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Corruption Chronicles

$410k To Teach Drug Addicts Chinese Meditation

 

In yet another reprehensible waste of public resources, the U.S. government has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to study the effects of Chinese meditation on drug addicts.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services actually gave a Maryland college professor whose research focuses on “mind-body medicine” and “self-healing” $410,624 to examine how Chinese meditation helps cocaine addicts. A conservative news publication broke the story this week and links the Health Department’s official description of the publicly-funded project.

Titled “Treatment of Cocaine Addiction with Integrative Meditation,” the study got $225,000 in tax money in 2009 and $185,625 in 2010. A University of Maryland, Baltimore professor (Kevin Chen) dedicated to researching substance abuse and behavior therapy got the government grants because cocaine addiction continues to be a major public health problem in the U.S.

According to the project’s description, clinical experience and pilot studies suggest that Integrative Meditation from Chinese medicine may help addicts engage in treatment, reduce cravings/withdrawal symptoms and increase treatment retention which appear missed by typical behavior therapy. That’s probably because Integrative Meditation is an adaption or simplified form of mindfulness meditation therefore it may enhance existing therapies to help reduce withdrawal symptoms, increase treatment engagement and prevent relapse through step-by-step therapist facilitation.

If this sounds like a crock, take a look at the actual meditation technique used in the $410,624 study: “Now, imagine you are sitting on a beach by the ocean. The ocean is creating peaceful waves to the rhythm of your breathing, and surrounding you with white energy. All the pores of your skin are open. When you breathe in, feel the white energy being absorbed into your body through the pores of your skin; when you breathe out, imagine the white energy going into your belly. Focus on the pores of your skin when you inhale, and the ball in your belly when you exhale. Breathe in–the white energy enters through the pores of your skin. Breathe out–the white energy rushes to your belly–(Let 30 seconds go in silence). You become a large balloon, and start to float away.”

The meditation ends with the subject—in this case coke addict—supposedly feeling “pure, clean, relaxed and very healthy” after one additional step involving saliva. Here it goes.

“Close your lips and chomp your teeth about 36 times (pause 5 seconds),” it instructs participants in the study. “With your lips closed, slide your tongue over the front of your teeth on both your upper and lower jaws. Your mouth will fill with saliva. Slowly swallow it in several portions. As you swallow, picture the saliva flowing down to your lower belly. Lightly pat your head from front to back; and pat your body from your head to feet. Take a deep breath in and sigh lightly on the exhale.”

 


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