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Mindful : August 2019
Research News by B. GRACE BULLOCK SPORT PERFOR- MANCE GETS A BOOST FROM MINDFULNESS Being an elite athlete comes with its share of stress. Sixty-nine Swedish competi- tive athletes new to mindfulness completed either a Mindfulness- Acceptance and Commit- ment (MAC) intervention, or Psychological Skills Train- ing (PST). Both were designed to increase athletic performance. Unlike PST, MAC training empha- sizes present- moment aware- ness, attention, and acceptance. Seven weeks later MAC-trained athletes showed superior improve- ments in sport- related mindful- ness, emotion regulation, and athletic perfor- mance compared to PST group members. The study’s authors attribute these results to MAC group athletes’ improved ability to focus, reg ulate emotion, and adapt to stress. MBCT: A TREAT- MENT FOR CHRONIC PAIN? Chronic low-back pain affects mil- lions globally and can be debilitat- ing and hard to treat. A study at the University of Queensland in Australia found Mindfulness- Based Cog nitive Therapy (MBCT) may reduce its symptoms. Researchers had three groups of 23 people either attend MBCT classes, receive mindfulness meditation train- ing, or undergo cog nitive therapy for eight weeks. Their pain, mood, physical functioning, and medication use were evaluated immediately after training, and three and six months later. Following training, partici- pants in all three groups reported significant decreases in pain interference (the deg ree to which pain interferes with function- ing), pain inten- sity, and depres- sion, and better physical f unction. Improvements in pain interfer- ence over time were better in the MBCT group than the other approaches. For physica l functioning, both the MBCT and cognitive therapy groups showed more 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 August 2019 top of mind