What is MBSR?
Stress is an underrated modifiable risk factor causing major dis-ease in our society and affecting the health, welfare, and quality of life of every human being. The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) curriculum is designed for the sole purpose of understanding, minimizing and managing our stress allowing us to live more healthy lives with a greater sense of well being.
The first step in this process is to come to a greater understating of the nature of our stress and its causes and conditions. If we pay careful attention to where our stress originates we will realize it comes from within. The incessant and irrational worrying about things that never happen, the demands we place on ourselves, others and life for things to be different, the un-examined thoughts and beliefs that often misguide us as we negotiate through life’s hazards, the counterproductive mental rumination attempting to solve all our issues, the habits of our mind and body that cause us to react inappropriately to difficult experiences, are but a few examples of how we cause our own stress.
In order to see these unconscious and unhealthy processes that cause our distress, we need Mindfulness, an intentional, discerning, laser-like awareness that can see through and interrupt the powerful conditioned habits that often sabotage our lives. The MBSR curriculum is designed to train and develop mindfulness, a natural though the uncultivated quality of our mind, then uses it to change the causes and conditions that lead to stress. We diagnosis and treat our dis-ease with mindfulness which allows us to learn more effective strategies for minimizing and managing our stress.
MBSR was developed for the medical community by Jon Kabat Zinn in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine and is now utilized in other sectors including mental health, education, business, politics and sports to name a few. Today MBSR is available in over 750 facilities worldwide including Fredericksburg, VA.
There is extensive research on MBSR with over 450 mindfulness studies last year alone in the peer review journals. A 2011 meta-analysis of MBSR trials found it to be a “useful method for improving mental health and reducing symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression,” and recommended it as a means of improving the quality of life for patients managing a disease. Below are some additional informational resources to understand MBSR.
In this highly interactive and participatory program we will have presentations and discussions related to stress and stress reduction. More importantly we learn a variety of practices to lessen the detrimental physical and psychological effects of stress, allowing us to live with greater health, ease and well being. Some of these practices include:
- Meditation in the sitting, standing, walking and lying down postures
- Learning to calm the body using the parasympathetic nervous system
- Mindfulness of our thoughts, beliefs and emotions as well as our body, speech and action
- Mindful eating, mindful listening, mindful communication and mindful relationships
- Body awareness exercises including gentle yoga, chi gong and the body scan
- Large and small group dialogue on a variety of topics
- Home practices including guided meditations and selected articles and videos
Traditionally the MBSR curriculum is taught as an 8 consecutive week course with each class lasting 2 hours with a daylong retreat. This allows time in between classes to practice the weekly guided meditations and “try out” our new realizations in our daily lives. For those not able to commit to this schedule or want a “taste” of the full 8 week course before committing to it, YOFO also periodically offers a 3 hour MBSR workshop. Both the 8-week MBSR course and the workshop are taught by Dr. John McLaughlin, an interventional radiologist and longtime teacher and practitioner of meditation and MBSR.
Date: Saturday August 11
Time: 2:30– 5:30 pm
In this 3-hour MBSR workshop, we will practice a variety of techniques to deactivate the stress cycle (i.e.diaphragmatic breathing, somatic awareness, Qi Gong) and develop our Mindfulness using Mindful meditation, Mindful inquiry, and the Body Scan. With these new skills, we begin to understand and change the causes and conditions of our stress helping us live with a greater sense of ease and well being. Register online. All are welcome.
MBSR 8 WEEK CLASS SCHEDULE:
INTRODUCTORY TALK: Monday Oct 15, 6 to 7 pm
COURSE DATES: Every Monday Oct 22 to Dec 10, 6 to 8 pm
LOCATION: Yoga Foundation of Fredericksburg Studio (YOFO)
COST of 8 Week Course: $250
To Register: Come to the MBSR Introduction talk or contact me directly then register online. All are welcome
For questions or comments, please email John McLaughlin at [email protected]
“If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb
What People Are Saying About MBSR:
“At a personal level, the courses have exceeded my expectations (I didn’t know anything about mindfulness till I met you at the class but still- it has been a great experience and I really look forward to each of the classes). I don’t see how to improve it, unless we get there for 4 hours at a time. Thanks for helping me become a better person. “
“John, I think the class is truly amazing. I have learned so much. My stress level is greatly reduced already. I look forward to continuing to learn more. One thing I really like is how you are introducing lots of different ways to do “mindfulness”. I think this will really serve for the long term as I establish my practice but also evolve it to keep it fresh. I noticed that during the final class, you plan to introduce us to a range of services available in the community. I can now see how important that will be to keep my practice going. Thank you! “
“Hi, John. Thanks once again for giving me the opportunity to be in your class. It has benefited me on both a personal and professional levels, as I am incorporating some of your teachings into my practice.”
“I wanted to tell you that for me it has been a positive experience. What I liked the most was your instruction and leadership as well as the actual mindfulness practices. Your ability to teach on a level that was personable and compassionate was awesome and really in line with Jon Kabit-Zin’s philosophy.”
John McLaughlin MD has been practicing mindfulness meditation for nearly 20 years and teaches MBSR at Mary Washington Hospital and at YOFO. He is a co founder and teacher at the Insight Meditation Community of Fredericksburg and Yoga Foundation of Fredericksburg. He is a long time practitioner of mindfulness meditation, yoga, tai chi and chi gong and participated in the MBSR training program with Jon Kabat Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Contact John: [email protected]