Center for Integrative Medicine Offers Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Shore Health System’s Center for Integrative Medicine is offering the popular 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program beginning in February. A free introductory session is scheduled for Tuesday, February 10, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Center for Integrative Medicine, 607-B Dutchman’s Lane, Easton. The 8-week session begins on Tuesday, February 24 and runs through April 14 and includes an all day class on Saturday, April 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The weekly meetings run from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and are held at The Memorial Hospital at Easton, Nick Rajacich Health Education Center at 219. S. Washington Street in Easton.

The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program is modeled after the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, founder of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Facilitator Larissa Kitenko, PharmD, a clinical pharmacist for Shore Health System, is a graduate of Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s teacher training. She explains, “Mindfulness means paying attention, on purpose, to what is happening in the moment without getting lost in thoughts about the past or worries about the future.”

The 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program offered through the Center for Integrative Medicine covers the full 30-hour curriculum offered at the University of Massachusetts. Kitenko explains, “It takes this amount of focused learning time to become familiar with new practices and develop new habits. We not only teach mindfulness practices but also stress reduction.”

Kitenko tailors the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program for people experiencing the stress of chronic pain and illness, either as a patient, caregiver or healthcare professional. Participants will learn how to cope with their health and find peace of mind by working with the same stresses and pains that are the sources of their discomfort. Features of the course include guided exercises in mindfulness meditation practices; body awareness exercises; gentle yoga-style stretches; small group discussion; and home-based practice instructions.

At the free informational session on Feburary 10, Kitenko will review the course content and provide information about the format of the classes and homework assignments. The cost of the 8-week program is $300, which includes all materials and an all day class on Saturday, April 4. Financial assistance is available. Continuing education credits are available for psychologists and social workers through Chesapeake College.

For more information and to register call the Center for Integrative Medicine, 410-770-9400.