« Back

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a structured program that teaches individuals the principles of mindfulness and how to apply them to deal more effectively with stress, illness, and the demands of daily life. MBSR is a program developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1980 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD. Over the past 25 years, he and his staff have trained MBSR teachers all over the world, with more than 250 clinics now offering this successful stress reduction program.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an eight-week program that has shown tremendous results in improving physical and mental health of participants. MBSR training has been shown to decrease stress, anxiety, and hypertension; improve immune function and chronic pain management; decrease medical symptom reporting; and accelerate ultraviolet-induced healing of psoriasis. Research on MBSR has demonstrated improvements in managing stress (job, family, financial), and also many other aspects of one's health as stress can often worsen many medical conditions. Some of the conditions that have been shown to improve with MBSR practice include:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Headache
  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Depression
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Psoriasis
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Multiple Sclerosis

A holistic perspective might be that MBSR and meditation training has the ability to bring about self-healing in participants with a wide array of symptoms.

MBSR training entails teaching participants the practice of mindfulness meditation. Meditation practices taught in MBSR include yoga, body scans, sitting meditation, walking meditation, and mindfulness in everyday activities. The common core of this training is gaining skills for living within each moment of one's life and openly and flexibly accepting the changes that one encounters in each new moment throughout life. MBSR is one of the best studied mind-body programs. MBSR is a safe, broadly applicable and affordable intervention that can greatly enhance one's health and sense of well-being.

Mindfulness is a simple, but ancient approach to living. It is a way of being more deeply present to your body, thoughts, and emotions and learning to work with what is already present. Mindfulness helps one "get off autopilot" and learn how to respond to the unavoidable stressors in life. Practicing mindfulness can lead to deep levels of relaxation, calmness, and a greater sense of control, and more effective coping with stressful situations.