Sunday, August 22, 2010

In the Fog, Mindfully

Using Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction with Alzheimer's Patients.

Another application of MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) is with people suffering from Alzheimer's. Here is a first hand account from Marcel Brasey, as shared in his speech at the 'The Alzheimer's disease: a social challenge' Conference, ten years after his initial diagnosis of Alzheimer's:
What really enabled me to survive, has been the psychological support from which I benefited during the past year plus. Within the daily fog, I can once again find my way, comfortably myself… 
I discovered a technique and a philosophy of stress reduction: mindfulness meditation, as developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. As a result of this practice, one learns how to release oneself from negative ruminations, to accept setbacks, to let go of distortions, to see things as they really are, even during times of great personal challenge, interpersonal conflict and grave disease. 
Over the past year, I was fortunately to be able to take part in the first organized Mindful Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) group organized under the auspices of the memory center at the University hospitals of Geneva.
I never cease to be amazed by the versatility of MBSR. I also wonder about other possible mindfulness-based protocols that could be designed specifically for the ones suffering from Alzheimer's. Something to explore further . . .

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