Saybrook University doctoral candidate Tamami Shirai presents research on meditation with a cardio-pulmonary population

Tamami Shirai

Tamami Shirai

Tamami Shirai is a doctoral candidate in the School of Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University.  On June 5, 2015, Ms. Shirai presented her research on the use of meditation with a cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation population at the conference “Mindfulness & Compassion – The Art & Science of Contemplative Practice” at San Francisco State University.

Tamami Shirai has been providing a meditation class in the Cardio-Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center (CPR) at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla since 2013. Over 178 patients have joined her class in the past 24 months.  For her conference presentation, Tamami reviewed her archived monthly reports and presented results from an appreciative inquiry study, highlighting patients’ descriptions of their “lived experiences” of meditation, based on their experiences in the cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation program.

Tamami’s presentation was part of the conference session, “Mindfulness interventions for treating physical conditions.”  Dr. Jennifer Gans (University of California, San Francisco) and Dr. Bruce Barrett (University of Wisconsin, Madison) were her session co-presenters.  Each of the session’s three research themes (tinnitus stress reduction, preventing acute respiratory infection, and cardiac pulmonary rehabilitation) were synchronized with each other.

In her presentation, Tamami said that although the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACPR) has recommended group education and counseling interventions (Hamm et al., 2011),  she believes the AACPR guidelines do not sufficiently acknolwedge the potential benefit of meditative therapies and brief mindfulness training.  Tamami said that participation  in the conference allowed her to obtain a variety of perspectives on mindfulness and compassion which she would not otherwise have gained.  The conference gave her new ideas and hope: The current boom in “mindfulness” in the US may mean that the underlying eastern wisdom will deepen people’s understanding and help heal Western society.

SFSU’s “Mindfulness and Compassion” conference was organized by Ron Purser and Adam Burke from San Francisco State University with the support of several organizations, such as the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, the San Francisco Zen Center, and others.