Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction - MBSR

Hi All,

I wanted to draw your attention to this course that I was made aware of today. My old boss who is an internationally recognised science guru (professor in human nutrition) has been trying to find a way to get her sleep back to how it once was decades ago. I mention her credentials because she is a science-based no BS person and a skeptic (like me only I have no credentials :lol: ). What she came across was a course here in Sydney that was actually put together at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It has changed her life and after discussing it all with her I might give this a go in October when the 4th series begins. I know she has spent years trying to get a handle on her stress etc to no avail – but this course called “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction - MBSR” has done the trick – in her words, “it has changed my life around…seriously…I now sleep restfully 8 nights out of 10. It’s based on science (neuroscience) and RCTs to prove its effectiveness. I feel like a new person.”

You can read all about it here. The page I am directing this to describes the clinical research behind this:

"Our work over the past twenty-eight years has shown consistent, reliable, and reproducible demonstrations of major and clinically relevant reductions in medical and psychological symptoms across a wide range of medical diagnoses, including many different chronic pain conditions … "


The course is run over 8 weeks in Sydney and can be found here for those who live here:


It appears that there are professional groups delivering the course all over the US and in other countries as well.

See here for other parts of the world:


I think when dealing with a condition like ours, this sort of training has got to be effective in increasing the quality of our lives – possibly significantly reducing migraine symptoms just by practising this sort of stress reduction and integrating it into our lives permanently. It’s not exactly cheap but I’m willing to give this a go I think.

Anyway, I’d be interested in others’ opinions.

Best … Scott :slight_smile:

Scott, this sounds fantastic. I am at the point where I am open to anything that would potentially reduce my stress level, which for me seems to be a constant trigger. It looks like this was a very thoughtful and well planned course. I only wish that they a course closer to Philadelphia, although if it is that good, a drive to Mass may be in order! I think if you can handle the course with your work and this horrible condition, I would do it in a heart beat. Ben

Hi Scott

I think this is the way to go. For me personally, after nearly 40 years of struggling with this condition and not having found a longterm med that helps, all I feel that’s left for me to explore is stress management and lifestyle coping strategies, so something like MBSR sounds very exciting. Having read the links, it seems to embrace multiple aspects which I think is great.

I wonder if you could adopt the principles without actually having the benefit of a tutor/mentor? There isn’t a course near me but I’d be very interested to try to read about it and apply it’s ideas. It really does sound worth pursuing. If I were you Scott and had the finances, I wouldn’t hesitate to give it a go. You have nothing to lose and potentially so much to gain.

I’m going to do a bit of googling and see what more I can find out. Thanks for the post.



I took this class at UMass last year. It was terrific, and I highly recommend it. The first couple of weeks were a tough adjustment for me as I had only participated in conventional medicine up to that point. I was very distrustful that such a program would help me but after just a few weeks I started to see some small signs of improvement. I was more relaxed, calmer and more accepting of myself - dizzy or not dizzy. I had much less of the internal struggle going on. re: why I was dizzy, what caused it and how to stop being dizzy…etc. I was expected to devote about 45 minutes to 1 hour each day to the practice exercises. This is not an easy task with two small children but I did what I could and it was helpful. I was a bit disappointed that the class did not go on for a bit longer. I felt that once I started to really learn the program, classes were already comming to an end.

You are not supposed to go into the program thinking that it will cure you. I think most people do have those hopes though… I did. The lesson that I most learned from the class is that I have today, I have now, this moment and I can do with it what I like… I can worry about my future, I can think back over the past perhaps with regret or not, or I can just be accepting of myself and live fully in the moment. This is my take on mindfullness. It seems so simple yet to incorporate this into your life it takes some disciple and practice. Kristen

Hey all,

I just started this course tonight. I liked it a lot … so far so good and lots of interesting people in my group. Two others with some sort of chronic disease and someone suffering with cancer. Suddenly this MAV doesn’t seem so bad.

So I’m working on the chill factor, the exercise, the sleep and drowning in water. If this doesn’t make a difference I’m just going to be done with it and leap off a tall building. :lol:

Scott 8)


I did something similiar as Dr. Newman has a Pyschotherapist who specializes in Biofeedback. She combines therapies such as Cognitive behavioral therapy with meditation techniques like biofeedback to try and help the patients cope. I used to do this a lot more and should try and keep up with it. I did this for 3 months and it defintely teaches us ways to cope. I think it is easier to help one if they are open minded , not thinking this is a cure , and somewhat stable from an anxiety standpoint so I was a good candidate as I was under medication stable. One who is rock bottomwill be hardfer to teach. I highly reccomend using tools like this. There is alos scientific evidence with biofeedback. Dr Newman has this women run some of hios monthly support groups to give people hope.


Hi Jen,

Just bumping this one up for you to check out as promised.

Here’s the Melbourne courses for 2010:


Cheers … Scott


Jon Kabat-Zinn quoted as saying it is about surfing on the waves of life and not shrinking under them…you can the. Look at the situation from a distance, from the outside so to speak, or at least collect your thoughts momentarily. By regaining control like this, you can develop a kind of buffer, which allows for better decision making and reaction patterns

Can’t say I’ve tried it but sounds as if it might adapt very well for MAVers.