176: Mind the Mindfulness Hype
Published August 15, 2019
65 min
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    Today it’s a delight to have David Vago on the podcast. Dr. Vago is Research Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He also maintains an appointment as a research associate in the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory at Harvard Medical School. David aims to clarify adaptive mind-brain-body interactions and their therapeutic relevance in health-care settings. In this context, David has been specifically focusing on the study of mindfulness-based interventions in clinical settings, and the basic cognitive and neuroscientific mechanisms by which mindfulness-based practice function.

    In this episode we discuss:

    • What is contemplative science?
    • History of the idea of “contemplation”
    • Including intuition under the umbrella of contemplative practice
    • The aim of mindfulness
    • Pop writers on mindfulness vs. scientists of mindfulness
    • What do we know after 25 years of mindfulness research?
    • The link between mindfulness and how we cope with pain
    • The link between mindfulness and reducing anxiety
    • The link between mindfulness and improving depression
    • How there are a lot of crap studies out there on mindfulness
    • What are the potential adverse effects of mindfulness?
    • Why it’s difficult to look at the link between mindfulness and cognitive outcomes
    • Mindfulness and its impact on impulse control
    • The impact of mindfulness on attention
    • The need for better measures of outcomes in mindfulness research
    • The link between mindfulness and creativity
    • The false narrative about mindfulness and mind wandering (and the default mode network)
    • The relationship between mindfulness and wisdom
    • The main challenges of investigating mindfulness through neuroscience
    • Why mindfulness is not the end all and be all
    • The usefulness of taking an evidence-based approach to looking at the benefits of mindfulness
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