Zen Meditation: An Integration of Current Evidence
ABSTRACT Despite the growing interest in the neurobiological and clinical correlates of many meditative practices, in particular mindfulness meditations, no review has specifically focused on current evidence on electroencephalographic, neuroimaging, biological, and clinical evidence about an important traditional practice, Zen meditation.
A literature search was conducted using MEDLINE, the ISI Web of Knowledge, the Cochrane collaboration database, and references of selected articles. Randomized controlled and cross-sectional studies with controls published in English prior to May 2008 were included.
Electroencephalographic studies on Zen meditation found increased alpha and theta activity, generally related to relaxation, in many brain regions, including the frontal cortex. Theta activity in particular seemed to be related to the degree of experience, being greater in expert practitioners and advanced masters. Moreover, Zen meditation practice could protect from cognitive decline usually associated with age and enhance antioxidant activity. From a clinical point of view, Zen meditation was found to reduce stress and blood pressure, and be efficacious for a variety of conditions, as suggested by positive findings in therapists and musicians.
To date, actual evidence about Zen meditation is scarce and highlights the necessity of further investigations. Comparison with further active treatments, explanation of possible mechanisms of action, and the limitations of current evidence are discussed.
- SourceAvailable from: Matt Aldridge
- "Electroencephalographic, neuroimaging, biological and clinical evidence suggests that mindfulness practice may reduce stress and blood pressure, and be efficacious for a variety of conditions (Chiesa, 2009). As well as benefiting clinicians' lives in these ways (Chiesa, 2009), there are psychologists, doctors and others who consider regular mindfulness practice as benefiting therapeutic relationships (Epstein, 1999; Katzow & Safran, 2007; Stange, Piegorsh, & Miller, 2003; Robins, 2002; Segal, Williams, & Teasdale, 2002). Mindfulness practice by clinicians has shown positive influence in the therapeutic course and treatment results of clients (Grepmair et al., 2007) and in bringing mindfulness to their relationships with clients, nurses have reported being more fully present and less reactive (Campbell, 2009). "
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ABSTRACT: Mindfulness practice by clinicians may benefit therapeutic relationships and improve treatment results. This paper aims to present a behavioural scientific model of mindful practice for nursing. It demonstrates how this model works through the example of a nursing student's structured reflection. The model, which proposes specific reflective cues, may help nurses and other professionals to clarify where greater mindfulness could benefit their own work. The question of the extent to which and in what ways this mode of learning to be mindful in professional practice is useful, warrants further investigation.Reflective Practice 04/2015; 16(3). DOI:10.1080/14623943.2015.1023278
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- "It is well known that alpha power represent the degree of the relaxation state and to what extent a subject is immersed in a meditative state, especially in the non-expert meditation (Chiesa, 2009). Alpha power also represent an cortical inhibition as an active process for information processing where ERD can be interpreted as release from inhibition and ERS (increase in alpha amplitude) reflecting the inhibitory aspect of alpha band oscillations (Klimesch, 2012). "
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- "Various forms of contemplative practice, including meditation, have recently become the subject of intensive scientific research (Ospina et al., 2007; Chiesa, 2009, 2010; Rubia, 2009; Chiesa and Serretti, 2010; Green and Turner, 2010). From a neuroscience perspective , one of the main research goals is to determine which brain regions mediate the cognitive aspects of various practices. "
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