MAP Training


Initially inspired by neurogenesis studies, we developed a clinical intervention known as MAP Training, which stands for Mental And Physical training. Each session of MAP training begins with twenty minutes of mental training with silent sitting meditation, followed by ten minutes of silent walking meditation. The session ends with thirty minutes of aerobic exercise at a moderate intensity. MAP training is typically provided at least twice a week for eight weeks with testing done before and after.

MAP Training is relatively easy to do and very easy to remember:
 

 

We have completed four clinical studies with MAP Training My Brain™. Results are as follows:

MAP TRAINING MY BRAIN™ FOR HOMELESS MOTHERS WITH TRAUMA
MAP Training was provided to women in the community who were recently homeless, suffering untold trauma on the street and beforehand. They were also all mothers. Before training, levels of anxiety and depression were very high, and physical health was poor. After only eight weeks of MAP Training, twice a week, they reported fewer depressive symptoms and many fewer symptoms of anxiety. Their physical health vastly improved with a large increase in oxygen consumption.

MAP TRAINING MY BRAIN™ FOR DEPRESSION
MAP Training helps people with major depressive disorder (MDD). After 8 weeks of MAP training, participants were less depressed. Indeed, scores on Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) decreased by 40%. Depressive symptoms were even decreased in the “healthy” controls. MAP Training was further associated with increases in synchronized brain activity during cognitive control, a sign of healthy neuronal responses to challenging training conditions. The participants were also less likely to ruminate about the past and themselves, a tendency that often occurs in individuals with depression. Together, these data indicate that MAP Training has mind and whole body benefits that translate into an overall increase in health and well-being, especially for people suffering with depression.

MAP TRAINING MY BRAIN™ FOR WOMEN WITH SEXUAL TRAUMA
Sexual violence against women is a serious problem for society and recently there has been an awakening to the problem in modern society. Most of the emphasis has been on prevention and justice, but we must also consider the health and well-being of the survivors going forward: how can we help them learn to recover? Dr. Shors developed MAP Training specifically for this purpose and her team at Rutgers has been providing MAP Training to women who have experienced sexual violence either as adolescents or young adults. Nearly 100 women have completed the program with positive results – fewer trauma-related cognitions and higher self-worth.

MAP TRAINING FOR ANYONE AND EVERYONE
MAP Training is not only good for those with ongoing symptoms. It is likewise useful for those with normal life stress. MAP Training reduced depression and ruminations in otherwise healthy populations. We have recent data to suggest it increases “quality of life” and in our most recent study, it was sufficient to increase self-worth. Finally and most importantly, the combination of meditation and aerobic exercise during MAP Training is better than either activity alone (Shors, Chang & Millon, Frontiers in Neuroscience 2018). Simply put, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Now our goal is to make MAP Training READILY accessible to human beings from all walks of life, who want to learn new skills to keep their brain and body in synch and healthy. Please see MAPTRAINMYBRAIN.com and contact us if you or someone you know would like to try it.