Healthcare is an important and stressful portion of our lives. Patients regularly experience extreme stress not just from their physical symptoms, but also from the mental and emotional effects of illness. Caregivers and families are often affected too. Healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, therapists – looking after the patients and families are often working very hard, sometimes to the point of burnout. In such an environment, practicing mindfulness is not only relaxing, but has been clinically proven to assist with healing as well. It is no wonder that the 8-week MBSR was originally developed in a healthcare setting!
Mindfulness can complement conventional medical treatments to improve various illnesses, according to research conducted in laboratories all around the world. Here are some of the diseases whose treatments mindfulness has been documented to help with:
- Chronic pain
- Heart Disease
- Major Depression
- Stress Disorders
For a complete list, as well as links to the scientific studies conducted, please visit http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/mindfulness-based-programs/mbsr-courses/about-mbsr/mbsr-journal-articles/.
Mindfulness thinking promotes relaxation and exerts a calming influence on the individual practicing it, making it a useful tool for healthcare professionals as well. Healthcare professionals often experience burnout – a term used to describe emotional fatigue, depersonalization (viewing patients as objects) and reduced work satisfaction. Combating burnout in healthcare professionals is, therefore, crucial both to the caregivers themselves, as well as the patients they treat. For more information, refer to http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/184621.
Methods of delivery:
- Based on template of the standard 8-week MBSR course
- Instructor will lead the group through Mindfulness practices, incorporating meditation, breathing, stretching and introspection
- Journal club presentations and post-practice discussions guide participants towards drawing meaningful conclusions about themselves
- The standard course will be customized and tweaked to fit the context of individual participants’ role in the healthcare sector
- Take-home materials – handouts and audio files – will also be provided
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