Mindful Medicine is invested in bringing Meditation, Reiki and Mindfulness to the medical community to assist both service providers and patients with various mind-body practices that support healing, relaxation and pain management to integrate alternate modalities into hospitals. Please email us to learn more about how we can partner together and create a custom program for greater health.
As an Emergency Physician for over 30 years, I experienced a unique type of chaos firsthand. I had no control over what Emergency I was presented with or the volume in terms of patients per hour. Through meditation and learning the gift of mindfulness I learned how to be the calm in the storm. Delivering care in the Emergency Department is really a team effort. I greatly benefited from my experience with a mindfulness practice as I was able to use this skill to be a calm strong Physician leader and guide those who were assisting me to help our patients in the most beneficial manner. In addition, I was able to hear my patient’s needs, which helped me guide them in their healing process. I have discovered through my own personal experience the numerous benefits of mindfulness practice, which includes stress reduction, great clarity of focus, and being present for what my patients most need, an intelligent and compassionate healer.
Rhonda K., MD
I have discovered through my own personal journey how important mindfulness is for overall wellness and health. Stress and lack of sleep are risk factors for many diseases. Teaching practitioners and patients mindfulness techniques leads to better eating, better sleeping, and better coping. I work mostly with adolescents: whether I employ mindfulness to helps students not "freak out" about an exam, or how to focus when they study, or how to deal with pain, or how to stop themselves from mindless eating; these are skills that set them up for a lifetime of better health.
Lynn C., MD
We partner with hospital communities to create custom programming that results in greater health for both patients and healthcare providers. Program options for patients include weekly drop-in meditation, one-on-one patient instruction, and family training. In each of these programs, our experienced teachers will lead guided meditations with step-by-step instruction focused on different techniques including visualization, breath work, and affirmation; all with the goal of aiding in stress reduction and promoting healing. In addition, we offer a six-week training program tailored to meet the unique challenges faced by healthcare providers. This program introduces caregivers to the benefits of mindfulness and teaches tools and techniques to cultivate relaxation, access inner calm, which helps with more insightful decision-making and ultimately establish deeper connections with the patients in their care.
MINDFULNESS & CANCER CARE
Along with a cancer diagnosis comes the inevitable feelings of anxiety, stress, depression, and loss of control. Doctors employ their full arsenal to fight the disease from chemotherapy to the latest genetic therapies but knowing the intimate connection of the mind and body, there is evidence to show that treating the mind could have a positive impact on the course of the disease.
Dozens of studies have shown that mindfulness-based interventions have significant effects on dealing with the symptoms of cancer including pain, fatigue, nausea, and other treatment side effects. Mindfulness also helps the patient in dealing with the associated stress by encouraging people to focus on the present and live more in the moment. In addition, there is strong new evidence that suggests that the benefits of mindfulness practices extend even further. The latest studies have found that mindfulness interventions have an impact on the immune system and stress-related hormones. This could give patients an edge in fighting their disease.
A study conducted at the Tom Baker Cancer Center in Calgary, Canada found that mindfulness interventions protect the cells from premature aging. This is because the telomeres, located at the end of chromosomes, are impacted by chronic stress. In a study conducted with breast cancer patients, doctors found that mindfulness meditation boosted the production of telomerase, the enzyme, which protects telomeres. Given that decreased telomerase activity and shorter telomere length have been shown to predict cancer mortality, the study provides clues that mindfulness practice may help fight the disease itself.
MINDFULNESS & PAIN MANAGEMENT
The Joint Commission (JACHO), which accredits and certifies health care organizations based on quality measures has recently re-examined its pain management standards. Effective January 1, 2018, JACHO has implemented revised pain assessment standards which require that hospitals provide non-pharmacologic options to help patients manage their pain. What does this mean as a health care provider? Now more than ever, alternate modalities to manage pain are being introduced into the healthcare world.
Since Jon Kabat-Zinn’s introduction of meditation and yoga in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts, there is an abundance of hard data over the last 40 years supporting the positive effects of mindfulness on overall well-being. What Kabat-Zinn discovered is that mindfulness can alter the experience itself, in this case the pain, and/or alter our relationship to the experience. In other words, our mental reaction can either feed the pain or ease it.
With the ever increasing opioid crisis where approximately 90 Americans die every day from overdoses of prescription opioid painkillers, mindfulness has been shown to reduce symptoms of pain and the perception of pain lowering drug use. Studies like those conducted at the University of Utah’s Center on Mindfulness and Integrative Health show promising results in helping patients reduce their painkiller intake and lessen the experience of pain.
MINDFULNESS & HEART HEALTH
The American Heart Association states that “Practicing mindfulness and meditation may help you manage stress and high blood pressure, sleep better, feel more balanced and connected, and even lower your risk of heart disease.”
Last year, new blood pressure guidelines released by the American Heart Association lowered the target optimum blood pressure from 140/90 mm Hg to 130/80 mm Hg. This means an additional 31 million Americans (a total of 46% of the U.S. adult population) are now classified as having hypertension. In addition, one in every four deaths in the United States is from heart disease, making it the country’s leading killer. By lowering the definition of high blood pressure, the guidelines recommend even earlier intervention to prevent further blood pressure increases and complications associated with hypertension.
Simple lifestyle changes and non-drug approaches including a mindfulness practice can have significant effects on blood pressure. Eric Loucks, PhD at Brown University, is conducting a number of studies on the health benefits of meditation. His preliminary findings in a clinical trial called Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction Intervention Development show that by enhancing self-regulation and supporting meaningful health behavior changes meditation is significantly reducing high blood pressure.
The AHA recognizes the potential that mindfulness has on cardiac disease and concluded in 2017 that, although evidence is preliminary, there is enough to suggest that mindfulness meditation be used as an adjunct treatment for coronary disease and its prevention.
MINDFULNESS & HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
Statistics reveal that burnout has become a serious issue in the health care profession. Recent studies have reported that more than half of all doctors report symptoms of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and feelings of inadequacy. The pressures that health care professionals face are indisputable. Mindfulness has the potential to ease this stress.
A 2017 report published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine showed results from 115 different studies and discovered that mindfulness improved physician-patient communication, improved quality of care and enhanced physicians’ empathy. Mindfulness creates a space between stimulus and response. It is in this space that health care providers have the opportunity to replace impulsive reactions with thoughtful responses. As physician Ronald Epstein at the University of Rochester Medical Center shares, “Mindfulness enables doctors to listen to a patient without judging, to be present, responding to what the patient is saying and feeling and also aware of what they’re feeling.”
What types of outcomes can our patients/staff expect through mindfulness practices?
Mindfulness practices have been shown to decrease stress and anxiety, promote peacefulness and a sense of calm, increase clarity and awareness, and, over time, improve the ability to work through challenging emotions with equanimity. Mindfulness practices can also increase empathy and compassion, and allow individuals to be more present to more positive emotions such as joy and happiness.
Do mindfulness practices cure illnesses?
While we do not claim mindfulness practices can cure an illness, there is substantial evidence and research showing links between stress reduction and overall improved physical and emotional health, which can promote healing and well-being. Please refer to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center Website and Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program as well as The University of Wisconsin Center for Healthy Minds as resources for more information.
Do your teachers have a medical background?
While not all of our practitioners have a medical background, all of our program providers have had instruction and/or experience in a variety of areas such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Schools Educator Essentials Program, Holistic Health and Wellness programs, study and exploration in meditation and mindfulness subjects and practice.
How does mindfulness and meditation work with medical approaches and medication?
Mindfulness, meditation, and alternative modalities such as Reiki are designed to ENHANCE and COMPLEMENT an already existing medical plan. They are NOT designed to replace any ongoing medical treatment.
What is the overall cost of your program?
Costs are determined on a case-by-case and project-by-project basis
What are the basic components of your program?
The basic framework of our program explores areas such as mindfulness of the breath, body, emotions: development of the heart, interpersonal mindfulness and everyday mindfulness. Additionally, we provide guided meditations and alternative, holistic modalities to enhance well-being. Our program can be done on an individual or group basis, and can be adjusted to meet the specific needs of your patients and staff.