About Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

I am currently not teaching MBSR.  If you are interested in taking MBSR with a qualified teacher                                                       please explore this page on the Umass Memorial Hospital Web Site:

What is MBSR ?

Based in ancient wisdom and modern mind/body medicine, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a challenging and life-affirming eight week program that teaches you to tap into the wisdom of your own body and access the knowledge you already have about your strengths and your difficulties.

Why is it called Stress Reduction?

When we feel “stressed out” we often have physical reactions including increased blood pressure, interrupted digestion, increased heart rate, tense muscles and other changes. All of the systems that are supposed to keep us well can be disrupted by stress. As a result, our health may be compromised and we may develop backaches,  headaches,  GI distress,  fatigue,  auto-immune deficiencies, sleeplessness or other symptoms.

We cannot control the circumstances of our lives but we can control our own behavior and our relationship to our difficulties. If you suffer from chronic pain or illness, the tools you learn in MBSR can help to minimize the physical and emotional impact of these ailments.

Mindfulness helps us to pay attention to what is happening in the moment. It puts us in touch with our heads, hearts and bodies. Mindful meditation helps us to see and accept the way things are. Becoming more aware of what you are experiencing from one moment to the next, learning to live more “in the moment” can enable you to be calmer in the midst of stressful situations and lead to more satisfying outcomes when working with life’s problems.

Why do people  take this class ?

People attend the MBSR program for reasons as diverse as work, family or financial stress, chronic pain and illness, anxiety or panic disordres GI distress,  sleep disturbances,  fatigue,  fibromyalgia,  high blood pressure or headaches and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Many enroll because, although they are feeling well physically, the pace of their lives is “out of control” or they’re “just not feeling quite right”.

Some people just want to learn meditation and discover that there are other parts of the program that are helpful as well.

What happens in class ?

There are eight weekly 2 – 2 1/2 hour group classes and one five hour retreat on a Saturday or Sunday. This highly participatory, practical course includes:

Guided instruction in mindful meditation practices
Gentle stretching and mindful Yoga
Inquiry exercises to enhance awareness in everyday life
Individual consultation when needed
Group dialogue
Daily home assignments
Downloadable MP3 recordings for practicing

How will it help ?

People who complete this course report:

Lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms
An increased ability to relax
Reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away
Greater energy and enthusiasm for life
Improved self-esteem
An ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations.