What is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)?

SO MUCH MORE THAN STRESS REDUCTION

Mindfulness provides a simple but powerful route for getting ourselves unstuck, back in touch with our wisdom and vitality. It is a way to take charge of the direction and quality of our own lives, including our relationships with the family, our relationships to work and the larger world and planet, and most fundamentally, our relationship with ourself as a person.” – Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of MBSR

For thousands of years, people have discovered for themselves the numerous and often spectacular and life-changing benefits of mindfulness practice. Today, a flurry of modern scientific studies have not only begun to document the truth of these assertions, but have proven that mindfulness practice can actually change the very structure of our brains, and even our genes.

Dozens of universities in the United States, Europe, and India have conducted hundreds of studies over the past 40 years on the effects of mindfulness meditation on human physiology and behavior. The results point to meditation as producing benefits on many levels of life simultaneously – body, emotions, mental functioning, and relationships. (Interestingly, the words medicine and meditation both come from the Latin mederi, which means “to cure.”)

In 2015, researchers found that group mindfulness treatment is AS EFFECTIVE as individual cognitive behavioral therapy in treating individuals suffering from anxiety, depression and severe stress responses — and noted that it is often more affordable and convenient.” (Read about the study here.)

Among other things, recent studies have shown that mindfulness practice can help you with: 

  • Stress (health/financial/job/school/relationships)
  • Anxiety/Panic/Depression
  • Chronic Pain/Fatigue/Headaches
  • Sleep disturbances
  • High blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms/cholesterol levels
  • Menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes
  • Immune response
  • Addiction relapse prevention
  • Age-related brain atrophy
  • Fibromyalgia/Psoriasis
  • Ability to Focus
  • Creativity
  • Perception and Memory
  • Strength of Self-Concept
  • Productivity
  • Improved Relations
  • A host of other things . . .

It does this, in part, by helping you to:

  • Deeply calm both your body and mind
  • Become aware of your precious aliveness in each and every moment
  • Observe, non-judgmentally, all of your thoughts, with kindness
  • Recognize your negative habits, patterns, and beliefs
  • Learn to react more calmly to life’s little and big events
  • Foster a more positive state of mind
  • Live more fully in the present, rather than in your past or future
  • Cultivate compassion for both yourself and others
  • Increase your sense of peace, clarity, and well-being

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?

A basic human quality: Mindfulness is not something you need to acquire; this powerful internal resource already resides within you, available and patiently awaiting to be re-awakened.

A practice: You can increase your own innate mindfulness exponentially by learning and practicing a variety of techniques aimed at helping you to access the power of your own body and mind. This involves developing and honing your ability to pay attention to each and every moment, non-judgmentally, with a gentle kindness, and an acceptance of whatever arises – even if what is occurring includes physical or emotional discomfort. Over time, practicing mindfulness can not only enable you to greatly reduce any pain, stress, and illness you may have, but to live your life more fully, with a richer sense of peace and ease.

 WHAT IS MINDFULNESS-BASED STRESS REDUCTION (MBSR)? 

MBSR is an intensive and personal 8-week mindfulness training course, modeled after the classes offered at the Stress Reduction Clinic developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

This 35-year-old program is highly respected in the medical community, and is offered in more than 800 hospitals worldwide, including Valley Health’s Integrative Care Program. It has been featured on PBS in Bill Moyers’ documentary, Healing and the Mind (seen by more than 40 million people), The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC’s Dateline, ABC’s Evening News and Chronicle programs, and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. (*In January 2015 it was featured in a full segment of 60 Minutes.)

Along with mindful dialogue/communication, mindful eating exercises, and a wide range of mindfulness techniques – including sitting and walking meditations, gentle yoga, and relaxing body scans (each of which can be modified to suit different body types and conditions), you are provided with a deep, experiential, integrated learning about the many and varied ways in which you can harness the power of your mind and body to reduce pain, stress, and illness, establish your own unique daily practice, and create more joy and ease in your life.

This life-affirming, challenging program requires that you make an ongoing commitment to yourself and your health by attending eight 2.5 hour sessions, plus a daylong retreat, and practicing daily home assignments for 45-60 minutes a day.

Are you ready to give this potentially life-changing practice a try? Click the links below for more info:

A new MBSR workshop will be offered Jan. 14 – Mar. 4, 2018.

For testimonials, click here.
To read recent studies & articles about mindfulness, click here.

MBSR was featured on the cover of Time Magazine in February 2014. Read the story here: Time Magazine MBSR article