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Mindful : April 2019
Research News by KELLE WALSH DOES ONLINE MINDFULNESS WORK? A study in Australia found that an online 8-week Mind- fulness-Based Stress Reduction prog ram helps employees feel more optimistic and engaged in their work, and may decrease lev- els of striving and need for recogni- tion. “ While the ‘human element’ may potentially enhance the effi- cacy of face-to- face MBSR pro- grams, the online program is more easily accessed, and this may mean the benefits of these pro- grams reach more employ- ees,” the study authors wrote in a paper published in Physiology & Behavior. HOPE FOR GLAUCOMA SUFFERERS An innovative study has shown that meditation may help with glaucoma. The leading cause of blindness, glaucoma affects almost 70 million people world- wide. It’s charac- terized by intra- ocular pressure that progressively damages the optic nerve. The research- ers randomly divided 90 glau- coma patients in New Delhi into two groups. One g roup was instructed in meditation focused on the breath, and practiced an hour daily for three weeks. The other group did not meditate. After three weeks, 75% of the meditators showed a 25% reduction in eye pressure, while the non-meditators showed no differ- ence. The medita- tors also experi- enced reductions in cortisol levels, oxidative stress, and other pro- inflammatory markers, and increases in beta- endorphins. In a paper pub- lished in Journal of Glaucoma, researchers noted that chronic stress, which leads to increased blood pressure, provokes intra- ocular pressure. “This study suggests that mental stress may be one of Research gathered from Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, Center for Healthy Minds at University of Wisconsin–Madison, Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School, and American Mindfulness Research Association. 12 mindful April 2019 what’s new