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[dupe] Where's the Proof That Mindfulness Meditation Works? (scientificamerican.com)
26 points by helloworld 36 days ago | hide | past | web | 9 comments | favorite




Is there a singular specific type of meditation called "Mindfulness Meditation"? There our countless forms of meditation each with different characteristics, effects, and effectiveness.

Similarly, you could focus on a particular subset of martial arts practices and find they are ineffective, but then mistakenly label all martial arts as ineffective.


You're right, in Theravada alone, there are 40 types of meditation, most of which could be considered a mindfulness meditation. Though it seems like when we talk modernly about 'Mindfulness Meditation' it's only referencing Anapanasati ('Mindfulness of Breathing') or Vipassana (Insight Meditation), although there have been some studies on Metta Meditation (unconditional loving-kindness).


That seems to be one of the exact concerns of the experts cited in the article:

"Many of the studies on mindfulness and meditation, the authors wrote, are poorly designed—compromised by inconsistent definitions of what mindfulness actually is, and often void of a control group to rule out the placebo effect."


Honest question: What would a placebo counterpart to mindfulness meditation look like?


> Similarly, you could focus on a particular subset of martial arts practices and find they are ineffective, but then mistakenly label all martial arts as ineffective.

i feel silly pointing this out, but doing any sports will always be effective. It will have at least a minor positive effect on health unless the person is ill in some way. In which case it will still be effective, albeit not in a good way


Maybe a more apt sports analogy: A study could show that American football causes brain damage in professional players, but that doesn't mean that all sports do.


I meant effective at self defense, which is the core purpose of martial arts.


There may be evidence that meditation has significant benefits for some people, but there is also evidence it can cause anxiety and reactivate PTSD in others.




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