Marine Corps, and the Relevance of Mindfulness, MBSR & Yoga

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 10.18.04 AM      Back in 2010 I met Dr. Liz Stanley when she gave a talk about her work training U.S. Marines in a new MBSR-Based training called Mind Fitness Training.  Her remarkable program helped a detachment of marines bound for Iraq stay mentally and physically healthy.  The program includes the components of MBSR translated for the life of those in military training: mindfulness meditation training, mindful movement (a.k.a. adapted mindful yoga, awareness training, etc.)  The young Marine captain who accompanied her offered a poignant testimonial about his personal experience and declared that the training ‘saved lives.’

I had the good fortune to bring a message about the relevance of mindfulness training home with some presentations to military, law enforcement and government representatives at a Hillsboro Police Department conference about returning veterans.  (See the YouTube video of my presentations)  At that conference I met fellow presenter Dr. Doug Johnson from the Naval Health Research Center who would be initiating mindfulness training with the Marines.  (Read the AP Story about Dr. Johnson’s work with Marines and Mindfulness Practice)

As Marie and I do here, Dr. Stanley and Dr. Johnson help translate the art and science of mindfulness practice and adaptive movement and yoga so they can be seen as  practical, helpful ways of caring for our lives so as to better meet the challenges that inevitably show up regardless of what we meet along the way.

 

Yoga Ascends Even with Government Budget Sequestration & Airport Delays

100_4364  (Brant attempting to fly?)

Among the effects of the federal government’s budget sequestration are looming delays at airports.  Some air traffic controllers will be furloughed so air traffic may be a bit stymied.

Never fear.  Airports are setting up yoga rooms.  Oh my.  I first heard of the San Francisco Airports new yoga room from a student a few weeks ago.  (See the AP YouTube story)  Next there was the Burlington Vermont Airport’s yoga room (Read Lisa Rathke’s AP story).  Now even in conservative Texas the Dallas airport is making space for traveling yogis on gate D40 (See KTUU’s news story).

Shortly after 9/11 Mare suggested that she and I go to the Portland Airport to offer yoga classes for folks stuck during that terrible time for travelers.  Perhaps she had a intuition for what was to come.

Glad for this practical dimension practice to be visible and now available at airports.  Perhaps next there will be a yoga room available for the members of congress to help them get off the treadmill of confrontation and work with one another and our president toward a more functional government and get past the budget sequestration.

“Wow! I wish I would have known about this years ago!” – Things Everyone Should Know About Their Bodies “Down There”

Marie1  As a Physical Therapist specializing in pelvic floor rehabilitation, I am struck by the number of times patients tell me, “Wow!  I wish I would have known about this years ago!” . . .

Here is a link to an article I wrote about this.  Download it and pass it around.  Patients and potential patients often find this so very helpful.  —  Marie

Things_Everyone_Should_Know_About_Their_Bodies_Down_There

Our Paper about Mindfulness, MBSR, and Participatory Medicine with Many of Us Local Coauthors is Now Published

BrantRogers    Dear Students:  I am so honored, humbled and pleased to announce that our review/position paper about mindfulness in medicine and therapy has been recently published in the Journal of Participatory MedicineMindfulness in Participatory Medicine: 
Context & Relevance.   (here is a  downloadable copy of the paper  if you wish to print or save a copy.)

There are 15 of us local authors; doctors, teachers, therapists, and MBSR participants who worked to find a way to express a mutual understanding of how the practice of mindfulness as learned in the MBSR program was helpful for our patients and/or ourselves.

This paper, along with the basic clinical research paper about our work here to be published in a couple of weeks, makes a significant contribution to how medicine and therapy can be effective as a mutual, cooperative activity; part of a way of life that promotes healing and helps keep us well.  Doctors, therapists, psychologists, teachers, alternative practitioners and patients working together and supporting one another in the art and science of healing.  Mindfulness as a fundamental principle of this.

My sincere thanks to the authors and to everyone in our larger community as we support one another in these ways.  Kindest Regards – Brant

Low Back Care Series with a Physical Therapist – Starts this week.

Marie1       Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for medical visits.  Marie will work with you for four weeks in a row to help you learn to care for yourself and to help keep your back stronger, more pliable, more durable and more pain free.  Properly adapted therapeutic yoga practice has been shown effective in helping folks with low back pain in a number of medical studies.  Read articles from these medical journals:  Annals of Internal Medicine, Pain, Spine.

More information and how to register.

 

We’re Invited to Present a Paper at the Annual Scientific Conference at UMass Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness

DSC_0354  We’ve been invited to present a paper in April about our work here in Hillsboro with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and a model of Medicine called Participatory Medicine.  The paper is based the research we did here from 2007 to 2011.  My research colleague Dr. Michael Christopher at Pacific University and I will present the paper.  There is a Hillsboro Argus article  about this research and work last year in partnership with our MBSR teaching intern Zeynep Sunbay-Bilgen (see Zeynep and me presenting a paper about our work last year in the picture above.).  Our clinical research summary generally describes the work and results we have found in our research here.

Here is information about the conference presentations and programs.  You will find our paper listed as one of the Friday Morning sessions in the Conference Brochure.  Come to the conference!

More about all this later on when I’ll post information about a project with local doctors, therapists and MBSR alumni helping write a paper to be published soon in the Journal of Participatory Medicine.

New Book: 101 Feelings Worth Losing Weight For, Illustrated by one of our students

DSCF1945 - Version 9  One of our dear students, Pam Jacobs, stopped in to share this book she has been working on with author Erin Zimmer.  Erin writes about her sweet story of yoga practice, transformation of heart, mind and body to eventually produce the book to help remind us to be embodied in a kind, compassionate way. Read the  summary of Erin’s story that Pam sent over

Pam also works with a group of artists, VIA Artistica, to “create a place that will allow people at all levels of artistic experience to expand their horizons though playing with art and sharing their experiences with others.”

Wonderful that our students are doing such work.  What are you doing?   Send me a note about your work and how yoga, mindfulness, and our work here has supported you.  Thanks – Brant

Gun Control, Gabrielle Giffords & Yoga

DSCF1945 - Version 9   Former congresswoman Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords is no slacker.  A couple of years ago she was a rising star in congress and then she and many others were shot by a madman at a rally in her home state of Arizona.  Even though she has struggled to recover from her brain injury she and her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, have launched a ambitious PAC and campaign, Americans for Responsible Solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership.

In a recent ABC News Diane Sawyer interview Gabby talks about her journey toward recovery.  In the poignant interview she notes physical therapy, speech therapy and yoga are part of that journey.  This is in the spirit of our work here; appropriately modified postures and mindful movement are a complement to therapy.  A practice of mindful yoga is nourishing to heart, mind and body regardless of the state of things; brain injury, post-surgery, training for a marathon, difficult mood, active family life and more.

My thanks to Gabby Giffords for her example of courage in the face of the immense personal challenges of the past two years. All-the-best in her personal and public challenges with her new campaign.  Perhaps she can encourage us no matter what we face. Perhaps our mindful movement practice can be a helpful way of nourishing our life even in the challenging times.

You can read more about Gabby’s journey in Melanie Eversley’s USA Today article.