What is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction?
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What is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)?

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the intention to pay attention . . . to your inner and outer experience in a curious, open and caring way.  Cultivating moment-to-moment awareness can greatly increase your capacity to consciously respond to what is happening rather than automatically react.

What is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)?

MBSR is an evidence-based, comprehensive 8-week program for a broad range of stress-related conditions and pain syndromes, as well as a highly effective preventive program for stress. The MBSR 8-Week Online and In-Person programs taught by Karen are modeled after the University of Massachusetts program developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979.  The effectiveness of MBSR is documented by extensive research, as well as clinical experience involving tens of thousands of patients throughout the world.

If you feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, experience body pain or illness, or have sleeping challenges, this program may benefit you.   Also, MBSR can be highly effective in reducing physical symptoms, such as headaches, gastrointestinal problems or high blood pressure, etc. Research shows that regular mindfulness practice can strengthen immune function, promote healing, and alleviate stress-related symptoms and illnesses.

How does MBSR work?

The heart of the MBSR program is training in the formal and informal practices of mindfulness.   Formal mindfulness includes both stillness practices (meditation) and movement practices (gentle yoga, walking).  Informal practice involves how to be mindful as part of what you are doing such as eating, driving, working, communicating, exercising, etc.

The MBSR training will help you intentionally pay attention to each moment of your experience without judging.  Mindfulness practice teaches experientially that wanting the present moment to be different than it is increases pain and distress.  Allowing the moment to be as it is, without resistance, lessens distress and enhances the ability to effect change, when change is possible.

Who can benefit from MBSR?

MBSR is useful for anyone who wants to learn a comprehensive approach to navigating stress and how to thrive in the midst of challenges and changes.  In addition, MBSR has been shown to treat a broad variety of conditions, symptoms and side effects, including but not limited to:

  • Body pain 
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Heart disease/Hypertension
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Diabetes
  • Anxiety and Panic Disorder
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Psoriasis
  • Addictions

To learn more about the MBSR 8-Week Online Program, click HERE.

MBSR Program Director/Teacher:  Karen Sothers, MEd, E-RYT, has been directing and teaching MBSR since 2004.  She has completed the MBSR teacher training taught by the UMASS Center for Mindfulness. Karen earned a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences from Kansas State University and a Masters of Education in Health and Exercise Science from Vanderbilt University. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT).  Karen taught the MBSR In-Person Program at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine from 2004 to 2020. With the onset of COVD in-person group restrictions in March 2020, Karen created a highly beneficial online version of MBSR that she has been leading for the past 3 years. For more than 30 years, Karen has dedicated her life to teaching the art and science of conscious living.  She blends healing and transformative mind-body practices with the most current research in mindfulness, resiliency and compassion to inspire people to live more fully, and with greater ease and vitality. Karen is highly regarded for her down-to-earth teaching style and wise, compassionate presence that makes stress mastery, mindfulness and other mind-body practices accessible to everyone.

For more information about the MBSR 8-Week Programs, you can email Karen by clicking HERE or call Karen at 858-481-2251.