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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness is an ability to be fully present and aware of surroundings or activities, without becoming overwhelmed or reactive. Through any number of meditative or breathing practices—like taking time to pause and breathe when faced with a stressful moment—mindfulness works better when practiced every day. 

While reducing stress is an effect of mindfulness, it is not the primary goal. According to, the benefits of mindfulness include increased physical performance (as in athletics), reduced fear and negative thoughts, greater self-compassion, enhanced creativity and increased concentration.

Read more on the benefits of mindfulness.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) 

Since its creation by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 as a meditation therapy for stress management, MBSR has evolved as an alternative treatment to alleviate suffering associated with physical, psychosomatic and psychiatric disorders. This includes depression, anxiety, chronic pain and general stress reduction, as well as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, skin and immune disorders. 

MBSR program at CFI

Modeled on the University of Massachusetts Medical Center program, CFI’s MBSR program offers clients formal training in mindfulness/meditation techniques for at least 2 hours/week over 8 weeks. Evidence has shown immediate benefits during the course of treatment, with longer-term benefits lasting for months and even years.


  • Growing research shows the mindful brain actually remodels the brain’s physical structure. Jon Kabat-Zinn noted, “Mindfulness…lights up parts of our brains that aren’t normally activated when we’re mindlessly running on autopilot.”
  • Brainwaves of long-term meditators showed never-before-seen levels of gamma, one of the strongest types of brain waves, theorized to appear when the different regions of the brain harmonize, according to psychologist Daniel Goleman and neuroscientist Richard Davidson, who collaborated on the book Altered Traits. The typical person will have a brief gamma wave, for example, when solving a problem and all sensory inputs harmonize. The brainwaves of long-term meditators, however, show gamma all the time as a lasting trait, no matter what they are doing. 
  • Recent research suggests meditation may ensure brain health and maintain good mental performance. It boosts mental flexibility and focus, while protecting against age-related cognitive decline. Another study has found evidence to show a direct link between nasal breathing and cognitive functions. 
  • Evidence links meditation to increased “neuroplasticity”—the way life experience and training change the adult brain—by maintaining the brain’s mental efficiency, capacity and flexibility. Regular meditation also improves areas of brain function, such as heightened attention, awareness and working memory—greater overall mental acuity.

Learn more about Mind-Body Therapies offered at CFI…



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