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Annotated Bibliography

Meditation, How Does It Work And Why?

Olivia Larsen

Professor Malcolm Campbell

UWRT 1104

10/10/2017

Annotated Bibliography

Aubrey, Allison. Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Relieve Anxiety And Depression.

NPR, NPR, 7 Jan. 2014,

www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/01/07/260470831/mindfulness-meditation-can-h

elp-relieve-anxiety-and-depression.

In this article Allison Aubrey, a correspondent for NPR News, reviews 47 studies

analyzed in JAMA Internal Medicine. All of these studies support the claim that

Meditations helps manage anxiety, depression, and pain. The main type of Mindfulness

training that was used in the studies was Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction or MBSR.

The main focus of this practice is to train the brain to focus on the present moment and

block out any distractions. NPR is a multimedia news organization and radio program

producer that presents fact-based, independent journalism that examines and airs diverse

perspectives. I will be using the information obtained from this article because it is from a

reliable source and it provides evidence based claims to help support and further my

research for this project.

Meditation: In Depth. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S.

Department of Health and Human Services, 7 Sept. 2017,

nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is the Federal

Governments lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care
systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional

medicine. In light of that, one of the main topics on their website is Meditation. On the

page about Meditation they begin by explaining that Meditation is a mind and body

practice that has a long history of health benefits.The website acknowledges that there are

different types of Meditation, however, it does not exactly go into detail about them, this

is mainly because this agency involved in scientific research so they focus on the science

aspect of Meditation. Many studies have investigated Meditation in correlation with

different conditions and the results showed that in many cases, such as high blood

pressure, IBS, ulcerative colitis, insomnia, anxiety, and depression, Meditation has the

potential to improve these conditions. The website also touches on how Meditation can

physically alter and improve brain function. For example, a 2013 review of three studies

suggests that meditation may slow, stall, or even reverse changes that take place in the

brain due to normal aging. It also explains how Meditation has the ability to induce a

process called gyrification, which may increase the brains ability to process information.

This website was a key factor in narrowing down my research topic. The information I

have obtained from this website will definitely be used in my project.

United States, Department of Health and Human Services. Meditation Practices for

Health: State of the Research. Government Printing Office. June 2007.

https://permanent.access.gpo.gov/lps83613/medit.pdf

In this Evidence Report/Technology Assessment the researchers reviewed and

synthesized the state of research on a variety of meditation practices and examined the
effects of mediation on physiological and neurophysiological outcomes. In this report

they go into more detail about the different types of meditation such as, Mantra and

Mindfulness Meditation, along with Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong.

However, unlike my other sources, this report serves as an opposition to the idea that

Meditation has solid effects on your physical and mental health, though it does not

dismiss the idea all together. The report concludes that further research needs to be done

in a more structured and efficient manner due to the uncertainties of practicing

Meditation. This is a government issued report, making it reliable and likely to appear in

my project. Although the report to basically contradicts all of the other research that I

have found, it has valid and evidence supported claims.

Xiong, Glen L., and P. Murali Doraiswamy. Does Meditation Enhance Cognition and

Brain Plasticity? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Blackwell Publishing

Inc, 28 Aug. 2009, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1196/annals.1393.002/full

In this peer reviewed journal the authors address how through meditation an individual

has the opportunity to affect various pathways that are key factors in brain aging and

mental fitness. According to the journal, meditation has the ability to reduce

stress-induced cortisol secretion, reduce the risk for cerebrovascular disease and age

related neurodegeneration by lowering oxidative stress and lipid profiles. Evidence to

support these claims are derived from studies using cognitive, electroencephalogram, and

structural neuroimaging which allow researchers to observe these neuroprotective effects.


However, the only type of meditation addressed in the article is Transcendental

Meditation so that is where the majority of their results are coming from. In light of that,

this journal does not provide evidence that all types of meditation have neuroprotective

effects.

One of the authors of this journal is Glen L. Xiong, Assistant Clinical Professor of the

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Department of Medicine at

University of California. The other author is P. Murali Doraiswamy, Chief of the

Division of Biological Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center. The information

obtained from this article will definitely be appearing in my project because it provides

solid scientific facts that can be tested and supported, therefore it is reliable.

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