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Mindful : April 2016
CRAZE OR CRAZY For epilepsy patients whose symp- toms have not responded well to pharmaceutical treatment, mind- fulness training can offer multiple benefits, according to researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the University of Melbourne Royal Melbourne Hos- pital, Australia. When 60 patients with drug- resistant epilepsy were divided into two groups, one receiving social support, while the other 30 were given mindfulness-based therapy, the mindfulness group showed significantly more improvement. After four biweekly sessions in Mindfulness for Epilepsy Sometimes you just can’t decide if something’s groundbreaking or totally bon- kers. Our jury’s out. What’s your verdict? HAPPY-HOUR WORKOUTS After work, urban- ites are hitting up boutique fitness studios to unroll their yoga mats, catch the latest beats, and enjoy a shot of tequila in their cold-pressed juice. REMINDER-BOT “MOTI,” a bot the size of a computer speaker, helps you form good habits by flashing and buzzing on cue each day. Once you’ve gone for your run, etc., you push a button on the top, and MOTI buzzes in celebra- tion—both a trig- ger and a reward for your brain. GERMOPHONE Lost your attention and dropped your phone in the toilet? A new phone that can withstand a thorough scrub- bing might be the gadget for you. It’s only available in Japan, however. OVERHEARD “It isn’t good for us to flee from any moment of boredom by going to a phone.” Sherry Turkle, MIT professor and author of Reclaiming Conversation. A pole fitness studio in New York City offers a meditative spin on a new fitness craze. “You’re moving your body in a sensual way, and you can end up feeling a bit vulnerable,” says Kylee Sallak, owner of City Pole. “A lot of emo- tions can come up.” Each class starts with slow, intentional movements choreo- graphed to music. There’s even a “mindful sensuality” practice—and giggles often erupt. “Nervous laughter,” says Sallak. Getting into tiny bicycle shorts—necessary to keep friction on the pole—while swinging your hips before climbing and inver ting into the splits? Not for the faint of hear t. “Half of the battle is trusting that you’re strong enough to do this. Half of the battle is in your head.” MINDFULNESS ON THE POLE DAZZLED BY THE BRAIN The brain may be com- plex, yes, but beautiful? Artist and neuroscientist Greg Dunn believes it is, and who can argue with him? The Asian-inspired images of branching neurons that he creates by blowing ink on non- absorbent paper look like mysterious forest land- scapes. “There’s no dis- tinction between painting a landscape of a forest and a landscape of the brain,” he told livescience.com. mindfulness, patients’ symp- toms of depression and anxiety were reduced. They also experi- enced an improvement in their moods as well as in certain mea- surements of memory. Not only that, following mindfulness-based therapy, the par- ticipants had less frequent seizures. The researchers, reporting their results to the American Academy of Neurology, summed up the good news: “Mindfulness-based therapy significantly improves quality of life in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy.” Through mindfulness practice, a person learns to stand back and simply be aware of their personal narrative or life story, just like a mirror that reflects it, without being immersed or entangled in it.” (Shapiro et al., 2006) —Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress It’s known that yoga and medita- tion can reduce stress, and it’s also known that less stress means better health. Researchers at Massachusetts General recently connected those dots with a new study: Patients practicing deep relaxation through yoga and medita- tion had 43% fewer doctor visits. WHAT KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY PHOTOGRAPHS:“BASKETSANDPYRAMIDALS”©GREGDUNNWWW.GREGADUNN.COM,©SOULWIND,ALENAOZEROVA/DOLLARPHOTOCLUB April 2016 mindful 13