Boice Willis Clinic and Area L AHEC will offer Rocky Mount’s first nationally recognized Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. The eight-week course will take place at the newly completed Boice Willis Primary Care Building located at 91 Enterprise Drive. Because MBSR can help people who are coping with medical problems, job- or family-related stress, and anxiety and depression, both organizations feel that offering the course to the greater Rocky Mount region supports their missions of providing quality medicine with compassionate care through educational partnerships.
Dr. Jeff Brantley, MD, DFAPA, instructor of the course, is the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. The MBSR course is identified by the American Medical Association as an evidence-based approach to experiencing a greater sense of health and well-being. It uses meditation and yoga to cultivate awareness and reduce stress. Based on ancient practices of mindfulness, it is about waking up, being fully alive and present for the richness of each moment of our lives. Within this awakening, we gain access to our deepest inner resources for living, healing, and coping with stress. Mindfulness is not a religion or religious practice.
Practicing mindfulness is thought to be one of the single most powerful things you can do for your well-being. It is prescribed by physicians for management of stress, hypertension, an adjunctive treatment for cancer, chronic pain, chronic anxiety, and healthful aging. Data exists reporting alterations in brain and immune functions produced by mindfulness meditation. Amazingly, eight weeks of MBSR was found to increase cortical thickness in the hippocampus (the part of the brain that governs learning and memory) and in areas of the brain that regulate emotion. In addition, there were decreases in the brain cell volume in the amygdala, which is the part of the brain responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress. One study found that just a couple of weeks of meditation training increased GRE scores equivalent to 16 percentile points by helping people’s focus and memory during the verbal reasoning section. Mindfulness has been shown to improve health, help one live longer, build creativity, help discover one’s true self, and increase happiness.
During the eight-week course, one can expect to learn about the role of stress and reactivity in health and healing; cultivate mindful awareness through several different types of mediation practices; establish a daily meditation practice; recognize negative patterns of reactivity triggered by stressors; and utilize mindfulness to develop alternative responses to stress.
For more information and to register for the entire eight-week course visit, arealahec.org/courses-and-events/55977/mbsr-mindfulness-based-stress-reduction. The orientation session will be conducted via a web-based seminar on August 16, 2018, from 6 to 7 p.m. The additional eight classes will be offered in the evenings, September 18 through November 13, at the new Boice Willis Primary Care Building located at 91 Enterprise Drive. The course also includes a Day of Mindfulness Retreat on Saturday, October 27. This course has been approved to award 22 hours of CE credits for many health-allied disciplines.