Evidence abounds in the medical literature about the benefits of structured mindful meditation programs for people living with chronic conditions of all kinds. As of today, the research into its effects on diabetes is limited (there are currently a number of studies being conducted around the world); but with all that we know about the physiology of diabetes and of stress, it’s no surprise that many of us (myself included) who live with diabetes and who practice one of many forms of meditation or mindfulness on a regular basis have noticed benefits to our diabetes self-management and to our lives in general. Personally, the money I spent on my MBSR course 10 years ago was the best value I’ve ever received; its benefits affect me daily; they affect my every moment I’m willing to be present!
Following up on last week’s posting about “diabetes burnout,” we all know diabetes is not a simple, mindless disease. We can’t simply take a pill and go about our daily lives if we want to live a long and healthy life. Stress management is truly a pillar of diabetes care, but generally the one that leaves most of us scratching our heads, or rather, pulling our hair out and wiping our tears away while we try in vain to get in under control.
This past January, Integrated Diabetes Care launched a unique course open to anyone with diabetes who wants to learn and practice Mindfulness-Based Diabetes Management (MBDM). This special adaptation of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, offered exclusively online via www.eMindful.com, is available to anyone, anywhere, who has high speed internet and a computer and who can dedicate 90 minutes every Thursday evening for 8 weeks to learning new strategies and ‘ways of being’ that can truly make a difference.
This interactive course, streaming live into the comfort of your home or office!, incorporates many of the elements of MBSR, such as the body scan, mindful yoga and other gentle movement, mindful eating, and breath awareness. Unique to our program is “diabetes yoga” – where we notice how we can cultivate a new friendliness with our diabetes by paying it mindful, non-judgmental attention, and applying the foundational attitudes of mindfulness to our daily self care such as blood glucose monitoring, insulin injections, and food preparation. We also incorporate Kristin Neff’s important work on Self-Compassion, recognizing that self-kindness, mindfulness, and common humanity can help us make peace, not war, with our diabetes and our self-critical thoughts and worries. Instructors Steven Alper, LCSW and Heather Nielsen, M.A., bring a combined 45 years of experience in mindfulness and diabetes to the virtual classroom.
To learn more, and to register, visit: http://www.emindful.com/
You can direct any questions to Heather at: heather@yourdiabetespartners.