meditation stinks!

good headline, huh? i think it’s better than yahoo’s: “meditation won’t boost health: study

but basically i’ve done the same as yahoo: quickly scan an article, then write a pithy headline.

does it reflect what actually happened? welllll ….

when you take the time to read the yahoo article, you see that the researchers say there is no good scientific evidence that meditation has health benefits, and that more, better controlled studies should be undertaken to study the matter.

darn, that’s too long for a headline. plus the concept is just a tad more complex. see, that’s why “meditation stinks” is so much better.

but if you’ve read so far, let’s just do some kindergarten philosophy here:

there is no good evidence that X works
does not equate
X does not work

come to think of it, this is even pre-kindergarten, pre-preschool, pre-toddler: one-year-olds have already figured out that just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. (outside of pre-toddlerhood, in philosophy, failure to understand this would be referred to as the burden of proof fallacy.)

it turns out, by the way, that the researchers are not averse to meditation:

“at this point, we cannot conclude at all that meditation doesn’t work,” researcher maria ospina told on tuesday. “but we cannot conclude that it works, either.”

the university of alberta team examined more than 800 english-language comparative studies. the most common themes were how meditation affects hypertension, other cardiovascular diseases and substance abuse.

five main categories of meditation were involved in the studies:

* mantra meditation
* mindfulness meditation
* yoga
* tai chi
* qi gong

overall, the low-quality studies suggested that qi gong and zen Bbuddhist meditation helped lower blood pressure, while yoga reduced stress.

they also hinted that both yoga and mindfulness meditation worked equally well at cutting anxiety in patients with cardiovascular diseases.

thanks, CTV, that’s more like it.

it’s too bad that yahoo’s irresponsible headlining prompted at least one rant against research.

so – until further notice and further studies, i’ll keep meditating, and keep supporting science that is well done and reporters who discuss science responsibly and intelligently. both ot these – meditation and science – are some of the greatest, most precious treasures the human animal has come up with so far.

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

more posts that discuss meditation

driving meditation
metta, and that includes the internet
open hearts
the 12 steps – buddhist fashion
five energizers

(this post was included in the 5th carnival of truth)

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