May 5, 2020
Mindfulness is a mental state in which one focuses his or her awareness on the present moment, whether that focus is on the mind, body, or surroundings. In this therapeutic technique, one works towards calmly accepting feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations in a non-judgmental way with the goal of achieving a state of alertness through a focused relaxation.
The practice of mindfulness can be learned in a relatively short time through in-person sessions or even online. It can lead to benefits for both the mind and body, helping to reduce anxiety and depression, encouraging acceptance of emotions, and producing better adaptive reactions to difficult situations. With Parkinson’s disease, it may also help with movement and stiffness. In this podcast episode, Jordan Staenberg, a doctor of occupational therapy and a certified yoga therapist at the Barrow Neurological Institute’s Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, Arizona, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, elaborates on what mindfulness means, how one can learn to practice it, and its benefits.