Partial Research Findings on the Effects of Meditation
The research listed below is representative of what kind of work is being done regarding the impact of meditation. The studies listed below focus, variously, on attention, memory, stress reduction, pain abatement or tolerance, emotional well-being, and more.
I encourage you to spend some time learning about the far ranging and powerful effect of meditation. The first two citations listed below are articles that summarize the research for those of us who are not scientists. All the other citations are of scientific studies.
Articles: LOOK: What Meditation Can Do For Your Mind, Body And Spirit, by Laura Shocker http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/14/meditation-mind-body-spirit_n_5291361.html
Meditation Health Benefits: What The Practice Does To Your Body, by Meredith Melnick http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/30/meditation-health-benefits_n_3178731.html
Leading Mindfully: Two Studies of the Influence of Supervisor Trait Mindfulness on Employee Well-Being and Performance. REB; Jochen Matthias; Narayanan, Jayanth; and Chaturvedi, Sankalp (2014). Mindfulness. , 5(1), 36. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Hopkins, J., Kreitemeyer, J. & Toney, L. (2006), ‘Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness’, Assessment, 13, pp. 27–45.
Jha, A., et al. (2007), ‘Mindfulness training modifies subsystems of attention’, Cognitive Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 7, pp. 109–19;
Tang, Y. Y., Ma, Y., Wang, J., Fan, Y., Feng, S., Lu, Q., et al. (2007), ‘Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (US), 104(43), pp. 17152–6;
McCracken, L. M. & Yang, S.-Y. (2008), ‘A contextual cognitive-behavioral analysis of rehabilitation workers’ health and well-being: Influences of acceptance, mindful- ness and values-based action’, Rehabilitation Psychology, 53, pp.479–85;
Ortner, C. N. M., Kilner, S. J. & Zelazo, P. D. (2007), ‘Mindfulness meditation and reduced emotional interference on a cognitive task’, Motivation and Emotion, 31, pp. 271–83;
Brefczynski-Lewis, J. A., Lutz, A., Schaefer, H. S., Levinson, D. B. & Davidson, R. J. (2007), ‘Neural correlates of attentional expertise in long-term meditation practitioners’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (US), 104(27), pp. 11483–8.
Brown, Christopher A., Jones, Anthony K. P., (2013) ‘Psychobiological Correlates of Improved Mental Health in Patients With Musculo-skeletal Pain After a Mindfulness-based Pain Management Program’, Clinical Journal of Pain, 29(3), pp. 233–44.
Zeidan, F., Martucci, K. T., Kraft, R. A., Gordon, N. S., McHaffie, J. G. & Coghill, R. C. 2011, ‘Brain Mechanisms Supporting the Modulation of Pain by Mindfulness Meditation’, Journal of Neuroscience, 31(14), p. 5540.
Kabat-Zinn, J., Lipworth, L., Burncy, R. & Sellers, W. (1986), ‘Four- year follow-up of a meditation-based program for the self- regulation of chronic pain: Treatment outcomes and compliance’, Clinical Journal of Pain, 2, p. 159;
Morone, N. E., Greco, C. M. & Weiner, D. K. (2008), ‘Mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic low back pain in older adults: A randomized controlled pilot study’, Pain, 134(3), pp. 310–19;
Grant, J. A. & Rainville, P. (2009), ‘Pain sensitivity and analgesic effects of mindful states in Zen meditators: A cross-sectional study’, Psychosomatic Medicine, 71(1), pp. 106–14.
Grossman, P., Tiefenthaler-Gilmer, U., Raysz, A. & Kesper, U. (2007), ‘Mindfulness training as an intervention for fibromyalgia: evidence of postintervention and 3-year follow-up benefits in well-being’, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 76, pp. 226–233;
Sephton, S. E., Salmon, P., Weissbecker, I., Ulmer, C., Floyd, A., Hoover, K., et al. (2007), ‘Mindfulness meditation alleviates depressive symptoms in women with fibromyalgia: results of a randomized clinical trial’, Arthritis & Rheumatism, 57, pp. 77–85;
Schmidt, S., Grossman, P., Schwarzer, B., Jena, S., Naumann, J., and Walach, H. (2011), ‘Treating fibromyalgia with mindfulness-based stress reduction: results from a 3- armed randomized controlled trial’, Pain 152, pp. 361–9.
Morone, N. E., Lynch, C. S., Greco, C. M., Tindle, H. A. & Weiner, D. K. (2008b), ‘“I felt like a new person” – the effects of mindfulness meditation on older adults with chronic pain: qualitative narrative analysis of diary entries’, Journal of Pain, 9, pp. 841–8.
Gaylord, S. A., Palsson, O. S., Garland, E. L., Faurot, K. R., Coble, R. S., Mann, J. D., et al. (2011), ‘Mindfulness training reduces the severity of irritable bowel syndrome in women: results of a randomized controlled trial’, American Journal of Gastroenterology, 106, pp. 1678–88.
Speca, M., Carlson, L., Goodey, E. & Angen, M. (2000), ‘A randomized, wait-list controlled clinical trial: the effect of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction program on mood and symptoms of stress in cancer outpatients’, Psychosomatic Medicine, 62, pp. 613–22.
Brown, Kirk Warren, Ryan, Richard, M. (2003), ‘The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(4), pp. 822–48;
Lykins, Emily L. B. & Baer, Ruth A. (2009), ‘Psychological Functioning in a Sample of Long-Term Practitioners of Mindfulness Meditation’, Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 23(3), pp. 226–41.
Ivanowski, B. & Malhi, G. S. (2007), ‘The psychological and neuro- physiological concomitants of mindfulness forms of meditation’, Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 19, pp. 76–91;
Shapiro, S. L., Oman, D., Thoresen, C. E., Plante, T. G. & Flinders, T. (2008), ‘Cultivating mindfulness: effects on well-being’, Journal of Clinical Psychology, 64(7), pp. 840–62;
Shapiro, S. L., Schwartz, G. E. & Bonner, G. (1998), ‘Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on medical and pre- medical students’, Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 21, pp. 581–99. Ma, J. & Teasdale, J. D. (2004), ‘Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: Replication and exploration of differential relapse prevention effects’, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72, pp. 31–40;
Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G. & Teasdale, J. D., Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Depression: a new approach to preventing relapse (Guilford Press, 2002);
Kenny, M. A. & Williams, J. M. G. (2007), ‘Treatment-resistant depressed patients show a good response to Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy’, Behaviour Research & Therapy, 45, pp. 617–25;
Eisendraeth, S. J., Delucchi, K., Bitner, R., Fenimore, P., Smit, M. & McLane, M. (2008), ‘Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression: A Pilot Study’, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 77, pp. 319–20; Kingston, T., et al. (2007), ‘Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for residual depressive symptoms’, Psychology and Psychotherapy, 80, pp. 193–203.
Bowen, S., et al. (2006), ‘Mindfulness Meditation and Substance Use in an Incarcerated Population’, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 20, pp. 343–7.
Hölzel, B. K., Ott, U., Gard, T., Hempel, H., Weygandt, M., Morgen, K. & Vaitl, D. (2008), ‘Investigation of mindfulness meditation practitioners with voxel-based morphometry’, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 3, pp 55–61;
Lazar, S., Kerr, C., Wasserman, R., Gray, J., Greve, D., Treadway, M., McGarvey, M., Quinn, B., Dusek, J., Benson, H., Rauch, S., Moore, C. & Fischl, B. (2005), ‘Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness’, NeuroReport, 16, pp. 1893–7;
Luders, Eileen, Toga, Arthur W., Lepore, Natasha & Gaser, Christian (2009), ‘The underlying anatomical correlates of long-term meditation: Larger hippocampal and frontal volumes of gray matter’, Neuroimage, 45, pp. 672–8.
Davidson, R. J. (2004), ‘Well-being and affective style: Neural substrates and biobehavioural correlates’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 359, pp. 1395–1411.
Davidson, R. J., Kabat-Zinn, J. Schumacher, J., Rosenkranz, M., Muller, D., Santorelli, S.F., Urbanowski, F., Harrington, A., Bonus, K. & Sheridan, J. F. (2003) ‘Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation’, Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, pp. 564–70;
Epel, Elissa, Daubenmier, Jennifer, Tedlie Moskowitz, Judith, Folkman, Susan & Blackburn, Elizabeth (2009), ‘Can Meditation Slow Rate of Cellular Aging? Cognitive Stress, Mindfulness, and Telomeres’, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1172; Longevity, Regeneration, and Optimal Health Integrating Eastern and Western Perspectives, pp. 34–53.
Walsh, R. & Shapiro, S. L. (2006), ‘The meeting of meditative disciplines and Western psychology: A mutually enriching dialogue’, American Psychologist, 61, pp. 227–39.
Lutz, Antoine, McFarlin, Daniel R., Perlman, David M., Salomons, Tim V. & Davidson, Richard J. (2013), ‘Altered anterior insula activation during anticipation and experience of painful stimuli in expert meditators’, Journal NeuroImage, 64, pp. 538–46.
Baliki, Marwan N., Bogdan, Petre, Torbey, Souraya, Herrmann, Kristina M., Huang, Leijan, Schnitzer, Thomas J., Fields, Howard L. &, Vania Apkarian, A. (2012), ‘Corticostriatal functional connectivity predicts transition to chronic back pain’, Nature Neuroscience, 15, pp. 1117–19.