Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a program that incorporates mindfulness to assist people with pain and a range of conditions and life issues that were initially difficult to treat in a hospital setting. MBSR uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga to help people become more mindful.
MBSR programs have been proposed for a wide variety of conditions including stress reduction. Clinical research studies have documented various physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness in different patient categories as well as in healthy adults and children. While MBSR has its roots in spiritual teachings, the program itself is secular.
There are multiple domains where mindfulness interventions have been shown to improve outcomes. These include chronic pain, depression symptoms, anxiety, and in the treatment of drug addiction. In cancer patients, MBSR appears to bring about positive psychological outcomes, as well as favourable changes in biomarkers. Studies have also reported that MBSR training results in a smaller post-stress inflammatory response and increased telomerase activity, and that MBSR may be effective for symptomatic relief in posttraumatic stress disorder. Further, MBSR may prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.