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The dark side of meditation and mindfulness: Treatment can trigger mania, depression and psychosis, new book claims

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Theory is that techniques help relieve stress and live for the moment
But 60% of us have apparently suffered at least one negative side effect
Experts: Shortage of rigorous statistical studies into the negative effects of meditation is a ‘scandal’

By HARRIET CRAWFORD FOR THE DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED: 05:56 EST, 22 May 2015 | UPDATED: 11:20 EST, 22 May 2015

Meditation and mindfulness is promoted by celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Russell Brand, who boast of its power to help people put stress out of their minds and live for the moment.

But the treatment can itself trigger mania, depression, hallucinations and psychosis, psychological studies in the UK and US have found.

The practice is part of a growing movement based on ancient Eastern traditions of meditation.

However, 60 per cent of people who had been on a meditation retreat had suffered at least one negative side effect, including panic, depression and confusion, a study in the US found.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3092572/The-dark-meditation-mindfulness-Treatment-trigger-mania-depression-psychosis-new-book-claims.html#ixzz3atTxoRbj

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Mindfulness helps teens cope with stress, anxiety

Star-Wars-Yoda-Spin-Off

Mindfulness helps teens cope with stress, anxiety
By GOSIA WOZNIACKA, Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — As the morning school bell rings and students rush through crowded corridors, teenagers in one Portland classroom settle onto mats and meditation pillows. They fall silent after the teacher taps a Tibetan “singing bowl.”

“Allow yourself to settle into the experience of being here, in this moment,” teacher Caverly Morgan tells two dozen students at Wilson High School.

The students are enrolled in a for-credit, year-long mindfulness class meant to ease youth anxiety and depression and to prevent violence. For 90 minutes, three days a week, they practice a mix of yoga, sitting and walking meditation, visualization techniques, deep breathing, journaling and non-judgmental listening.

The idea behind mindfulness is that focusing on the present moment helps a person deal better with stress, difficult emotions and negative thoughts.

Mindfulness, yoga and meditation have gained popularity among Americans in recent decades, buoyed by studies showing their benefits to emotional, mental and physical health. The centuries-old practices have roots in Buddhism and Hinduism, but Western culture has secularized them to focus on physical postures, breathing and relaxation techniques.

Such practices are now offered by corporations like Google, Target and General Mills to their employees. Prison inmates, hospital patients and the U.S. Marines are using them to combat stress and illness, increase focus and well-being. And now schools all over the country are introducing the practices.

Some people have greeted the move with less than enthusiasm.

Last year, an elementary school in Ohio ended its mindfulness program after parents complained it was too closely linked to Eastern religion and a conservative Christian law firm unsuccessfully sued on behalf of a couple in Encinitas, California, arguing their school district’s yoga classes indoctrinate children.

http://hosted2.ap.org/ORBEN/b9c78830725e4646849871a247322f76/Article_2014-12-02-US-Mindfulness-In-Schools/id-fb894e7ffe9c4df9bab2e392a61887f2#.VH5XTWTF9LY
By GOSIA WOZNIACKA, Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — As the morning school bell rings and students rush through crowded corridors, teenagers in one Portland classroom settle onto mats and meditation pillows. They fall silent after the teacher taps a Tibetan “singing bowl.”

“Allow yourself to settle into the experience of being here, in this moment,” teacher Caverly Morgan tells two dozen students at Wilson High School.

The students are enrolled in a for-credit, year-long mindfulness class meant to ease youth anxiety and depression and to prevent violence. For 90 minutes, three days a week, they practice a mix of yoga, sitting and walking meditation, visualization techniques, deep breathing, journaling and non-judgmental listening.

The idea behind mindfulness is that focusing on the present moment helps a person deal better with stress, difficult emotions and negative thoughts.

Mindfulness, yoga and meditation have gained popularity among Americans in recent decades, buoyed by studies showing their benefits to emotional, mental and physical health. The centuries-old practices have roots in Buddhism and Hinduism, but Western culture has secularized them to focus on physical postures, breathing and relaxation techniques.

Such practices are now offered by corporations like Google, Target and General Mills to their employees. Prison inmates, hospital patients and the U.S. Marines are using them to combat stress and illness, increase focus and well-being. And now schools all over the country are introducing the practices.

Some people have greeted the move with less than enthusiasm.

Last year, an elementary school in Ohio ended its mindfulness program after parents complained it was too closely linked to Eastern religion and a conservative Christian law firm unsuccessfully sued on behalf of a couple in Encinitas, California, arguing their school district’s yoga classes indoctrinate children.

http://hosted2.ap.org/ORBEN/b9c78830725e4646849871a247322f76/Article_2014-12-02-US-Mindfulness-In-Schools/id-fb894e7ffe9c4df9bab2e392a61887f2#.VH5XTWTF9LY