Mindfulness: The Science

A growing body of scientific research conducted over the past 35 years supports mindfulness as an effective complementary treatment to many different physical and mental health issues, as well as promoting an overall sense of well-being.

Research has consistently shown that the practice of mindfulness can help people reduce their stress levels in all areas of life. The growing field of neuroscience has also demonstrated that mindfulness can strengthen key areas of the brain associated with positive emotions while decreasing areas of the brain associated with the stress activation system of “fight, flight, or freeze.”


Mindfulness Research Articles

Davidson, Richard, et al. Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine July/August, 65 no. 4: 564-570. 2003

Holzel, Carmody, et al. Mindfulness Practice Leads to Increases in Regional Brain Gray Matter Density. Psychiatry Research:Neuroimaging, 2011; 191

Kabat-Zin, Jon, et al. The clinical use of mindfulness meditation for the self-regulation of chronic pain. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 8 (2): 163-189. 1984. Three-year follow-up of a meditation-based program for the self-regulation of chronic pain: treatment outcomes and compliance. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 2: 159-173. 1987.

Kerr, Catherine, et al. Mindfulness starts with the body: somatosensory attention and top-down modulation of cortical alpha rhythms in mindfulness meditation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 13. 2013

Killigsworth, Mathew A.  Gilbert, Daniel T.    A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy MindScience, VOL 330, 12 November 2010, www.sciencemag.org

Marano, Hara Estroff Our Brain’s Negativity Bias, Psychology Today, June 20, 2003

McCrackena, Lance, et al.  Acceptance-based treatment for persons with complex, long standing chronic pain: a preliminary analysis of treatment outcome in comparison to a waiting phase. Behaviour Research and Therapy 43: 1335–1346. 2005.

Mrazek, Michael  D., et al. Mindfulness Training Improves Working Memory Capacity and GRE Performance While Reducing Mind Wandering, Journal of Psychological Science, July 16, 2012

Praissman, Sharon Mindfulness-based stress reduction: A literature review and clinician’s guide. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 20: 212–216. 2008.

Whitebird, RR, et al.Mindfulness-based stress reduction for family caregivers: a randomized controlled trial.Gerontologist. 2013  Aug;53(4):676-86. doi: 10.1093/geront/gns126. Epub 2012 Oct 15.

Yi-Yung, Tang, et al. Mechanisms of white matter changes induced by meditation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 26;109(26):10570-4. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1207817109. Epub 2012 Jun 11.