Frequently Asked Questions about MSBR

Get answers to frequently asked questions about mindfulness-based stress reduction

Get answers to frequently asked questions about mindfulness-based stress reduction

What is mindfulness-based stress reduction?

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is an evidence-based, complementary therapy for a broad range of stress-related illnesses and chronic pain syndromes, as well as a highly effective preventive treatment for stress. 

The MBSR program at Scripps is modeled after the University of Massachusetts program developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1980. The effectiveness of MBSR is documented by extensive research, as well as clinical experience involving tens of thousands of patients throughout the world.

How does MBSR work?

The heart of the MBSR course is training in mindfulness, which involves formal stillness practices (meditation) and movement practices (gentle yoga, walking), plus informal practices that emphasize close attention to each moment of experience without judging. Mindfulness practice teaches experientially that wanting the present moment to be different than it is increases pain and distress. 

Accepting the moment as it is, without resistance, lessens distress and enhances the ability to affect change when change is possible. Research shows that regular mindfulness practice can strengthen immune function, promote healing and alleviate stress-related symptoms and illnesses.

Who can benefit from MBSR?

MBSR is useful for anyone who wants to learn a comprehensive approach to navigating stress and how to thrive in the midst of challenges and changes. MBSR has also been shown to treat a broad variety of illnesses, symptoms and side effects, including but not limited to:


• Chronic pain and fatigue

• Headaches

• Psoriasis

• Irritable bowel syndrome

• Heart disease/hypertension

• Atrial fibrillation

• Diabetes

• Anxiety and panic disorder

• Depression

• Addiction

• Cancer

• Insomnia

How is each class structured?

During the first hour of each class you will be learning the experiential, formal methods of mindfulness which includes stillness (meditation) and movement (gentle yoga, walking meditation). You will use guided CDs or digital downloads to practice formal mindfulness for 10-45 minutes each day, between classes. 

You will also learn a series of informal mindfulness methods that you will practice in-the-moment as part of your daily life. Each class also includes education and discussion about the science of mindfulness. We will be exploring the physiology and psychology of mindfulness and stress.

What to wear and bring to class?

Please wear casual clothes that are comfortable for lying down and yoga stretches. We provide padded mats for the lying-down practices. Please bring a blanket to cover the padded mat, plus a blanket for warmth. Also bring a bath towel to comfortably support your head while lying down. Bring drinking water if you will need it during class.