Staying present with Mindfulness

August 17, 2016 at 10:03 AM

Staying present with Mindfulness

Mindfulness...is it just a the latest buzzword in the health industry or is there more to it? In the past 30 years there has been a huge amount of research supporting the use of mindfulness training to improve health and well-being including; improving sleep, dealing with stress (which is a major cause of many chronic health conditions) and enhancing performance and interpersonal skills. Mindfulness based stress reduction has also been shown to have a positive impact on pain particularly chronic, longstanding pain. 


How does it work?
Read on for a bit about the science behind mindfulness including the actual changes in your brain and how you can get started!

 

Changes in the brain
 Studies have shown that after 8 weeks of mindfulness  training  there is an increase in grey matter in brain  areas associated with  attention and emotional  regulation.  There is also increased  activity in the left  prefrontal cortex which is a predictor of  happiness and  well-being.


 

Mindfulness and pain

Including mind-body components in the treatment of chronic pain conditions such as chronic low back pain has been long supported by research and recently studies have shown mindfulness based stress reduction programs have a positive effect on these patient groups. Reductions in pain with mindfulness training are thought to be due to activating brain regions associated with the self-control of pain and deactivating the thalamus which is responsible for allowing sensory information to higher areas of the cortex, thus causing signals about pain to fade away.

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What does mindfulness training involve?

Mindfulness based stress reduction is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to present moment. The focus on increasing awareness and acceptance of moment-to-moment experiences including physical discomfort and difficult emotions. It is basically about stepping out of the auto pilot mode we often function in and being aware of what your body is doing right now. It involves learning how to meditate, recognising and improving breathing patterns and often incorporates movement such as yoga and pilates. 

Tips on getting started 

Unfortunately most of us can't just flit off to Bali and immerse ourselves in the zen of yoga and meditation as often as we'd like but the reality is once you learn some basic techniques mindfulness is something that can be incorporated into your daily life, even just 10 minutes a day can make a difference!

For those of us that have not practiced meditation before, the thought of sitting silently and focusing on yourself can be daunting so guided meditation is a good way to start and there are some great apps out there such as 'Headspace' which guides your through short daily practices. Incorporating exercise in to your life is also an important part of creating that mind-body connection especially exercise such as yoga and pilates that focus on body awareness and breathing.   

 

Mindfulness and Movement
8 week course - Sept 2016 

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Develop your mind body connection through movement, breath and mediation.

Led by our yoga instructor Heyes, this course will introduce you to mindfulness and guide you through strategies to manage stress, cultivate awareness and relaxation, improve relationships and create a more joyful mind.

What's involved? 
 1 x 45min one-one session
 7 x 90min group sessions
 Guided meditation manual  

Wednesdays 6.30pm
Newmarket Clinic
Price: $475 
Call (09) 3664480 to book!