Avera offers stress reduction program

The Avera Center for MindBodySpirit will be offering a unique eight-week program for stress reduction taught by Michael R. McVay MD, the medical director of the Center.

A free orientation session to the class will be offered at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, in the Avera Professional Office Pavilion. In this session, Dr. McVay will give an overview of the class and provide you with a firsthand taste of mindfulness to gain a better understanding of the class. Participants who are interested in enrolling in the MBSR classes are strongly encouraged to come to this orientation session. The eight-week program will start on Sept. 22.

The approach that will be used is based on mindfulness based stress reduction or MBSR. Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life, a way of taking charge of your life, a way of doing something for yourself that no one else can do for you. MBSR is designed to cultivate an increased awareness of all aspects of self, including body, mind and spirit. This program is designed for those facing stress, pain, and illness in their lives. MBSR complements, but does not replace other medical treatments. It is for anyone, well or ill, who seeks greater levels of health and well being.

The program will help participants to develop:

• An ability to cope more effectively with both short and long term stressful situations.

• An increased ability to relax.

• A greater energy and enthusiasm for life.

• Lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms.

• Reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away.

Fortunately, mindfulness is not something that you have to "get" or acquire. It is a natural human capacity—a powerful resource you can become familiar with and harness for coping, for growing, and for moving towards greater health and well being.

For those who have previously taken the Living Well Stress Reduction Programs, this new program is an opportunity to deepen the practice of mindfulness.

Comments from class participants:

"I never realized that I had so much power over my body."

"I have learned to take more time for myself, and to keep my thoughts more on the present than the future."

"The solutions to the troubles and stressors in my life are located within me and not outside."

For more information, call the Avera Center for MindBodySpirit at 605-668-8715.

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