MBSR: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a method of using meditation and yoga to cultivate awareness and reduce stress. Of course, many of us having been doing this for years, but did you know it had a name? First developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979, MBSR is based on the ancient practice of mindfulness, which is about waking up and being present in the richness of each moment of our lives. Within this awakening, we gain access to our deepest inner resources for living, healing, and coping with stress.

Duke University has been leading the field in MBSR since 1998. On their website, www.dukeintegrativemedicine.com they write: “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs similar to ours have been offered in the United States and around the world for over 20 years, and thousands of people have participated. This approach can help people who are coping with medical problems, job or family-related stress, and anxiety and depression. The majority of participants report lasting decreases in both physical and psychological symptoms. Pain levels improve and people learn to better cope with pain that may not go away. Most people also report an increased ability to relax, greater enthusiasm for life, improved self-esteem, and increased ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations. However, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a complement, not a substitute, for whatever medical treatments a person may be receiving and should not be used in place of medical care.”

Patients report lasting decreases in both physical and psychological symptoms. Pain levels improve and people learn to cope better with chronic pain. Most people also report an increased ability to relax, a greater enthusiasm for life, improved self-esteem, and increased ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations.

MBSR has been used to treat the following conditions:

ADD/ADHD Anger/stress management Anxiety, panic, or depression Chronic Pain Daily life stress Fatigue Headaches High blood pressure Job or family stress Personal growth and development Serious illness Sleep disturbances Type A behavior

by Staff