Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

So you’re saying meditation is over-hyped…

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
Get posts in your inbox:
Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

“As mindfulness [meditation] has increasingly pervaded every aspect of contemporary society, so have misunderstandings about what it is, whom it helps, and how it affects the mind and brain. At a practical level, the misinformation and propagation of poor research methodology can potentially lead to people being harmed, cheated disappointed, and/or disaffected.”

“Mind the Hype: A Critical Evaluation and Prescriptive Agenda for Research on Mindfulness and Meditation,” Van Dam et al, Perspect Psychol Sci, 2018.

Nice hype-fighting words? Well, yes… but …

As Ron Purser deliciously notes in his book, McMindfulness, “none of [the authors] notes their own role in this insidiuous process.” For instance, one author of that paper, Sara Lazar, also wrote, for the Harvard Business Review just three years earlier, “Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain” and “Perhaps you haven’t heard that the hype is backed by hard science.”

If I’d found that glaring and very public contradiction myself, I would have danced a little jig of journalistic joy. 😜

PainSci Member Login » Submit your email to unlock member content. If you can’t remember/access your registration email, please contact me. ~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher