Balance Bodywork Blog
What is "MBSR"?
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR, is a course that helps you learn to calm your body and mind to effectively reduce your stress and improve your health.
"Mindfulness teaches you to be in control of your mind so that your mind doesn't control you."
Mindfulness is all the rage these days. This can be both good and bad - classes have become more mainstream and available, but the increased hype also causes some people to look at it as just another trendy fad.
MBSR is a course developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in conjunction with the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and has been scientifically proven to improve health and well being. There have been numerous studies done on the effectiveness of MBSR and mindfulness on specific health conditions - click here for a list of journal publications.
My experience with MBSR has been nothing short of incredible.
In early 2016 I was diagnosed with hypertension. This was the most recent in a string of health issues I'd been dealing with since 2006, including Hashimoto's (autoimmune hypothyroidism), stage 2 adrenal fatigue, and chronic anxiety. That fall, I spoke with my friend Mike Towbin about a course he was going to be teaching. "It helps you learn how to handle your stress better", he said. I signed up.
Over the course of 8 weeks, I learned how to apply my current meditation practice to the concept of Mindfulness. I meditated every day, along with learning other techniques to help me let go of worrying about the future and fretting about the past mistakes I'd made.
My goals at the beginning of the course were to improve my health and reduce my stress. By the end of the course, I had made changes in my life that reduced my stress, but my hypertension was still at the level where I had to continue on medication.
I decided to commit to continue my daily meditation practice.
It's now been 10 months of daily meditation, and I'm happy to say that I've brought my blood pressure down from 145/95 (at time of diagnosis) to 114/75 (current unmedicated reading) and with the blessing of my doctor have discontinued the medication. My adrenals are functioning at normal levels, and my doctor tells me that my blood tests and ultrasounds show that my thyroid disease has begun to reverse itself. Because of the clarity that my meditation practice has brought me, I've improved my diet and increased my exercise levels as my health has improved, which has continued the upward swing in my overall health.
If you find yourself struggling with stress, anxiety, and poor health, I urge you to give this practice a try.
My case is by no means normal - you may not get the same results as I did. I will tell you, however, that you will benefit if you commit to applying the lessons in this course to your daily life. Consistency is key.
For more information on MBSR, meditation, mindfulness, and general stress management, you can contact me at (970) 231-7689 or via email at Shannon@balancebodywork.net.