Can meditation practice train the mind as physical training does the body?
As I am preparing for the mhealth summit presentation “Using the Digital Tools of Play to Personalize Health”, I am wondering if meditation, like gaming, will become a driver of wider acceptance of mind-training interventions for cognitive wellness.
Meditation has been in the news recently:
- The Economist explores the business aspects.
- Scientists such as Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell wonder if meditation can slow the cellular aging process.
- Dr. Eric Topol and Dr. Deepak Choprah study the effects of meditation on the heart and vascular system.
Trying Digital Meditation Tools
My first venture into mindfulness was attending a UCLA Mindfulness class. Like many good intentions of behavior change, I got busy and wasn’t able to stick with the program.
Next, I discovered Headspace, “the World’s first gym membership for the mind,”. It’s a fun and playful way to learn meditation and mindfulness in my schedule, whenever and wherever it fit into my day.
A recent discussion with Charlie Hartwell, the operating partner of the Bridge Builders Collaborative, which has invested in Headspace, aptly described my own enthusiasm about their approach. It takes “a 3000 year old practice and puts it into a modern context. The animations make it accessible to consumers and gives it a fun twist”, according to him.
Meeting Rich Pierson, a co-founder of Headspace, is also a passionate supporter of the healing powers of meditation. It made me wonder about the potential applications in chronic pain and autoimmune disease.
“Although brain games may deal with the outer shell, meditation works as the hard drive and can reprogram you for life,” he proclaimed.
“With 1 million users, split equally among men and women mostly in the 25-45 range across 150 countries” might a mobile mindfulness training app help chronic pain sufferers rewire their brains to live more comfortably?
In 1982, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., developed an outpatient program using mindfulness for chronic pain.
Perhaps Headspace will lead the way while putting the LA tech scene on the map.
What do you think? Are you willing to integrate meditation into your daily schedule?