In this week's Rundown, meditation matches antidepressants, cleverly designed massage wheels roll away aches and pains and a solar watch offers features, features and more features.
Mindful Medicine. Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have completed a first-of-its-kind study that tested a specific type of mindfulness meditation against a common antidepressant. They found that in a clinical trial of patients with anxiety disorders, an eight-week mindfulness program was as effective at reducing measures of anxiety as a drug treatment.
The study focused on mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), which is structured around a daily meditation practice. Of the more than 200 participants with clinically diagnosed anxiety disorder, half were randomly assigned to an eight-week course of an antidepressant. The other half completed a MBSR program that had weekly guided meditation classes, daily 45-minute home exercises and one day-long class halfway through the course.
At the end of eight weeks, a trained clinician who was unaware of which intervention the subjects had, assessed each participant’s anxiety levels. Both groups showed about a 30% decrease in anxiety measures.
The pros and cons: The MBSR protocol requires time and effort to be effective, unlike the simple act of taking a pill but it is more accessible compared to clinician-managed drug therapies.
Wheel Relief. The Chirp Wheel+ 4-Pack is four massage wheels that are designed to relieve your exercise aches and pains. A channel runs through the center of each of the wheels making them especially neck and spine friendly. The range consists of a 12 inch for light massage, a 10 inch for targeted pressure, a 6 inch for deep pressure and a 4 inch for a little more ouch to go along with your relief.
Solar Power Stunner. If you’re “the more features, the better” fitness wearables type of person, the Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar watch has you covered. It has seven clocks, 15 health monitoring features, 19 daily smart features, six safety and tracking choices, and 54 (!) features that focus on training and analysis. It also includes full-color built-in maps and a training readiness score. Thanks to sun power, it tracks in GPS mode for 49 hours on a single charge.
This week’s vintage moment in sports culture is brought to you by the soaring touchdown skills of Dolphins’ tight end Randy McMichael. Saints at Dolphins, August 15, 2002. Photo: Bob Rosato.
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