Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR):
An Evidence-Based Model for Improved Health and Quality of Life
The MBSR 8-Week Intensive is a structured program utilizing the model created by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, for the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine at the UMass Medical Center. This model was created 40 years ago and has since been implemented in hundreds of medical centers and community settings across the country and internationally. Tens of thousands of participants have completed the program, with the majority reporting long-lasting benefts including pain and stress reduction, and improved quality of life across multiple health indicators. MBSR has been featured extensively in the media and has been presented on NBC Dateline, ABC's Chronicle and on Bill Moyer's PBS documentary Healing and the Mind. Proponents of the program include leading health experts such as Dr. Andrew Weil and Daniel Goleman, PhD. Below you can see some of the benefits of participating in an MBSR program, as well as some of the many health conditions which have shown to be positively impacted by Mindfulness training.
Some conditions benefiting
from MBSR program participation:
Daily life stress
Job or family stress
Depression and anxiety
IBS or IBD (gastrointestinal disorders)
High blood pressure
Other chronic and serious illnesses
Benefits of Mindfulness training include:
clarity and focus
sleep quality and sleep patterns
access to self-compassion
capacity for healthy empathy
access to creativity
More effective stress management
Responsiveness instead of reactivity
Decreased chronic pain
There are hundreds of studies which have evaluated the effects of MBSR and mindfulness meditation on health and quality of life. Studies have examined the positive effects on stress related quality of life, depression, anxiety, sleep, psoriasis, cancer, fibromyalgia, HIV, inflammatory bowel diseases, headache and migraine, blood pressure, and chronic pain. A selection of studies can be reviewed below:
Kabat-Zinn, J., Wheeler, E., Light, T., Skillings, A., Scharf, M.S., Cropley, T. G., Hosmer, D., and Bernhard, J. Influence of a mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention on rates of skin clearing in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis undergoing phototherapy (UVB) and photochemotherapy (PUVA) Psychosomat Med (1998) 60: 625-632.
Jedel S, Hoffman A, Merriman P, Swanson B, Voigt R, Rajan KB, Shaikh M, Li H, Keshavarzian A..A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based stress reduction to prevent flare-up in patients with inactive ulcerative colitis. Digestion. 2014;89(2):142-55.
Miller JJ1, Fletcher K, Kabat-Zinn J.Three-year follow-up and clinical implications of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1995 May;17(3):192-200.
Carlson, et al., (2007). One year pre-post intervention follow-up of psychological, immune, endocrine and blood pressure outcomes of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in breast and prostate cancer outpatients. Brain Behav Immun. 2007 Nov;21(8):1038-49.
Witek-Janusek, et al., (2008). Effect of mindfulness based stress reduction on immune function, quality of life and coping in women newly diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Brain Behav Immun. 2008 Aug;22(6):969-81.
de Vibe, M., Bjørndal, A., Tipton, E.,... Kowalski, K. (2012). Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) for improving health, quality of life, and social functioning in adults. The Campbell Collaboration, 3.
Bohlmeijer, E., Prenger, R., Taal, E., & Cuijpers, P. (2010). The effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy on mental health of adults with a chronic medical disease: A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 68(6), 539.
Chiesa, A. & Serretti, A. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for stress management in healthy people: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15(5), 593.