Improve Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Tai Chi

Improve Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Tai chi does not mean oriental wisdom or something exotic. It is the wisdom of your own senses, your own mind and body together as one process.” – Chungliang Al Huang

 

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. Tai Chi is a mindfulness practice that includes movement and balance training. The ability of Tai Chi to improve Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) needs investigation.

 

In today’s Research News article “Altered Effective Connectivity of Resting-State Networks by Tai Chi Chuan in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients: A Multivariate Granger Causality Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9203735/  ) Li and colleagues recruited adult patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and a group of healthy adults who had never practiced Tai Chi and provided them with 2 weekly 1 hour sessions of Tai Chi for 4 weeks. They were measured before and after training for health-related quality of life and had their brains scanned with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

 

They found that in comparison to the healthy adults before Tai Chi the patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) had significantly lower health-related quality of life and lower connectivity between the Sensorimotor Network (SMN) and the Default Mode Network (DMN). After Tai Chi training the patients with CFS had significant increases in health-related quality of life and improved connectivity between the SMN and DMN.

 

These findings demonstrate that Tai Chi practice can improve the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) potentially by strengthening connectivity in the brain. This is important as CFS is a mysterious disorder and these findings suggest that a lower level of brain connectivity may underlie the disorder. In addition, they show that Tai Chi practice may at least partially reverse these symptoms.

 

Tai Chi Chuan, the great ultimate, strengthens the weak, raises the sick, invigorates the debilitated, and encourages the timid.” – Cheng Man-ch’ing

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Li Y, Wu K, Hu X, Xu T, Li Z, Zhang Y, Li K. Altered Effective Connectivity of Resting-State Networks by Tai Chi Chuan in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients: A Multivariate Granger Causality Study. Front Neurol. 2022 Jun 3;13:858833. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2022.858833. PMID: 35720086; PMCID: PMC9203735.

 

Abstract

Numerous evidence has shown that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have changes in resting brain functional connectivity, but there is no study on the brain network effect of Tai Chi Chuan intervention in CFS. To explore the influence of Tai Chi Chuan exercise on the causal relationship between brain functional networks in patients with CFS, 21 patients with CFS and 19 healthy controls were recruited for resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) scanning and 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) scale assessment before and after 1month-long training in Tai Chi Chuan. We extracted the resting brain networks using the independent component analysis (ICA) method, analyzed the changes of FC in these networks, conducted Granger causality analysis (GCA) on it, and analyzed the correlation between the difference causality value and the SF-36 scale. Compared to the healthy control group, the SF-36 scale scores of patients with CFS were lower at baseline. Meanwhile, the causal relationship between sensorimotor network (SMN) and default mode network (DMN) was weakened. The above abnormalities could be improved by Tai Chi Chuan training for 1 month. In addition, the correlation analyses showed that the causal relationship between SMN and DMN was positively correlated with the scores of Role Physical (RP) and Bodily Pain (BP) in CFS patients, and the change of causal relationship between SMN and DMN before and after training was positively correlated with the change of BP score. The findings suggest that Tai Chi Chuan is helpful to improve the quality of life for patients with CFS. The change of Granger causality between SMN and DMN may be a readout parameter of CFS. Tai Chi Chuan may promote the functional plasticity of brain networks in patients with CFS by regulating the information transmission between them.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9203735/

 

Mindfulness Improves the Psychological Well-Being of Lung Cancer Patients

Mindfulness Improves the Psychological Well-Being of Lung Cancer Patients

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

You can be a victim of cancer, or a survivor of cancer. It’s a mindset.” — Dave Pelzer

 

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 breast cancer. These symptoms markedly reduce the quality of life of the patients.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with general cancer recovery. Mindfulness practices have been shown to improve the residual symptoms in cancer survivors. Yoga is both an exercise and a mindfulness practice that has also been shown to be helpful with the residual symptoms in cancer survivors, the psychological and physical ability to deal with cancer treatment and improves sleep. The research findings have been accumulating. So, it makes sense to take a look at what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Impact of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on Psychological Outcomes and Quality of Life in Patients With Lung Cancer: A Meta-Analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.901247/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1896364_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20220705_arts_A&id_mc=312338674&utm_source=sfmc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Article+Alerts+V4.1-Frontiers&utm_term=%%%3d++++++REDIRECTTO(+++++CONCAT(%27http%3a%2f%2fjournal.frontiersin.org%2farticle%2f%27%2c+TreatAsContent(field(%40article%2c+%27DOI__c%27))%2c+%27%2ffull%3futm_source%3dF-AAE%26utm_medium%3dEMLF%26utm_campaign%3dMRK_%27%2c+TreatAsContent(JobID)%2c+%27_%27%2c+TreatAsContent(%40FieldId)%2c+%27_%27%2c+TreatAsContent(Substring(Replace(Field(%40field%2c+%27Name%27)%2c+%27+%27%2c ) Tian and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the of the published research studies of the effectiveness of a mindfulness practice, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on the psychological well-being of lung cancer survivors. MBSR consists of meditation, yoga, body scan, and group discussion.

 

They identified 17 published research studies that included a total of 1680 participants. They report that the published research found that the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) produced a significant reduction in cancer related fatigue, anxiety, depression, and psychological distress, and significantly increased mindfulness, self-efficacy, and sleep quality.

 

Hence, the research to date supports the use of mindfulness training to improve the psychological well-being of lung cancer survivors.

 

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” – Unknown

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Tian X, Yi L-J, Liang C-S-S, Gu L, Peng C, Chen G-H and Jiménez-Herrera MF (2022) The Impact of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on Psychological Outcomes and Quality of Life in Patients With Lung Cancer: A Meta-Analysis. Front. Psychol. 13:901247. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.901247

 

Objective: The impact of the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program on psychological outcomes and quality of life (QoL) in lung cancer patients remains unclear. This meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the MBSR program on psychological states and QoL in lung cancer patients.

Methods: Eligible studies published before November 2021 were systematically searched from PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), and Wanfang databases. The risk of bias in eligible studies was assessed using the Cochrane tool. Psychological variables and QoL were evaluated as outcomes. We used the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system to grade the levels of evidence. Statistical analysis was conducted using RevMan 5.4 and STATA 14.0.

Results: A total of 17 studies involving 1,680 patients were included for meta-analysis eventually. MBSR program significantly relieved cancer-related fatigue (standard mean difference [SMD], −1.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], −1.69 to −0.82; moderate evidence) and negative psychological states (SMD, −1.35; 95% CI, −1.69 to −1.02; low evidence), enhanced positive psychological states (SMD, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.56–1.27; moderate evidence), and improved quality of sleep (MD, −2.79; 95% CI, −3.03 to −2.56; high evidence). Evidence on MBSR programs’ overall treatment effect for QoL revealed a trend toward statistical significance (p = 0.06, low evidence).

Conclusion: Based on our findings, the MBSR program shows positive effects on psychological states in lung cancer patients. This approach should be recommended as a part of the rehabilitation program for lung cancer patients.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.901247/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1896364_a0P58000000G0YfEAK_Psycho_20220705_arts_A&id_mc=312338674&utm_source=sfmc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Article+Alerts+V4.1-Frontiers&utm_term=%%%3d++++++REDIRECTTO(+++++CONCAT(%27http%3a%2f%2fjournal.frontiersin.org%2farticle%2f%27%2c+TreatAsContent(field(%40article%2c+%27DOI__c%27))%2c+%27%2ffull%3futm_source%3dF-AAE%26utm_medium%3dEMLF%26utm_campaign%3dMRK_%27%2c+TreatAsContent(JobID)%2c+%27_%27%2c+TreatAsContent(%40FieldId)%2c+%27_%27%2c+TreatAsContent(Substring(Replace(Field(%40field%2c+%27Name%27)%2c+%27+%27%2c

 

Meditation is an Effective Treatment for a Variety of Medical Conditions

Meditation is an Effective Treatment for a Variety of Medical Conditions

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness is not a cure-all. . . . There have been thousands of studies showing that there are psychological and physical benefits to mindfulness meditation, but the intention . . . is not to cure the disease or fully treat the symptoms, but to treat the whole person — and that includes their mental and emotional well-being — so they can live in greater health and joy.” – Men’s Health

 

Over the last several decades, research and anecdotal experiences have accumulated an impressive evidential case that meditation has positive benefits for the individual’s mental, physical, and spiritual life. Meditation appears to be beneficial both for healthy people and for people suffering from a myriad of mental and physical illnesses. It appears to be beneficial across ages, from children to the elderly. And it appears to be beneficial across genders, personalities, race, and ethnicity. The breadth and depth of benefits is unprecedented. There is no other treatment or practice that has been shown to come anyway near the range of mindfulness’ positive benefits.

 

Over the last few decades, a vast amount of research has been published on the benefits of meditation on the mental and physical health of the practitioners. So, it makes sense to step back and summarize what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Systematic Review for the Medical Applications of Meditation in Randomized Controlled Trials.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8834867/ ) Kim and colleagues review and summarize the 104 published randomized controlled trials on the benefits of meditation practices on mental and physical well-being.

 

They report that the published research found that different studies report varying results but the most common significant benefits of meditation practice were improvements in fatigue, sleep quality, quality of life, stress, PTSD symptoms, blood pressure, intraocular pressure, and depression. In general yoga-based practices produced slightly better results than mindfulness based techniques,

 

Hence, meditation practices have been found to help improve mental and physical well-being.

 

meditation can improve mental health and reduce symptoms associated with chronic conditions.” – Ashley Welch

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Kim, D. Y., Hong, S. H., Jang, S. H., Park, S. H., Noh, J. H., Seok, J. M., Jo, H. J., Son, C. G., & Lee, E. J. (2022). Systematic Review for the Medical Applications of Meditation in Randomized Controlled Trials. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(3), 1244. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031244

 

Abstract

Background: Meditation has been increasingly adapted for healthy populations and participants with diseases. Its beneficial effects are still challenging to determine due to the heterogeneity and methodological obstacles regarding medical applications. This study aimed to integrate the features of therapeutic meditation in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Methods: We conducted a systematic review of RCTs with meditation for populations with diseases using the PubMed database through June 2021. We analyzed the characteristics of the diseases/disorders, participants, measurements, and their overall benefits. Results: Among a total of 4855 references, 104 RCTs were determined and mainly applied mindfulness-based (51 RCTs), yoga-based (32 RCTs), and transcendental meditation (14 RCTs) to 10,139 patient-participants. These RCTs were conducted for participants with a total of 45 kinds of disorders; the most frequent being cancer, followed by musculoskeletal and connective tissue diseases and affective mood disorder. Seven symptoms or signs were frequently assessed: depressive mood, feeling anxious, quality of life, stress, sleep, pain, and fatigue. The RCTs showed a higher ratio of positive outcomes for sleep (73.9%) and fatigue (68.4%). Conclusions: This systematic review produced the comprehensive features of RCTs for therapeutic meditation. These results will help physicians and researchers further study clinical adaptations in the future as reference data.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8834867/

 

Reduce Fatigue and Improve Sleep in Cancer Survivors with Tai Chi

Reduce Fatigue and Improve Sleep in Cancer Survivors with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“tai chi may help to increase strength, balance, flexibility, heart and lung function, feelings of well-being” – BreastCancer.org

 

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 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 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 Tai Chi training for cancer patients is accumulating. So, it makes sense to take a step back and summarize what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Tai Chi for cancer survivors: A systematic review toward consensus-based guidelines.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8559497/ ) Yang and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the published randomized controlled clinical trials of the effectiveness of Tai Chi training for the well-being of cancer survivors. They identified 26 published studies.

 

They report that the published research found that 8 to 12 weeks of Tai Chi practice produce significant decreases in fatigue and increases in sleep quality in cancer patients. The published studies were generally of low methodological quality and small number of patients. So, there is a need for future studies employing high quality methodologies with large groups. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to conclude that Tai Chi practice is beneficial for cancer survivors reducing fatigue and improving sleep.

 

So, reduce fatigue and improve sleep in cancer survivors with Tai Chi.

 

participation in Tai Chi had a positive influence on quality of life and psychological health for cancer survivors.” – Catherine Stifter

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Yang, L., Winters-Stone, K., Rana, B., Cao, C., Carlson, L. E., Courneya, K. S., Friedenreich, C. M., & Schmitz, K. H. (2021). Tai Chi for cancer survivors: A systematic review toward consensus-based guidelines. Cancer medicine, 10(21), 7447–7456. https://doi.org/10.1002/cam4.4273

 

Abstract

To manage acute, long‐term, and late effects of cancer, current guidelines recommend moderate‐to‐vigorous intensity aerobic and resistance exercise. Unfortunately, not all cancer survivors are able or willing to perform higher intensity exercise during difficult cancer treatments or because of other existing health conditions. Tai Chi is an equipment‐free, multicomponent mind–body exercise performed at light‐to‐moderate intensity that may provide a more feasible alternative to traditional exercise programs for some cancer survivors. This systematic review evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of Tai Chi across the cancer care continuum. We searched MEDLINE/PubMed, Embase, SCOPUS, and CINAHL databases for interventional studies from inception to 18 September 2020. Controlled trials of the effects of Tai Chi training on patient‐reported and objectively measured outcomes in cancer survivors were included. Study quality was determined by the RoB 2 tool, and effect estimates were evaluated using the Best Evidence Synthesis approach. Twenty‐six reports from 14 trials (one non‐randomized controlled trial) conducted during (n = 5) and after treatment (after surgery: n = 2; after other treatments: n = 7) were included. Low‐level evidence emerged to support the benefits of 40–60 min of thrice‐weekly supervised Tai Chi for 8–12 weeks to improve fatigue and sleep quality in cancer survivors. These findings need to be confirmed in larger trials and tested for scaling‐up potential. Insufficient evidence was available to evaluate the effects of Tai Chi on other cancer‐related outcomes. Future research should examine whether Tai Chi training can improve a broader range of cancer outcomes including during the pre‐treatment and end of life phases.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8559497/

 

Improve the Ability of Yoga to Reduce Fatigue in Cancer Patients with Email Reminders

Improve the Ability of Yoga to Reduce Fatigue in Cancer Patients with Email Reminders

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Yoga works on the principle of mind and body health and it would help women cope with systemic therapy side effects better. Yoga nidra and pranayama also improve sleep patterns. Thus all this together may reduce fatigue and pain.” – Nita Nair

 

Because of great advances in treatment, many patients today are surviving cancer. But cancer survivors frequently suffer from anxiety, depression, mood disturbance, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep disturbance, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, loss of personal control, impaired quality of life, and psychiatric symptoms which have been found to persist even ten years after remission. Also, cancer survivors can have to deal with a heightened fear of reoccurrence. So, safe and effective treatments for the symptoms in cancer and the physical and psychological effects of the treatments are needed.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with general cancer recovery. Mindfulness practices have been shown to improve the residual symptoms in cancer survivors. Yoga is both an exercise and a mindfulness practice that has also been shown to be helpful with the residual symptoms in cancer survivors, the psychological and physical ability to deal with cancer treatment and improves sleep. But adherence to practice over time can be a problem with yoga. So, it is important to investigate methods to improve long-term adherence to yoga practice to enhance and maintain its benefits for cancer survivors.

 

In today’s Research News article “Yoga therapy to reduce fatigue in cancer: effects of reminder e-mails and long-term efficacy.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8550207/ ) Zetzl and colleagues recruited adult cancer survivors who reported fatigue symptoms and provided them with an 8 weekly 1-hour sessions of yoga practice. They were randomly assigned to no further treatment or to receive email reminders and a description of a yoga posture and encouragement to practice once a week for 24 weeks following the completion of training. They were measured before and after the yoga therapy and 6 months later for fatigue, frequency of yoga practice, depression, and quality of life.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline yoga therapy produced significant reductions in fatigue and depression and significant increases in quality of life, These improvements were maintained 6 months later. In addition, the group that received email reminders compared to the no email reminder group at the 6-month follow-up had greater reductions in fatigue particularly emotional fatigue and they practiced more frequently. A mediation analysis revealed that email reminders were related to reductions in emotional fatigue directly and also indirectly by increasing practice frequency which in turn also decreased fatigue.

 

The study demonstrates that yoga practice by cancer survivors improves their quality of life and reduces depression and fatigue. These findings are not new as yoga practice has been reported by other researchers in a variety of participant types to improve quality of life and reduce depression and fatigue. What is new here is the demonstration that these benefits for cancer survivors can be increased by providing weekly email reminders to practice yoga to increase the frequency of practice.

 

So, improve the ability of yoga to reduce fatigue in cancer patients with email reminders.

 

yoga may be beneficial as a component of treatment for both fatigue and depression in cancer survivors.” – Jessica Armer

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Zetzl, T., Pittig, A., Renner, A., van Oorschot, B., & Jentschke, E. (2021). Yoga therapy to reduce fatigue in cancer: effects of reminder e-mails and long-term efficacy. Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 29(12), 7725–7735. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-021-06345-z

 

Abstract

Objective

To examine the efficacy of reminder e-mails to continue yoga therapy on practice frequency and fatigue in cancer patients and long-term effects of yoga on fatigue, depression, and quality of life.

Methodology

One hundred two cancer patients who completed an 8-week yoga therapy were randomly allocated to two groups: reminder (N = 51) vs. no-reminder group (N = 51). After completing yoga therapy, the reminder group received weekly e-mails for 24 weeks, which reminded them of practicing yoga, whereas the no-reminder group did not. Primary outcomes were fatigue and practice frequency, and long-term outcomes were fatigue, depression, and quality of life. Data were assessed using questionnaires after yoga therapy (T1) and 6 months after completing yoga therapy (T2).

Result

A significantly stronger reduction of general (p = 0.038, d = 0.42) and emotional fatigue (p = 0.004, d = 0.59) and a higher increase of practice frequency (p = 0.015, d = 0.52) between T1 and T2 were found for the reminder group compared to the no-reminder group. In the mediation model, practice frequency as a mediator partially explained the changes in emotional fatigue (indirect effect B =  − 0.10). Long-term effects of yoga therapy regarding fatigue, depression, and quality of life were found (F > 7.46, p < 0.001, d > 0.54).

Conclusion

Weekly reminder e-mails after yoga therapy can positively affect general and emotional fatigue and help cancer patients with fatigue establish a regular yoga practice at home. However, higher practice frequency did not lead to higher physical or cognitive fatigue improvement, suggesting other factors that mediate efficacy on physical or cognitive fatigue, such as mindfulness or side effects of therapy.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8550207/

 

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/