised in interpreting the results. But mindfulness has been previously demonstrated in controlled studies to reduce fatigue and depression in a wide variety of people. So, the effects of mindfulness reported here were probably due to mindfulness causing the improvements. What is new here is that mindfulness reduces depression and in turn fatigue in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The patients also had a significant increase in the coping strategy of using distraction during negative mood states. This suggests that mindfulness training helps them to learn to distract themselves from depression and this may be the mechanism whereby mindfulness reduces depression.

 

Depression and fatigue greatly reduce the patients’ ability to conduct their lives, reducing their quality of life, So, improving depression and fatigue can be very beneficial to these patients. This suggests that mindfulness training should be recommended for patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

 

So, reduce fatigue and depression in patients with multiple sclerosis with mindfulness.

 

Mindfulness practice appears to be a safe, drug-free approach to coping with stress and anxiety, which may in turn help reduce your MS symptoms.” – Amit Sood

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sauder, T., Hansen, S., Bauswein, C., Müller, R., Jaruszowic, S., Keune, J., Schenk, T., Oschmann, P., & Keune, P. M. (2021). Mindfulness training during brief periods of hospitalization in multiple sclerosis (MS): beneficial alterations in fatigue and the mediating role of depression. BMC neurology, 21(1), 390. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12883-021-02390-7

 

Abstract

Objectives

Persons with MS (PwMS) are frequently affected by fatigue and depression. Mindfulness-based interventions may reduce these symptoms in PwMS and consequently their application has been extended to various settings. Only few efforts have been made to explore effects of short-term mindfulness training during brief periods of hospitalization. In the current study, the feasibility and potential effects of short-term mindfulness training on depression, fatigue, rumination and cognition were explored in PwMS in an acute-care hospital setting. Based on previous work, it was further examined whether the relation between trait mindfulness and fatigue prior to and following the intervention was mediated by depression and whether a mediation effect was also observable throughout the intervention.

Methods

A short-term mindfulness training protocol was developed, tailored to the requirements of the acute-care setting. Subsequently, 30 PwMS were recruited sequentially and received mindfulness training during the routine clinical process (median duration in hospital: eight days, number of sessions: four). Participants completed relevant self-report measures (depression, fatigue, rumination) and a neuropsychological assessment before and after training.

Results

Participants reported significantly increased trait mindfulness and decreased depression and fatigue following the intervention. Respective change scores were highly correlated so that increased trait mindfulness was associated with decreased symptoms. In the rumination domain, patients reported a tendency for an increased adaptive ability to engage in distractive behavior during arising negative mood. Other measures of trait rumination and cognition remained relatively stable. Results of the mediation analyses indicated that depression mediated the negative relationship between trait mindfulness and fatigue symptoms at pre and post assessments. With regards to the change scores, an association between mindfulness and cognitive fatigue ceased to be significant when depression was controlled, albeit in this case, the mediation effect did not reach significance.

Conclusion

Results of the current study indicate that short-term mindfulness training during brief periods of hospitalization may be beneficial for PwMS. They further complement previous work by identifying depression as a potential mediator of the antagonistic relationship between mindfulness and fatigue. Based on the current exploratory study, future trials are warranted to address this mechanism of mindfulness training in more detail.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8499486/

 

Improve Health in Unhealthy People with Yoga

Improve Health in Unhealthy People with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Incorporating [yoga] into your routine can help enhance your health, increase strength and flexibility and reduce symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety. Finding the time to practice yoga just a few times per week may be enough to make a noticeable difference when it comes to your health.” – Rachel Link

 

Yoga practice has been shown to have a myriad of benefits for psychological and physical health, social, and spiritual well-being. It is both an exercise and a mind-body practice which stresses both mental attention to present moment movements, breath control, and flexibility, range of motion, and balance. But beginning yoga practice has risks and adverse events are known to occur. These can be particularly problematic for people who are not in the best of health. So, it is important to examine the risks and benefits of beginning yoga practice for people in a variety of health conditions.

 

In today’s Research News article “Health-related benefits and adverse events associated with yoga classes among participants that are healthy, in poor health, or with chronic diseases.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8499562/ ) Oka and colleagues recruited first time participants in 3-month, once a week for 60-90 minutes yoga classes. They were separated into 3 groups: healthy, poor health (some somatic or psychological complaints but no medication), and chronic disease (on medication). Before and after the class they completed measures of mood, perceived stress, quality of life, subjective symptoms, satisfaction with the yoga class, and adverse events defined as “undesirable symptoms or responses that occurred during a yoga class”.

 

They found that from the beginning to the end of both the first and last yoga class there was a significant reduction in fatigue and tension-anxiety and increase in vigor in all groups. Over the 3-months of practice there was a significant reduction in perceived stress, subjective symptoms, and increase in health-related quality of life in the poor health and chronic disease groups. Perceived stress in the unhealthy groups reached the level of the healthy group at the end of training. Relatively mild adverse events were reported in all groups but more so in the unhealthy groups. But the symptoms were mild and did not stop participation inn the class in which they occurred.

 

Previous research with varied groups has shown that yoga training results in reduced fatigue and tension-anxiety and increased vigor. So, these findings were not surprising in the present study. The interesting findings here was that participants in ill health benefited more than healthy participants in reduced perceived stress and subjective symptoms and increased health-related quality of life. This suggests that yoga practice is particularly beneficial for individuals who have current somatic symptoms or who have chronic diseases.

 

Yoga practice appears to be beneficial for the psychological and physical well-being of everyone but is particularly beneficial for those who have current or chronic health issues. Although adverse symptoms produced by participation in yoga classes are common and occur more frequently in people with health problems. they tend to be mild, not stopping participation in the classes in which they occurred. So, for everyone the benefits of yoga practice appear to outweigh the costs.

 

So, improve health in unhealthy people with yoga.

 

there’s also a growing body of science showing that a regular yoga practice may benefit people with a host of chronic health conditions, including asthma, heart disease, and MS.” – Wyatt Meyers

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Oka, T., & Lkhagvasuren, B. (2021). Health-related benefits and adverse events associated with yoga classes among participants that are healthy, in poor health, or with chronic diseases.

BioPsychoSocial medicine, 15(1), 17. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13030-021-00216-z

 

Abstract

Background

Our previous study demonstrated that 42% of yoga class participants in Japan had chronic diseases requiring medication. This raises the question as to whether those with chronic diseases would benefit from practicing yoga or if they are at higher risk for specific adverse events compared to healthy individuals receiving the same instruction.

Methods

To address these questions, 328 adults who started practicing yoga for the first time were asked to complete the Profile of Mood States (POMS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 8, standard version (SF-8™) and to record any adverse events on the first day of the yoga class and again three months later. The participants consisted of three groups: a healthy (H) group (n = 70), a poor health (PH) group (n = 117), and a chronic disease (CD) group (n = 141). The degree of subjective symptoms was also compared between the pre- and post-intervention period in the PH and CD groups.

Results

Typically, yoga classes were held once a week for 60–90 min. The programs included asanas, pranayamas, meditation, isometric yoga, and sukshma vyayama. In the PH and CD groups, the POMS tension-anxiety and fatigue scores decreased and the vigor score increased significantly after the first class. Furthermore, PSS scores decreased and the SF-8™ scores increased significantly three months later. The degree of subjective symptoms such as easy fatigability, shoulder stiffness, and insomnia also decreased over three months. Individuals in these groups experienced more frequent adverse events than those in the H group. The PH and CD groups also experienced a greater variety of symptoms, including psychological ones, not reported by the H group. Adverse events were not so serious that participants stopped practicing yoga during the class. About 60% of all participants were highly satisfied with participating in yoga classes.

Conclusions

If yoga classes are conducted with attention to possible adverse events, yoga practice in a yoga studio may have beneficial effects for people with functional somatic symptoms and chronic diseases, as well as healthy participants. These benefits include reductions in perceived stress and uncomfortable symptoms as well as improved mood and quality of life.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8499562/

 

Relieve Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients with Mind-Body Exercise

Relieve Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients with Mind-Body Exercise

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

mindfulness has both direct and indirect effects on the fatigue of breast cancer survivors and that mindfulness can be used to more effectively reduce their fatigue.” – Kaori Ikeuchi

 

Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. But breast cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with breast cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. But surviving breast cancer carries with it a number of problems. Anxiety, depression, fatigue and insomnia are common symptoms in the aftermath of surviving breast cancer. These symptoms markedly reduce the quality of life of the patients.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to relieve chronic pain. It can also help treat the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress, sleep disturbancefear, and anxiety and depression. Mind-body practices such as Tai Chi or Qigong, and yoga have been shown to be effective in improving the psychological symptoms occurring in breast cancer patients. The research has been accumulating. So, it makes sense to review and summarize what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “A Meta-Analysis: Intervention Effect of Mind-Body Exercise on Relieving Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8275388/ ) Liu and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the published randomized controlled trials on the effectiveness of mind-body practices in relieving the chronic fatigue that occurs in breast cancer survivors. They identified 17 published randomized controlled trials that included a total of 1133 breast cancer patient. The mind-body practices employed in the published trials were yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigon.

 

They report that the published research found that mind-body practices significantly reduced the fatigue of patients with breast cancer. They further found that Tai Chi practice produced significantly greater reductions in fatigue than yoga practice and that practicing for over 40 minutes duration produces greater reductions in fatigue than shorter practice durations. Hence, the published research to date suggests that practicing yoga and particularly Tai Chi can successfully reduce cancer-related fatigue in patients with breast cancer. This is important as fatigue greatly interferes with the quality of life of the patients and their ability to reengage in normal daily activities. Mind-body practices, then, can improve the lives of breast cancer patients.

 

So, relieve cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients with mind-body exercise.

 

Mindfulness-and in particular nonreactivity, nonjudging, and describing-may be a personal resource for women with metastatic breast cancer in coping with complex symptoms of this life-threatening illness.” – Lauren A Zimmaro

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Liu, C., Qin, M., Zheng, X., Chen, R., & Zhu, J. (2021). A Meta-Analysis: Intervention Effect of Mind-Body Exercise on Relieving Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2021, 9980940. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/9980940

 

Abstract

Objective

This paper aims to systematically evaluate the intervention effect of mind-body exercise on cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients.

Methods

Databases including PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Embase, Web of Science, CNKI, Wanfang Data, and SINOMED were retrieved to collect randomized controlled trials on the effects of mind-body exercise on relieving cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients. The retrieval period started from the founding date of each database to January 6, 2021. Cochrane bias risk assessment tools were used to evaluate the methodological quality assessment of the included literature, and RevMan 5.3 software was used for meta-analyses.

Results

17 pieces of researches in 16 papers were included with a total of 1133 patients. Compared with the control group, mind-body exercise can improve cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients. The combined effect size SMD = 0.59, 95% CI was [0.27, 0.92], p < 0.00001. Doing Tai Chi for over 40 minutes each time with an exercise cycle of ≤6 weeks can improve cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients more significantly. Sensitivity analysis shows that the combined effect results of the meta-analysis were relatively stable.

Conclusion

Mind-body exercise can effectively improve cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8275388/

 

Improve Chronic Fatigue with Mind-Body Practices

Improve Chronic Fatigue with Mind-Body Practices

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness can be a powerful tool for overcoming fatigue. It allows you to recognize when fatigue is the cause of a current problem, and it offers you an intuition-based problem-solving ability. Furthermore, regular mindfulness practice is itself a source of energy.” – Ronya Banks

 

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) occurs in about 0.2% of the population. It produces a profound, prolonged, and debilitating tiredness that is not corrected by rest. When severe, it can produce a chronic and extreme tiredness, so severe that sufferers can become bed-bound or need to use a wheel-chair. It produces muscle pain, brain fog and dizziness, poor memory, disturbed sleep and trouble with digestion.

 

Unfortunately, there are no known cures for CFS. The usual treatments for fatigue are targeted at symptom relief and include exercise and drugs. As an alternative to these traditional treatments, mindfulness training has been shown to reduce fatigue. The evidence has been accumulating. So, it makes sense to review and summarize what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Systematic Review of Mind-Body Interventions to Treat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8305555/ ) Ardestani and colleagues review and summarize the published research studies of the effectiveness of mindfulness training as a treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

 

They identified 12 published research studies. Thee report that the published research found that mindfulness training produced significant reductions in mental and physical fatigue, anxiety, and depression and a significant increase in quality of life. Hence, the published research demonstrates that mindfulness training is an effective treatment to improve the mental and physical health of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). It is safe and effective and therefore should be recommended for patients with CFS.

 

So, improve chronic fatigue with mind-body practices.

 

mindfulness certainly shows promise as an effective approach to assist with overcoming chronic fatigue syndrome.” – Mindful Way

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Khanpour Ardestani, S., Karkhaneh, M., Stein, E., Punja, S., Junqueira, D. R., Kuzmyn, T., Pearson, M., Smith, L., Olson, K., & Vohra, S. (2021). Systematic Review of Mind-Body Interventions to Treat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 57(7), 652. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57070652

 

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a chronic condition distinguished by disabling fatigue associated with post-exertional malaise, as well as changes to sleep, autonomic functioning, and cognition. Mind-body interventions (MBIs) utilize the ongoing interaction between the mind and body to improve health and wellbeing. Purpose: To systematically review studies using MBIs for the treatment of ME/CFS symptoms. Materials and Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Cochrane CENTRAL were searched (inception to September 2020). Interventional studies on adults diagnosed with ME/CFS, using one of the MBIs in comparison with any placebo, standard of care treatment or waitlist control, and measuring outcomes relevant to the signs and symptoms of ME/CFS and quality of life were assessed for inclusion. Characteristics and findings of the included studies were summarized using a descriptive approach. Results: 12 out of 382 retrieved references were included. Seven studies were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with one including three reports (1 RCT, 2 single-arms); others were single-arm trials. Interventions included mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, relaxation, Qigong, cognitive-behavioral stress management, acceptance and commitment therapy and isometric yoga. The outcomes measured most often were fatigue severity, anxiety/depression, and quality of life. Fatigue severity and symptoms of anxiety/depression were improved in nine and eight studies respectively, and three studies found that MBIs improved quality of life. Conclusions: Fatigue severity, anxiety/depression and physical and mental functioning were shown to be improved in patients receiving MBIs. However, small sample sizes, heterogeneous diagnostic criteria, and a high risk of bias may challenge this result. Further research using standardized outcomes would help advance the field.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8305555/

 

Mindfulness is Associated with Reduced Depression and Fatigue in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Mindfulness is Associated with Reduced Depression and Fatigue in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness can help people with MS learn to distinguish between actual physical discomfort and the stories they tell themselves about the pain (like “I’ll never feel better). Mindfulness can also help improve the anxiety and depression people with the disease may experience.” – Meryl Davids Landau

 

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a progressive demyelinating disease which attacks the coating on the neural axons which send messages throughout the body and nervous system. It affects about 2 million people worldwide and about 400,000 in the U.S. It is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 50 years.

 

Unfortunately, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis. There are a number of approved medications that are used to treat MS but are designed to lessen frequency of relapses and slow the progression of the disease, but they don’t address individual symptoms. But MS is not fatal with MS patients having about the same life expectancy as the general population. Hence, most MS sufferers have to live with the disease for many years. Mindfulness practices have been shown to improve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

 

In today’s Research News article “Trait mindfulness is primarily associated with depression and not with fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS): implications for mindfulness-based interventions.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7962308/ ) Sauder and colleagues recruited adult patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and had them complete measures of depression, fatigue, and mindfulness.

 

They found that the higher the reported levels of mindfulness, the lower the levels of depression, physical fatigue, and cognitive fatigue. A mediation analysis indicated that depression entirely mediated the relationship between mindfulness and fatigue such that mindfulness was associated with depression and depression was in turn associated with both cognitive and physical fatigue. So, the entire relationship between mindfulness and fatigue resulted from the relationship of mindfulness with depression.

 

These results are correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. Previous research, however, has demonstrated that mindfulness reduces depression and fatigue. So, the current relationships are likely due to causal relationships. Hence, mindful patients with multiple sclerosis are less depressed and this makes them less fatigued. The reason that these patients experience fatigue appears to be due to their depression and mindfulness reduces this depression. This suggests that mindfulness training may be useful in improving the psychological well-being of patients with multiple sclerosis.

 

So, mindfulness is associated with reduced depression and fatigue in patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

 

One of the reasons that mindfulness training is so promising is because it is an easily accessible treatment for all patients. Anyone can use mindfulness — even individuals with limited mobility, who often find other training techniques, like exercise training, to be more challenging,” – Science Daily

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sauder, T., Keune, P. M., Müller, R., Schenk, T., Oschmann, P., & Hansen, S. (2021). Trait mindfulness is primarily associated with depression and not with fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS): implications for mindfulness-based interventions. BMC neurology, 21(1), 115. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12883-021-02120-z

 

Abstract

Objectives

Persons with MS (PwMS) often display symptoms of depression and fatigue. Mindfulness-based interventions are known to counteract these symptoms. However, to-date the exact relations between trait mindfulness, depression and fatigue remain to be examined. Fatigue is generally regarded as a symptom immanent to the disease and as a direct neurobiological consequence of increased cytokine levels and cortical atrophy. In depression on the other hand, psychosocial factors in the context of adaptation difficulties are probably of higher relevance. Hence, one may argue that mindfulness, as a trait that promotes successful adaption, may show a strong negative association with depression and a relatively minor negative association with fatigue in PwMS.

Methods

In the current study, the association between self-reported trait mindfulness, fatigue and depression was examined in a sample of 69 PwMS.

Results

Trait mindfulness showed highly significant negative correlations with both, depression and fatigue. Mediation analyses however, revealed that depression mediated the relation between mindfulness and fatigue.

Conclusion

It may be concluded that in PwMS, trait mindfulness shows a genuine negative association with depression, but that it is only secondarily associated with fatigue. Implications for mindfulness-based interventions in MS are discussed. Based on the results of the current study, it may be feasible to promote the acceptance of default fatigue symptoms, instead of an actual reduction of fatigue symptoms.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7962308/

 

Improve Well-Being of Traumatic Brain Injury Patients with Mindfulness

Improve Well-Being of Traumatic Brain Injury Patients with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

TBI is a complex diagnosis involving many components.”One significant component is the stress response after having this type of injury. Mindfulness meditation appears to have a strong relaxing and stress reduction quality for patients, which is tremendously beneficial for overall recovery from injury.” – Heechin Chae

 

Brain damage is more or less permanent. The neurons and neural structures that are destroyed when the brain is damaged for the most part do not regrow. Brain Injury is caused by a number of different events including a violent blow to the head (Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI). In the United States it is estimated that annually 1.7 million people sustain Traumatic Brain Injury. Although the brain tissues that are destroyed are permanently lost, we know that people can recover to some extent from brain injury.  How is it possible that recovery can occur when there is no replacement of the damaged tissue? There appears to be a number of strategies that are employed by the brain to assist in recovery. Other areas of the brain can take over some of the function, other behavioral strategies can be employed to accomplish the task, and non-injured areas of the brain can adapt and change to compensate for the lost function. Rehabilitation for brain injury patients usually involves strategies to promote these recovery mechanisms. Mindfulness training has been found to be helpful in recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury.

 

In today’s Research News article “Comparison of the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation and mindfulness-based stress reduction on mental fatigue, quality of life and aggression in mild traumatic brain injury patients: a randomized clinical trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8207739/ ) and Shirvani colleagues recruited adult patients with traumatic brain injury and randomly assigned them to either no treatment or to receive a once a week for 2 hours for 8 weeks program of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or 3 sessions of 20 minutes per week for 10 total sessions of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). They were measured before and after training and 2 months later for mental fatigue, quality of life, physical aggression, verbal aggression, anger, and hostility.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the control group both the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) groups had significantly lower levels of mental fatigue and aggression both after treatment and 2 month later but the MBSR group has a significantly greater improvement than the tDCS group in mental fatigue but not aggression. They report that only the MBSR group has a significantly greater improvement in quality of life.

 

In the present study mental fatigue, quality of life, and aggressive behaviors were improved immediately after treatment and 2 month later by both Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). But MBSR produced greater improvement in mental fatigue and only MBSR produced a significant improvement in quality of life. Mindfulness has been shown in prior research to produce improvements in fatigue, aggression, and quality of life. The present study extends these benefits to patients with traumatic brain injury.

 

Traumatic brain injury patients are particularly difficult to treat. But the present findings suggest that mindfulness training may not only be effective but be the best treatment to improve the behavior and cognitive ability of patients with traumatic brain injury. Importantly, the improvements are relatively long lasting.

 

So, improve well-being of traumatic brain injury patients with mindfulness.

 

Mindfulness is a technique used to concentrate on your immediate surroundings, focusing on what happens moment by moment. It can be transformative for some and allow them to feel more aware of the situations around them, which can be particularly helpful for brain injury survivors.” – Headway

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Shirvani, S., Davoudi, M., Shirvani, M., Koleini, P., Hojat Panah, S., Shoshtari, F., & Omidi, A. (2021). Comparison of the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation and mindfulness-based stress reduction on mental fatigue, quality of life and aggression in mild traumatic brain injury patients: a randomized clinical trial. Annals of general psychiatry, 20(1), 33. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12991-021-00355-1

 

Abstract

Background

The rate of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) due to the accidents is high around the world. Patients with mild TBIs may suffer from some psychological disorders, including aggression, and mental fatigue, and thus their quality of life decreased. Among different treatments for TBI, two treatments, namely transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) have shown to be effective. Therefore, this study aimed to compare the effects of these two treatments on mental fatigue, aggression and quality of life in mTBI patients.

Materials and methods

This randomized controlled trial study was conducted on 48 TBI patients referred to emergency and neurosurgery departments of Shahid Beheshti Hospital, Kashan, Iran. They were selected using the convenience sampling method. Data were collected using the mental fatigue scale, the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF (short version), and the Buss–Perry Aggression Questionnaires. Then, the data were analyzed using a Mixed Repeated Measures ANOVAs, and the Levene and Kolmogorov–Smirnov tests by SPSS-23 software.

Results

The mean age of patients in the three groups of MBSR, tDCS and control were 69.38 + 6.11 (25% male), 25.40 + 12.11 (25% male) and 69.37 + 0.2 (18.8% male), respectively. There was no significant difference between the three groups in terms of mental fatigue, quality of life and aggression (P < 0.05). In addition, the results showed that there was a significant difference between the main effect of time and the interaction between time and group (P < 0.001).

Conclusions

Both MBSR and tDCS methods are effective in reducing the mental fatigue and aggression and increasing quality of life of mTBI patients; MBSR treatment, as indicated in the present study, can be more effective than tDCS in patients with mTBI.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8207739/

 

Improve the Respiratory Symptoms of Lung Cancer Patients with Qigong Practice

Improve the Respiratory Symptoms of Lung Cancer Patients with Qigong Practice

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Studies show that qigong practice can have many positive effects, particularly among patients with cancer, chronic illnesses, and breathing problems, as well as older adults. Benefits include improved lung function, mood, sleep, and quality of life, as well as reduced stress, pain, anxiety, and fatigue.” – Sloan Kettering Institute

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. Anxiety, depression, fatigue and insomnia are common symptoms in the aftermath of surviving cancer. These symptoms markedly reduce the quality of life of the patients.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbance, and anxiety and depressionTai Chi or Qigong practice has been shown to improve quality of life, reduce fatigue, and lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. They are very gentle and safe practices. The research on the effectiveness of Qigong training for lung cancer patients is sparse. So, it makes sense to Investigate the ability of Qigong training to improve the symptoms of lung cancer.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Effectiveness of Qigong in Managing a Cluster of Symptoms (Breathlessness-Fatigue-Anxiety) in Patients with Lung Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8047940/ )  Molassiotis and colleagues recruited patients who had complete treatment for lung cancer and randomly assigned them to either a wait-list control group or to engage in Qigong practice. They were trained in Qigong in 2 weekly 90-minute practices for 2 weeks and then practiced Qigong at home for 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. They were measured before and after training and at 12 weeks for disease status, fatigue, dyspnea (difficulty with breathing), anxiety, depression, cough frequency intensity and bothersomeness, and quality of life.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline the group that practiced Qigong had significant reductions in fatigue, dyspnea (difficulty with breathing), anxiety, and cough score that were maintained at the 12-week follow-up. These effects were significantly greater in men than in women. Hence, Qigong practice appeared to improve the symptoms in lung cancer patients.

 

It should be noted that 2 weeks of Qigong training followed by 4 weeks of home practice is a rather low amount of practice relative to what is usually prescribed in other controlled research, as much as 6 months of practice. In addition, only 62% of the Qigong group completed the practice with a 62% adherence rate. So, the effective dose of Qigong was low. This suggests that if practice was extended over longer periods of time greater effectiveness would have been observed. Nevertheless, Qigong practice, even in low dose, had positive benefits for lung cancer patients.

 

So, improve the respiratory symptoms of lung cancer patients with Qigong practice.

 

Qigong improved physical and mental well-being as well as quality-of-life in patients with lung cancer.” – Patient Power

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Molassiotis, A., Vu, D. V., & Ching, S. (2021). The Effectiveness of Qigong in Managing a Cluster of Symptoms (Breathlessness-Fatigue-Anxiety) in Patients with Lung Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Integrative cancer therapies, 20, 15347354211008253. https://doi.org/10.1177/15347354211008253

 

Abstract

Background and Purpose:

Qigong is used by cancer patients, but its effect is not adequately evaluated to date. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Qigong for the management of a symptom cluster comprising fatigue, dyspnea, and anxiety in patients with lung cancer.

Methodology:

A total of 156 lung cancer patients participated in this trial, and they were randomized to a Qigong group (6 weeks of intervention) or a waitlist control group receiving usual care. The symptom cluster was assessed at baseline, at the end of treatment (primary outcome), and at 12 weeks, alongside measures of cough and quality of life (QOL).

Results:

There was no significant interaction effect between group and time for the symptom cluster overall and for fatigue and anxiety. However, a significant trend towards improvement was observed on fatigue (P = .004), dyspnea (P = .002), and anxiety (P = .049) in the Qigong group from baseline assessment to the end of intervention at the 6th week (within-group changes). Improvements in dyspnea and in the secondary outcomes of cough, global health status, functional well-being and QOL symptom scales were statistically significant between the 2 groups (P = .001, .014, .021, .001, and .002, respectively).

Conclusion:

Qigong did not alleviate the symptom cluster experience. Nevertheless, this intervention was effective in reducing dyspnea and cough, and improving QOL. More than 6 weeks were needed, however, for detecting the effect of Qigong on improving dyspnea. Furthermore, men benefited more than women. It may not be beneficial to use Qigong to manage the symptom cluster consisting of fatigue, dyspnea, and anxiety, but it may be effective in managing respiratory symptoms (secondary outcomes needing further verification in future research). Future studies targeting symptom clusters should ensure the appropriateness of the combination of symptoms.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8047940/

 

Different Aspects of Yoga Practice Affect the Psychological Benefits

Different Aspects of Yoga Practice Affect the Psychological Benefits

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Most styles of yoga are based on the same basic yoga poses (called asanas), however the experience of one style can be radically different than another.” – DoYoga

 

Yoga training has been shown to improve health and well-being. It has also been found to be effective for a large array of medical and psychiatric conditions, either stand-alone or in combination with more traditional therapies. But there are a wide variety of different yoga training techniques and practices. Although the benefits of yoga practices in general are well studied there is little scientific research comparing different components of yoga practices and the benefits.

 

In today’s Research News article “Exploring how different types of yoga change psychological resources and emotional well-being across a single session.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7081324/ ) Park and colleagues recruited adults who had attended at least 5 yoga classes. There were 3 different practice sites engaged in a variety of types of yoga; Hatha yoga: Ashtanga, Baptiste, Bikram, Forrest, Iyengar, Kripalu, Kundalini, Pranayama, Restorative, Vinyasa Flow, and Yin. Before and after a 60-minute yoga class they were measured for psychological resources (mindfulness, body awareness, self-transcendence, peacefulness and contentment, social connectedness), and exercise induced feelings (positive emotions, revitalization, tranquility, and exhaustion). After the class they were measured for properties of yoga, physical taxation, and therapist warmth.

 

In comparison to before the yoga class, afterward there were significant increases exercise induced feelings (positive emotions, revitalization, tranquility, and decreased exhaustion), psychological resources (mindfulness, body awareness, self-transcendence, spirituality, and social connectedness). In addition, the greater the increase in positive emotions, revitalization, and tranquility, the greater the increase in mindfulness, self-transcendence, spirituality, and social connectedness. In addition, the greater the decrease in exhaustion the greater the increase in mindfulness, self-transcendence, spirituality, and social connectedness.

 

They also investigated different aspects of the yoga practice and their relationships to psychological resources and emotions. They found that the higher the levels of the restorative aspects of the yoga practice the greater the changes in self-transcendence, spirituality, and tranquility, the higher the levels of the breathwork aspects of the yoga practice the greater the changes in body awareness and self-transcendence, and the higher the levels of the therapist warmth the greater the changes in self-transcendence and positive engagement.

 

These results are correlative and need to be interpreted with caution. But they provide interesting clues as to how yoga practice may produce some of its benefits. It increases the psychological resources available to the participants and improves their emotions. They also showed that the larger the increases in psychological resources produced by yoga practice the greater the improvements in emotions. Finally, they showed that restorative and breathwork aspects of yoga practice and the therapist warmth were most related to improvements.

 

Much more research is needed. But this study suggests that yoga practice strengthens the psychological resources of the practitioners and these are related to improved emotions. It also demonstrates that certain aspects of yoga practice that are differently emphasized in different styles of yoga, particularly restorative and breathwork aspects of yoga practice and the therapist warmth, may contribute to yoga’s benefits.

 

So, different aspects of yoga practice affect the psychological benefits.

 

figure out your intention—do you want to do yoga to improve your health; lessen stress; increase mindfulness; gain strength; lose weight or relieve pain? Once you have the answer to this question you will know the practice that is right for you.” – Femina

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Park, C. L., Finkelstein-Fox, L., Groessl, E. J., Elwy, A. R., & Lee, S. Y. (2020). Exploring how different types of yoga change psychological resources and emotional well-being across a single session. Complementary therapies in medicine, 49, 102354. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102354

 

Abstract

Objectives:

Yoga demonstrates beneficial effects in many populations, yet our understanding of how yoga brings about these effects is quite limited. Among the proposed mechanisms of yoga are increasing psychological resources (mindfulness, body consciousness, self-transcendence, spiritual peace, and social connectedness) that may bring about salutary effects on emotional wellbeing. Further, yoga is a complex practice comprising meditation, active and restorative postures, and breathwork; however little is known about how different components may affect mechanisms. We aimed to determine how an acute session of yoga (and its specific components) related to pre- to post- session changes in proposed mechanisms (psychological resources) and whether those changes were associated with positive changes in emotions.

Design:

144 regular yoga practitioners completed measures of mindfulness, body consciousness, self-transcendence, social connectedness, spiritual peace, and exercise-induced emotions (positive engagement, revitalization, tranquility, exhaustion) immediately before and after a yoga session (N=11 sessions, each a different type of yoga). Perceived properties of each yoga session, exercise exertion and engagement with the yoga teacher were assessed immediately following the session.

Results:

Pre- to post- yoga, levels of positive emotions (engagement, tranquility and revitalization) increased while exhaustion decreased. Further, all psychological resources increased and closely tracked improved emotions. Additionally, aspects of the yoga session correlated with changes in psychological resources (mechanisms) and emotions.

Conclusions:

Yoga may influence multiple psychological mechanisms that influence emotional well-being. Further, different types of yoga may affect different mechanisms. Results can inform yoga interventions aiming to optimize effects through specific mechanisms such as mindfulness or spirituality.

Highlights

  • To gain a better understanding of how yoga brings about beneficial effects, we examined changes in psychological resources and emotions across a single session of yoga.
  • All five psychological resources (mindfulness, body consciousness, self-transcendence, spiritual peace, and social connectedness) increased from pre-to-post yoga session, and all emotions (positive engagement, revitalization, tranquility and exhaustion) improved.
  • Further, improvements in emotions were associated with improvements in psychological resources.
  • Different styles of yoga were associated with differential improvements in psychological resources and emotions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7081324/

 

Improve Sleep in People with Sleep Disturbance with a Meditation App

Improve Sleep in People with Sleep Disturbance with a Meditation App

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Sufficient sleep heals our bodies and minds, but for many reasons sleep doesn’t always come easily. Mindfulness practices and habits can help us fall asleep and stay asleep.” – Mindful

 

Modern society has become more around-the-clock and more complex producing considerable pressure and stress on the individual. The advent of the internet and smart phones has exacerbated the problem. The resultant stress can impair sleep. Indeed, it is estimated that over half of Americans sleep too little due to stress. As a result, people today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago. Not having a good night’s sleep has adverse effects upon the individual’s health, well-being, and happiness.

 

Mindfulness-based practices have been reported to improve sleep amount and quality and help with insomnia. The vast majority of the mindfulness training techniques, however, require a trained therapist. This results in costs that many patients can’t afford. In addition, the participants must be available to attend multiple sessions at particular scheduled times that may or may not be compatible with their busy schedules and at locations that may not be convenient. As an alternative, Apps for smartphones have been developed. These have tremendous advantages in decreasing costs, making training schedules much more flexible, and eliminating the need to go repeatedly to specific locations. But the question arises as to the effectiveness of these Apps in improving sleep in patients with sleep disturbance.

 

In today’s Research News article “Testing a mindfulness meditation mobile app for the treatment of sleep-related symptoms in adults with sleep disturbance: A randomized controlled trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7790277/ ) Huberty and colleagues recruited online, adults with moderate sleep disorder, insomnia, and randomly assigned them to a wait-list control condition or to use the “Calm” meditation app for 10 minutes per day for 8 weeks. They were measured before, during, and after for fatigue, daytime sleepiness, pre-sleep arousal, sleep quality, and use of the app.

 

They found that there was high adherence to app use, with an average of 6.36 uses per week that remained steady over the 8-week intervention period. They found that in comparison to baseline and the wait-list control group, the group that used the “Calm” app had greater reductions in fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and cognitive and somatic pre-sleep arousal. In addition, the group that used the “Calm” app had significant improvements in sleep quality, including falling asleep faster and sleeping longer.

 

The results of this study suggest that using the “Calm” app improves the sleep of individuals with insomnia and also reduces daytime fatigue and sleepiness, and pre-sleep arousal. The results of this study suggest that using the “Calm” app improves the sleep of individuals with insomnia and also reduces daytime fatigue and sleepiness, and pre-sleep arousal. The results are not surprising as mindfulness training has been shown repeatedly to improve sleep and reduce fatigue. But demonstrating these improvements with an app that is widely available, inexpensive, and convenient to use, is important as the app makes treatment more readily available for a wider group of patients. Hence, the Calm” app would seem to be an excellent treatment for the moderate sleep disorder of insomnia.

 

So, improve sleep in people with sleep disturbance with a meditation app.

 

The idea is to create a reflex to more easily bring forth a sense of relaxation. That way, it’s easier to evoke the relaxation response at night when you can’t sleep. In fact, the relaxation response is so, well, relaxing that your daytime practice should be done sitting up or moving (as in yoga or tai chi) so as to avoid nodding off.” – Julie Corliss

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Huberty, J. L., Green, J., Puzia, M. E., Larkey, L., Laird, B., Vranceanu, A. M., Vlisides-Henry, R., & Irwin, M. R. (2021). Testing a mindfulness meditation mobile app for the treatment of sleep-related symptoms in adults with sleep disturbance: A randomized controlled trial. PloS one, 16(1), e0244717. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0244717

 

Abstract

The objective of this randomized controlled trial was to test whether a commercially available, mindfulness meditation mobile app, (i.e., Calm app), was effective in reducing fatigue (primary outcome), pre-sleep arousal, and daytime sleepiness (secondary outcomes) in adults with sleep disturbance (Insomnia Severity Index Score >10) as compared to a wait-list control group. Associations between the use of the Calm app (i.e., adherence to the intervention) and changes in sleep quality was also explored in the intervention group only. Adults with sleep disturbance were recruited (N = 640). Eligible and consenting participants (N = 263) were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 124) or a wait-list control (n = 139) group. Intervention participants were asked to meditate using the Calm app ≥10 minutes/day for eight weeks. Fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and pre-sleep arousal were assessed at baseline, mid- (4-weeks) and post-intervention (8-weeks) in both groups, whereas sleep quality was evaluated only in the intervention group. Findings from intent-to-treat analyses suggest the use of the Calm app for eight weeks significantly decreased daytime fatigue (p = .018) as well as daytime sleepiness (p = .003) and cognitive (p = .005) and somatic (p < .001) pre-sleep arousal as compared to the wait-list control group. Within the intervention group, use of the Calm app was associated with improvements in sleep quality (p < .001). This randomized controlled trial demonstrates that the Calm app can be used to treat fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and pre-sleep arousal in adults with sleep disturbance. Given that the Calm app is affordable and widely accessible, these data have implications for community level dissemination of a mobile app to improve sleep-related symptoms associated with sleep disturbance.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7790277/

 

Maintain Vacation Benefits with Meditation

Maintain Vacation Benefits with Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

If you’re going to go on a vacation see if you can integrate meditation to really double up on that impact.” – Elisha Goldstein

 

A leisure vacation can rejuvenate the individual in body and mind. It decreases mental and physical fatigue and increases happiness. But unfortunately, its effects rapidly dissipate. It doesn’t take long for the positive benefits to wear off. Meditation retreats also rejuvenate the individual in body and mind, decreasing fatigue and increasing happiness. The effects of meditation appear have been generally found to be relatively longer lasting. Attending a meditation retreat or including meditation on vacation may help to sustain the effectiveness of the vacation for a longer period of time.

 

In today’s Research News article “Is a meditation retreat the better vacation? effect of retreats and vacations on fatigue, emotional well-being, and acting with awareness.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7869997/ ) Blasche and colleagues recruited adult participants in meditation retreats and also individuals who planned a vacation over the same period of time. They separated the vacation participants who did and did not include meditation in their vacation. They were measured before and after the retreat/vacation and

weeks later for acting with awareness, fatigue, emotional well-being, relaxation, control, and mastery.

 

They found that after the retreat/vacation all groups had significant reductions in fatigue and emotional well-being while on the retreat and vacation with meditation groups had significant increases in acting with awareness. Ten weeks later, however, only the retreat and vacation with meditation groups had maintained significant increases in acting with awareness and emotional well-being and decreases in fatigue.

 

These are interesting findings. But, it needs to be recognized that this was not a randomized study and the participants who chose to go on retreat or those who meditate during a vacation may be significantly different than those who do not meditate during the vacation. People who meditate may be the kinds of people who get the most out of their vacations.

 

Regardless, the results suggest that all types of vacations improve the physical and mental health of the participants, when meditation is not included the benefits fade over the next few weeks. But including meditation either in retreat of during a vacation significantly improves the longevity of the benefits. This further suggests that including some quiet reflective time in a vacation is important in maximizing the impact of the vacation on the well-being of the participants.

 

So, maintain vacation benefits with meditation.

 

So the “vacation effect” brings short term good news for everyone, and the “meditation effect” brings longer-lasting good news, especially when you keep at it!” – Crystal Goh

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Blasche, G., deBloom, J., Chang, A., & Pichlhoefer, O. (2021). Is a meditation retreat the better vacation? effect of retreats and vacations on fatigue, emotional well-being, and acting with awareness. PloS one, 16(2), e0246038. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0246038

 

Abstract

It is well established that leisure vacations markedly improve well-being, but that these effects are only of short duration. The present study aimed to investigate whether vacation effects would be more lasting if individuals practiced meditation during the leisure episode. Meditation is known to improve well-being durably, among others, by enhancing the mental faculty of mindfulness. In this aim, leisure vacations during which individuals practiced meditation to some extent were compared with holidays not including any formal meditation practice as well as with meditation retreats (characterized by intense meditation practice) utilizing a naturalistic observational design. Fatigue, well-being, and mindfulness were assessed ten days before, ten days after, and ten weeks after the stays in a sample of 120 individuals accustomed to meditation practices. To account for differences in the experience of these stays, recovery experiences were additionally assessed. Ten days after the stay, there were no differences except for an increase in mindfulness for those practicing meditation. Ten weeks after the stay, meditation retreats and vacations including meditation were associated with greater increases in mindfulness, lower levels of fatigue, and higher levels of well-being than an “ordinary” vacation during which meditation was not practiced. The finding suggests that the inclusion of meditation practice during vacation could help alleviate vacations’ greatest pitfall, namely the rapid decline of its positive effects.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7869997/