About MBSR: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

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Copyright 2014. Christina Pearson. All rights reserved.

MBSR stands for:

 Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction 
Please read this page if you want to understand how my classes developed, & why!) 

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an 8-week carefully designed class protocol that teaches people mindfulness meditation, mindful movement, and how to utilize these awareness-enhancing skills for stress reduction. 

The MBSR program was created by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts - Worcester Medical Center to address what he saw as a tremendous need:   (Please note I am paraphrasing here...) How to give much-needed relief and improve quality of life for those individuals in serious medical treatment that were "falling through the cracks," because available medical resources were not able to meet their pain management / fear of death / life-stressors needs?  

The University soon established the Center For Mindfulness at the school, with Dr. Kabat-Zinn as the Center's first Executive Director. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is now taught around the world, and at over 300 US hospitals. MBSR has become the most widely scientifically researched and empirically validated mindfulness program in the world. MBSR is changing the way that western cultures look at mindfulness meditation, because with today's wonderful technology,we can actually see the benefits of mindfulness meditation, in both brain architecture and brain function. MBSR has now been adapted for treating depression, eating disorders,  for ADHD, and several other disorders. I have adapted it for BFRB reduction. 
christina pearson online mindfulness classes for BFRB reduction mindfulness based s
I hope to have lots more information & links on this page, but let this be a starter for you about why I am personally so deeply passionate about this type of work: In 2010, I began to develop an odd neuropathy in my feet; undiagnosible by the docs, but at least it is not from Diabetes, MS, or a known life-threatening disorder... but it bothers me, and to be proactive, having heard a small bit about MBSR, I decided to take a training in it to manage possible future chronic pain that could very well develop. 

In February of 2011 I took a 7-day residential training conducted by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Dr. Saki Santorelli, along with therapists, doctors, and other healing professionals from 26 countries, to learn for myself how to apply mindfulness to the management of chronic pain.  There were 150 of us, and I felt way in over my head to tell the truth! Some of the folks had waited YEARS to take this training, but me? I saw it, called, and got in immediately, because I was willing to camp. (Yes, it rained, my tent leaked wildly, and I loved every single moment of that week.)

It's a fairly involved story, but I shall synopsize it, jumping to the last evening of the training. All through the week, I had been subtly washed over time and time again, with a deep sense of clarity and understanding of what the instructors were up to, why they trained the way they did, and felt absolutely at home in a profoundly comfortable way. Other's responses varied, ranging from wonder and amazement to outright disgust and anger.   That last evening, I experienced a true satori moment, white light blasting through and through, as one could say  "I came face to face with myself." (Totally awesome that it also clarified a Japanese koan that had been knocking around in my head for years).

 The woman sitting next to me said "what just happened?"  Leaping up, I burst into tears, sobbing "This is what I did to interrupt the vicious cycle of trichotillomania! I've been practicing this for YEARS, I just didn't KNOW it! Now I have LANGUAGE!!"   When people would ask me - "How DO you not pull and pick?" I would try and try to explain, but mostly it was like grasping at clouds to find the words that I needed. Here it was. After crying, I laughed quite a bit, as I saw a whole new pathway opening up before me. I understood the MBSR template, and saw how it could be adapted for impulse management, because  I had been unknowingly engaged in active mindfulness practice for years (it's how I keep hair on my head and clear skin), I just didn't "know" it. I did always wonder WHY the words to explain were beyond me; I wondered no more - I had them now.

THIS IS why I am doing what I am doing, because I see a great need, and I also see how to fill that need; at least for those who are open-minded, able, and willing, to step into life as it is, not how one desires it to be.  Only then, can real change and transformation occur.