Loving-Kindness Meditation practice associated with longer telomeres in women.
Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Apr 19. Epub 2013 Apr 19. PMID: 23602876
Elizabeth A Hoge, Maxine M Chen, Esther Orr, Christina A Metcalf, Laura E Fischer, Mark H Pollack, Immaculata Devivo, Naomi M Simon
Relatively short telomere length may serve as a marker of accelerated aging, and shorter telomeres have been linked to chronic stress. Specific lifestyle behaviors that can mitigate the effects of stress might be associated with longer telomere lengths. Previous research suggests a link between behaviors that focus on the well-being of others, such as volunteering and caregiving, and overall health and longevity. We examined relative telomere length in a group of individuals experienced in Loving-Kindness Meditation (LKM), a practice derived from the Buddhist tradition which utilizes a focus on unselfish kindness and warmth towards all people, and control participants who had done no meditation. Blood was collected by venipuncture, and Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes. Quantitative real time PCR was used to measure relative telomere length (RTL) (Cawthon, 2002) in fifteen LKM practitioners and 22 control participants. There were no significant differences in age, gender, race, education, or exposure to trauma, but the control group had a higher mean body mass index (BMI) and lower rates of past depression. The LKM practitioners had longer RTL than controls at the trend level (p=.083); among women, the LKM practitioners had significantly longer RTL than controls, (p=.007), which remained significant even after controlling for BMI and past depression. Although limited by small sample size, these results offer the intriguing possibility that LKM practice, especially in women, might alter RTL, a biomarker associated with longevity.
Article Published Date : Apr 18, 2013
Loving-kindness and compassion meditation: potential for psychological interventions.
Clin Psychol Rev. 2011 Nov ;31(7):1126-32. Epub 2011 Jul 26. PMID: 21840289
Stefan G Hofmann, Paul Grossman, Devon E Hinton
Mindfulness-based meditation interventions have become increasingly popular in contemporary psychology. Other closely related meditation practices include loving-kindness meditation (LKM) and compassion meditation (CM), exercises oriented toward enhancing unconditional, positive emotional states of kindness and compassion. This article provides a review of the background, the techniques, and the empirical contemporary literature of LKM and CM. The literature suggests that LKM and CM are associated with an increase in positive affect and a decrease in negative affect. Preliminary findings from neuroendocrine studies indicate that CM may reduce stress-induced subjective distress and immune response. Neuroimaging studies suggest that LKM and CM may enhance activation of brain areas that are involved in emotional processing and empathy. Finally, preliminary intervention studies support application of these strategies in clinical populations. It is concluded that, when combined with empirically supported treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, LKM and CM may provide potentially useful strategies for targeting a variety of different psychological problems that involve interpersonal processes, such as depression, social anxiety, marital conflict, anger, and coping with the strains of long-term caregiving.
Article Published Date : Oct 31, 2011
Loving-kindness meditation to enhance recovery from negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
J Clin Psychol. 2009 May ;65(5):499-509. PMID: 19267396
David P Johnson, David L Penn, Barbara L Fredrickson, Piper S Meyer, Ann M Kring, Mary Brantley
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3270, USA.
In this article, we describe the clinical applicability of loving-kindness meditation (LKM) to individuals suffering from schizophrenia-spectrum disorders with persistent negative symptoms. LKM may have potential for reducing negative symptoms such as anhedonia, avolition, and asociality while enhancing factors consistent with psychological recovery such as hope and purpose in life. Case studies will illustrate how to conduct this group treatment with clients with negative symptoms, the potential benefits to the client, and difficulties that may arise. Although LKM requires further empirical support, it promises to be an important intervention since there are few treatments for clients afflicted with negative symptoms.
Article Published Date : Apr 30, 2009
Begging abroad in Sweden: An interview study.
Scand J Occup Ther. 2019 Jan 19;:1-10
Authors: Wagman P, Johansson A, Fristedt S
BACKGROUND: The occurrence of begging by poor people from other countries in the European Union (EU) is now common in Scandinavia. They have a challenging life, but there is little knowledge about their own perceptions of their stay abroad.
AIM: To explore the experiences of EU citizens begging in Sweden.
MATERIAL: A descriptive design was used. Data were gathered through individual interviews conducted in Romanian and translated into Swedish. These were analysed using conventional content analysis. Participants were 20 EU citizens aged 19-64 years with experience of begging in Sweden.
RESULTS: The identified main category, "A hard time abroad to improve one's life", contained four categories - "Endurance is required to make a living"; "Exposed to others' attitudes and kindness"; "Handling being away"; and "A better life is the driving force".
CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: EU citizens who beg face occupational injustice, spending many hours in non-preferred activity of begging and with few leisure activities, although no generalizations can be drawn based on this study. The importance of a friendly attitude and environmental support when abroad was also shown. Since occupational justice is within the scope of occupational therapy, occupational therapists have the skills to contribute in collaboration with others.
PMID: 30663470 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
The Age-Well observational study on expert meditators in the Medit-Ageing European project.
Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2018;4:756-764
Authors: Lutz A, Klimecki OM, Collette F, Poisnel G, Arenaza-Urquijo E, Marchant NL, De La Sayette V, Rauchs G, Salmon E, Vuilleumier P, Frison E, Vivien D, Chételat G, Medit-Ageing Research Group
Introduction: The Age-Well observational, cross-sectional study investigates the affective and cognitive mechanisms of meditation expertise with behavioral, neuroimaging, sleep, and biological measures sensitive to aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Methods: Thirty cognitively unimpaired individuals aged 65 years or older with at least 10,000 hours of practice in mindfulness meditation (MM) and loving-kindness and compassion meditation (LKCM) are selected. The outcomes are the neuroimaging brain correlates of MM and LKCM and the assessments of long-term meditation practices on behavioral, neural, and biological measures as compared to nonmeditator older controls from the Age-Well randomized controlled trial.
Results: Recruitment and data collection began in late 2016 and will be completed by late 2019.
Discussion: Results are expected to foster the understanding of the effects of meditation expertise on aging and of the mechanisms of action underlying the meditation intervention in the Age-Well randomized controlled trial. These finding will contribute to the design of meditation-based prevention randomized controlled trials for the aged population and to the exploration of the possible long-time developmental trajectory of meditation training.
PMID: 30662933 [PubMed]