Thorsten Barnhofer on Researching Mindfulness
I’m absolutely fascinated by the ways in which we can now see how the brain changes.
Twenty years ago we had to rely on the reports of mindfulness practitioners. Now, with new brain imaging techniques, we can actually see the changes which have happened in the brains of people who learn to meditate.
These changes help us to understand the physical and psychological mechanisms which make mindfulness effective. Understanding these processes helps us to further develop effective (and cost-effective) interventions to help people suffering mental distress.
I practice and teach mindfulness and yoga too, so I know what a difference it makes from both sides, as it were. It is very satisfying to feel that I can help to alleviate the suffering of others through science as well as teaching.