Paper
Monday, November 5, 2007

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This presentation is part of : Health Promotion Issues
Global Evidence Associated with Mindfulness Meditation and Health
Marilyn Stringer, PhD, CRNP, Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Learning Objective #1: describe the physiologic response to stress and the effects of mindfulness based stress reduction intervention on the stress response.
Learning Objective #2: demonstrate one 2 minute mindfulness based stress reduction technique.

Based on ancient traditions in India and Asia, mindfulness meditation is a growing area of mind body medicine that is slowly being adapted in the United States. For those less familiar with mindfulness meditation stress reduction (MMSR), it is an evidenced based, standardized clinical intervention that provides a systematic approach to develop enhanced awareness of moment-to-moment experience (mindfulness) of perceivable mental processes. The underlying psychodynamic mechanism is the ability to distinguish the primary mind thoughts or emotions from the secondary physical reactions. The opportunity to implement MMSR is between the gap of the primary thought or emotion and the secondary physical response. MMSR has been proven to affect the neuroendocrine system by decreasing the cortisol secretion thereby directly affecting the pituitary-adrenal axis physiologic stress response. Internationally, Carlson and colleagues from Canada, successfully used MMSR with breast and prostate cancer patients demonstrating improved quality of life, improved sleep and decreased stress. In Germany, Grossman demonstrated MMSR decreased both anxiety and depression in patientís seeking care in a general practice setting. Nationally, McComb studied women with heart disease and demonstrated decreased cortisol levels and related stress. In Florida, Lutgedorf and colleagues demonstrated that MMSR decreased the local inflammatory response in women with interstitial cystitis. Cabat Zinn demonstrated the effectiveness of MMSR in patients with chronic pain and fibromyalgia. This session will provide an overview of MMSR and the implications for health promotion and healing. During the session the psychodynamic mechanism of MMSR and the psychoneuroendocrine response will be discussed. The affect of thoughts and emotions on the psychoneuroendocrine response will be explored. Most importantly, the evidence supporting MMSR will be summarized and will focus on areas such as clients experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, heart disease, interstitial cystitis, cancer and quality of life. Lastly, an experiential practice demonstration on MMSR will be provided.