Is Meditation for Cognitive Wellness the Next Big Healthcare Trend?

Mindfulness by Darragh O'Conner on Flicker
Photo credit: Darragh O'Conner on Flicker

Can meditation practice train the mind as physical training does the body?

As I am preparing for my 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:


Tools to help you meditate

My first venture into mindfulness was attending a UCLA Mindfulness class. Like many good intentions of behavior change, I got busy and did not stick with the program!

Next, I discovered Headspace, “the world’s first gym membership for the mind,” a fun and playful way to learn meditation and mindfulness on 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 which 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.”

Meeting Rich Pierson, a co-founder of Headspace, who is a passionate supporter of the healing powers of meditation, 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?


First posted on Dr. Bonnie 360 11/12/2013

Here are some other books that may be of interest:

Bonnie Feldman, DDS, MBA
As principal of DrBonnie360, Bonnie Feldman, DDS, MBA brings a unique triple lens to her consulting, speaking, and writing. She combines her expertise as an entrepreneurial dentist, a Wall Street analyst, and a digital health consultant to always ask the questions of how new digital tools and data can help each of us. She interviewed more than 200 digital health companies and attended over 60 meetings. DrBonnie360 is an invited speaker for SXSW, Stanford Medicine X, Bio-IT, Data to Drugs to Diagnostics, StrataRx, Games for Health, the Center for Connected Health, the NY eCollaborative Digital Health Summit, the mHealth Summit, and Ideas LA. Her work is featured in Medium, O’Reilly Strata, Greatist, Forbes and The Doctor Weighs In. DrBonnie360’s recent multimedia work spotlights, “The Invisible Epidemic of Autoimmune Disease,” “The Lonely Voices of Autoimmune Disease,” and “Bridging the Autoimmune Abyss Through New Discoveries.” Using company interviews, extensive scientific literature reviews, and an analysis of the conventional and integrative care landscape, DrBonnie360 uncovers a large and growing need in the autoimmune community. She is working with forward-thinking companies to apply new data and digital tools to reshape research, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of autoimmune disease. She welcomes collaborative partners in this initiative.


  1. Any modality that helps control the chatter in our minds is helpful. 80% of our thoughts are repetitive and useless. Much of this 80% is regretting the past and worrying and planning for the future. Meditation gives us a rest from this mind chatter. As you do more meditation the control of the mind becomes easier. Being is a state of awareness without mind chatter is quite relaxing.
    Jim Salber


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