WORLD - Mindfulness Overhyped

Arno Froese

The benefits of meditation may have been seriously overhyped, a group of psychologists, neuroscientists, Buddhist scholars and mindfulness teachers warn—and the evidence to support mindfulness as a treatment certainly has been.

“Mindfulness has become an extremely influential practice for a sizable subset of the general public, constituting part of Google’s business practices, available as a standard psychotherapy via the National Health Service in the United Kingdom and, most recently, part of standard education for approximately 6,000 school children in London,” the authors write in their paper, published in Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Much of the research around meditation and mindfulness has serious flaws, the authors state. Among those flaws: using various definitions for mindfulness, not comparing results to a control group of people who did not meditate and not using good measurements for mindfulness.

The revelation is particularly disconcerting in light of how big of a business meditation has become. A veritable industry, the practice brings in around $1 billion annually, according to Fortune. That industry includes apps, classes and medical treatments.

Yet according to one study the authors cited, the well-designed studies that have been done on meditation showed that the practice was only moderately effective, at best, for treating conditions like anxiety, depression or the unpleasantness associated with pain.

The authors also lay the blame for overstating the benefits of meditation on the media. “You go into Whole Foods today, and there will be three magazines with some beautiful blonde meditating on the cover,” Vago said. “And they’re labeled ‘Mindfulness, the New Science and Benefits’ in some shape or form.”

-www.newsweek.com, 11 October 2017

Arno's commentary

Even the experts disagree when it comes to the benefits of psychology, psychiatry, and a slew of other new definitions about wellness; in this case, mindfulness. The winners are obviously the practitioners of Buddhism and Hinduism, who insist that their religion qualifies as psychological science. Not so, however: as the expert states: “We still do not understand who benefits and who doesn’t.” That is not science, but pseudo-science at best.

Here is what the Bible says: “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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