Background of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
In the approach known as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), individuals are taught to practice mindfulness meditation and mindful movement/gentle stretching and yoga as ways to become more aware, more present, and more relaxed as they face the stresses of their own lives. Additionally, training is offered in stress reactivity/responsivity and mindful communication/compassion practice.
MBSR was developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn’s research between 1979 and 2002, is focused on mind/body interactions for healing, on various clinical applications of mindfulness meditation training for people with chronic pain and/or stress related disorders, on the effects of MBSR on the brain and how it processes emotions, particularly under stress, and on the immune system. The following is a small portion of the research on MBSR available for the public:
Structure of the MBSR program
The MBSR program consists of 8 weekly 2 ½ hour classes and one full day retreat (6-8 hours) between weeks 6 and 7. It includes guided instruction in mindfulness meditation and mindful yoga practices, small and large group discussions, exercises to enhance awareness in everyday life, methods for improving communication, and daily home practice assignments lasting 45-60 minutes. Participants are given readings, guided audio files, and handouts to facilitate their daily practice.