CompleteLife Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is offered at various IU Health hospitals in conjunction with the IU Simon Cancer Center CompleteLife Program. While there is no clear evidence that stressful life events cause cancer, there is evidence that decreasing stress reactivity may improve healing and decrease recurrence rates of the disease. Patients living with cancer (and their families) who tap into their inner resources for healing develop an enhanced sense of well-being and are able to cope more effectively with the experiences encountered in treatment and recovery. Through mindfulness, the possibility of a new relationship to the physical, emotional and mental pain that arises with the diagnosis of cancer may lead to less suffering and more joy and ease in the process.
What is mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction?
Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose in the present moment without judgment. It is a way of being that awakens us to the truth that we are already whole, no matter what ails us. Mindfulness is a universal human capacity and is cultivated through the skills taught in MBSR classes. It puts us in touch with what is called awareness—also an innate part of human intelligence. MBSR classes are an eight week journey in reclaiming our wholeness by mobilizing the practices of mindfulness and learning about our input in the human stress reaction. These classes are taught at more than 200 medical centers and clinics worldwide and are offered in central Indiana through Mindfulness at the Center. View a listing of MBSR teachers.
Whom may it help?
Mindfulness training through MBSR has been shown to benefit those with:
- multiple medical conditions including cancer
- recurrent depression
- chronic pain
- nausea associated with chemotherapy
It has also been shown to improve:
- quality of life factors in patients with pain, cancer and anxiety
- the immune response important in repressing tumor recurrence
- ability to cope with stressful life situations such as cancer
Who is the teacher?
Kathleen Beck-Coon, M.D., has practiced mindfulness meditation since 1992. She trained to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction through the Center for Mindfulness started at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Beck-Coon is actively involved in research, including a recent study showing significant improvement in the distress of cancer related fatigue in those who practice mindfulness meditation. She is a member of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. Questions? Contact her at (317) 460-1691.
What is the fee?
There is a sliding fee ($100 to $400) for the 27-hour Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course, which includes a retreat. For more information, see mindfulnessatthecenter.com. Or call Kathleen Beck-Coon, M.D., at (317)
How do I learn more about the classes and the research involving MBSR?
Information on classes in central Indiana at local IU Health facilities may be found at www.mindfulnessatthecenter.com. The “Research” section refers to several research studies documenting the benefits noted above as well as several others. The “In the News” section links to well-known lay publications explaining MBSR and its relationship to healing.
Other references on stress, MBSR and cancer: