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For patients who were not finding sufficient relief
MBSR (Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction) was developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, to address the unsolved problem of stress and stress-related illness for patients who were not finding sufficient relief from stress and chronic pain within the standard medical model of care.
Participatory medicine is the key
MBSR is an 8-week participatory behavioral medicine program based on an integrative model of health. MBSR is a vehicle in which people learn to participate more fully in their own health and well-being, and is proven to be a powerful adjunct to conventional forms of medical and psychotherapeutic care.
Mindful doctors and patients are fundamental to good medicine
Jon Kabat-Zinn and others launched MBSR at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, now known as the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, HealthCare and Society. Today, the programs based on this model are offered in over 700 clinics, medical centers, and hospitals around the world. More and more health care professionals consider MBSR fundamental to the practice of good medicine. Read more about results here.
MBSR is a structured program
MBSR is presented as an 8-week program comprised of a required orientation, eight weekly class meetings, and a six-hour session on a weekend day, totaling 27.5 hours of instruction; plus daily home assignments. 25 CE hours are available for some health care professionals. The program is a vehicle for active learning requiring commitment and steady effort. StressCare teachers are committed to compassionate support and guidance for all participants. More information for providers
Giving people tools for recovery from stress
The 8-Week Course does not aim directly at medical or psychological solutions but rather it gives people tools for recognizing stress and pain patterns and the steps needed to return to the balance that promotes healing. The primary tools are everyday mindfulness and mindfulness meditation for self-understanding and self-care. The course includes highly skilled mindfulness training, meditation training, mindful movement, exploration of mindfulness in daily life, education about the causes and effects of stress, facilitated class discussions, other mindfulness exercises, and daily home assignments.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is defined in the 8-Week Course as the art of paying attention, on purpose, moment by moment, in a compassionate way. It is an attentional strategy that brings both relaxation and energy to present-moment experiencing, ultimately resulting in a greater sense of control, agency, meaning, and well-being.
The principle of ‘non-doing’ is central
The compassionate, present-moment orientations and behaviors of mindfulness are grounded in the principles of open-ended investigation, non-judging, non-striving, patience, acceptance, and the letting go of attachment to particular outcomes. There is a vast literature on the subject of mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living is recommended as a starting point for 8-Week Course participants.
Who takes the 8-Week Course?
People are referred to MBSR and the StressCare program by doctors, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, therapists, physical therapists, body workers, other healthcare providers, web searches, and word of mouth. No pre-course screening is required other than the registration process itself.
Physician referrals and self-referrals
Patients are referred for MBSR who have cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, GI distress, anxiety and panic, headaches, sleep disturbance, fatigue, chronic pain and other diagnoses. Many participants have no specific medical diagnosis and are in overall good physical health.
Broad inclusiveness is more effective
Classes are taught to groups of 12 to 30 people, unrestricted by gender, physical ability, diagnosis or referral source. MBSR has been proven effective for a range of patients with differing economic and social backgrounds. Broad inclusiveness has been clinically shown as the most effective approach. Compared to in-patient and one-on-one behavioral strategies, StressCare’s 8-Week Course is a low-cost intervention that achieves a high degree of patient participation both during and after the program.
StressCare offers MBSR year-round in the San Francisco Bay Area to hundreds of participants. Services are provided on an outpatient basis as an adjunct to a participant’s regular health care. Highly qualified individuals experienced in the clinical application of mindfulness teach StressCare courses. The regular teachers are Karin Pfluger and David Weinberg. StressCare teachers are devoted to a profound vision of health and healing for all participants.