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Tuesday, April 25, 2017


A different explanation for the efficacy of mindfulness in treating addiction

A foundational approach to the treatment of addiction is to increase opioid levels in the brain through natural and non-invasive means, and thus reduce cravings. Below is a link to a free little book that outlines simple cognitive procedures that can provide for the sustained elevation of opioids as well as dopamine in the brain. It is based on a rather obscure fact in affective neuroscience that mid brain opioid and dopamine systems stimulate or potentiate each other, and the resulting premise that their mutual activation through simple cognitive means will increase both these neuro-modulators and resulting affective tone, and will do so far more than if those systems were activated alone. These means are similar to mindfulness, but differ in significant ways.

My argument and the procedure that follows (pp. 28, 39-41), is novel, short, succinct, simple and easily testable, and was written in consultation with and with the endorsement of Dr. Kent Berridge of the University of Michigan, a leading authority on the neuro-psychology of addiction. The book is written in two parts, for a lay and professional audience. Since the procedure is simple and innocuous, it may be of interest to the meditation community.

(a supplementary article by the author on this topic from the International Journal of Stress Management is also linked)

Thanks for your consideration!

Art Marr



Thanks for the wonderful article. I was interested that you started speaking about the power of a 10 day silent retreat and later spoke about mindfulness based practices. Have there been any studies on the effectiveness of a silent retreat towards treating things such as anxiety and depression versus a weekly or daily mindfulness practice. I found that mindfulness never broke through any anxiety I had. In the past 2 years I have attended 3 7-day silent retreats. I found the silence retreat was more powerful and potent than MBSR or any sitting. Regular practice certainly follows the silent retreat but without the experience of a silent retreat I would not have seen the window to possibility of a mindfulness practice. I am wondering if there are any studies which examine the potency of say an MBSR program to doing one or two silent retreats over a year. Do you know of any such thing ? thanks,

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