Musing on the Muse

Just a short post on Monday. So my wife alerted me to the story about an article on the uber-great tech changes on the horizon and I tweeted a couple of them:

We didn’t know what the heck “uber” even meant, so I had to look that up, although I could have gotten an idea from context from the Muse headband article (The EEG (electroencephalography) sensors on the headband are uber-sensitive…”). The sensors are overly sensitive.

Maybe for obvious reasons, the Muse headband article made me think of mindfulness meditation. While the mindfulness practices really are about being non-judgmentally aware of your thoughts, emotions, and sensations moment by moment, the Muse headband seems to be about changing, avoiding, or stopping what your experiencing in the present moment and substituting something else.

Most of us will recognize the concept of biofeedback in this uber-expensive gadget.

It’s probably another example of our preoccupation with the quick fix.

How do you choose between the breath and the headband? Let’s see, the breath is free, the headband is about $300.

And if you were going to offer mindfulness or the headband to cancer patients, which one would it be? By the way, mindfulness is one of those mind-body interventions which can help treat insomnia in patients with cancer [1].

I’m just sayin’.


1. Chiu, H. Y., et al. (2014). “The effects of mind-body interventions on sleep in cancer patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” J Clin Psychiatry 75(11): 1215-1223.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of mind-body interventions (MBIs) on sleep quality among cancer patients, the moderating effects of the intervention components, subject characteristics, and methodological features of the relationship between MBIs and sleep. DATA SOURCES: Electronic databases, including PubMed, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, and CINAHL, containing data with English-language restriction recorded up to September 15, 2013 were searched thoroughly using keywords related to various types of MBI and sleep. STUDY SELECTION: Of the 114 identified citations, 99 were ineligible. Fifteen studies that followed 1,405 patients with cancer met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. DATA EXTRACTION: The primary outcome was change in the sleep parameter. Other variables related to components of MBIs, subject characteristics, and methodological features of the studies were also extracted. DATA SYNTHESIS: The weighted mean effect size (ES) was -0.43 (95% confidence interval [CI], -0.24 to -0.62) and the long-term effect size (up to 3 months) was -0.29 (95% CI, -0.52 to -0.06). The sensitivity analysis revealed that MBIs had a significant effect on sleep (g = -0.33, P < .001). The moderating effects of components of the intervention, methodological features, subject characteristics, and quality of the studies on the relationship between MBIs and sleep were not found (all P values > .05). CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis confirms that the MBIs yielded a medium effect size on sleep quality and the effect was maintained for up to 3 months. The findings support the implementation of MBIs into the multimodal approach to managing sleep quality in patients with cancer.



  1. You are one of my favorite Pin-ups.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kathy! You know, I realize Kabat-Zinn cautions against being a “billboard” for mindfulness in his book “Full Catastrophe Living.”

      But I don’t think it hurts to mention it once in a while.


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