The Mindfulness Program in the Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine Clinic is designed to teach mind and body awareness techniques for coping with physical or psychological symptoms from stress and stress-related illnesses. By learning relaxation and awareness techniques, including mindful yoga and body movement, participants are taught to use their inner resources to relieve stress and manage pain more effectively. The Mindfulness Program was initiated 20 years ago at the University of Massachusetts by John Kabat-Zinn, PhD, who was featured on Bill Moyer's PBS series and book, Healing and the Mind.
The majority of participants who complete the program report these benefits:
Decreased physical and psychological symptoms
Increased ability to cope with stressful situations
Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of the first people who ever introduced me to mindfulness meditation techniques--well, not in person but through his books. I really like his program in particular because it's accessible to all kinds of people, regardless of what their spiritual persuasions are. I know that Kabat-Zinn is of the Vipassana persuasion but I appreciate that his approach to meditation is almost more clinical than anything else. It really enables people to use meditation--which can sometimes seem a bit abstract and pointless--for tangible purposes in their lives. And I've discovered that when it's health that's in question, people are more prone to turn to unconventional techniques. They're pragmatic that way.