Introduction: Mindfulness interventions have been increasingly incorporated into clinical settings. Evidence supporting mindfulness practices are predominantly established in Western populations. Neurophysiological evidence has not been established to support the effectiveness of mindfulness practice in Asian populations. Greater understanding of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying mindfulness would enable hemodynamics as measured by fNIRS to be used to monitor mindfulness practice as an adjunct to psychotherapy with Asian clients.
Method: Research relating to fNIRS and hemodynamics for mindfulness in Asians was reviewed. The inclusion criteria for this review were recent publications in peer-reviewed journals from 2008 to 2018, with the search terms ‘fNIRS’, ‘hemodynamics’ and ‘mindfulness’, for studies in Asia.
Findings: Databases included Medline, PubMed, PSYCINFO, Google Scholar and SCOPUS. Initial searches yielded 86 results. Five duplicated articles were removed, and remaining abstracts were screened; and assessed for eligibility against the structured performa. Three full text papers which fit the inclusion criteria were included in the current review.
Conclusion: This review highlighted the paucity of rigorous empirically validated research for hemodynamics as measured with fNIRS for mindfulness practice in Asia.