Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a holistic approach to managing stress, chronic pain,and other chronic symptoms and conditions.

  • Do you have symptoms caused or exacerbated by stress? 
  • Are you suffering from unexplained pain, fatigue, or other symptoms on a daily basis? 
  • Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired
  • Have you tried countless medications or procedures without relief? 
  • Are your symptoms interfering with your ability to live a normal life? 
  • Do you find yourself doing less and less of the things you used to be able to do, out of fear that your symptoms will get worse? 

If your answer is yes to any of these questions, you can benefit from our MBSR program.

Our dedicated team of staff is here to help you reclaim your life. Through MBSR, patients are empowered to utilize mindfulness, leading to long-lasting benefits for their overall well-being. To learn more about our MBSR program, please contact us at (818) 598-0000.

What is MBSR?

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a research-backed program that achieves an average of 35% reduction in medical symptoms in individuals with varying diagnoses and symptoms, and it does so with no medication or medical procedure.  In study after study, participants also report improved sleep, better ability to tolerate symptoms that remained, and improved overall quality of life.  So far, at Comprehensive Rheumatology Center we have seen great results with patients suffering from:

  • Chronic Pain Syndrome
  • Chronic Back Pain
  • Chronic Dizziness
  • Migraines
  • Tension Headaches
  • Tachycardia 
  • Hypertension
  • Primary Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis Pain
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Torn Meniscus
  • Degenerative Disk Disease
  • Subacute Thyroiditis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks
  • Clinical Depression
  • PTSD
  • Anger Issues
  • And More!

Our MBSR program takes an “East Meets West” approach in combining informal mindfulness, stress reduction strategies, short meditation practices, gentle mindful movement, and relaxation exercises, and making it accessible to individuals who may have little to no experience with mindfulness or meditation.  In order to empower our patients to learn and adopt the practices successfully, we meet with each patient one-on-one for a period of 10 weeks and provide resources that they can continue to access even at the end of the program.  

Why Focus on Stress Reduction?

Why Focus on Stress Reduction

Stress has become a common companion in our daily lives.  This is why it’s essential to have the tools and techniques to manage stress effectively and regulate your nervous system response. 

Yet not only are we not taught how to manage our stress effectively, but many things in our daily environment are also designed to exacerbate our stress in order to grab our attention or gain priority. 

(“Must respond by the end of business day!” Email marked Urgent!  “If you haven’t been saving for retirement by age 20, you are behind!” Act Now!  And “Breaking News: What you are eating for dinner may kill you.  Tune in, news at 11:00!”)

Your body’s stress response system has evolved to detect and respond to potential dangers instantly. To do so, it deploys up to 27 different hormones to every system of your body to help you fight, flee, or freeze.

There are just two problems:

  • Modern-day threats aren’t like lions, tigers, and bears. You can’t run from a health threat, punch a tax audit, or hide from traffic! With this kind of stress, your body’s response becomes harmful rather than helpful. You instead end up with problematic symptoms and damaging side effects.
  • After an injury has healed, you may still tighten up your muscles, anticipating the pain you used to feel when you were injured. This tightening then causes pain, and reinforces the fear of that pain, causing a pain loop that keeps you in pain.

Your Stress Response Can Cause You:

  • Acid Reflux 
  • Anxiety & Panic Attacks
  • Asthma Attack
  • Attention Problems
  • Blood Sugar Dysregulation
  • Chronic Back & Muscle Pain
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Dizziness & Lightheadedness
  • Depression
  • Dry Mouth & Dry Skin
  • Frequent Infections
  • IBS & IBD Symptoms
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia 
  • Fibromyalgia Symptoms
  • Labile Hypertension
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • PMS & Reproductive Issues
  • Primary Pain
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Short Term Memory Issues
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Slow Illness Recovery
  • Tension Headaches  
  • Worsening of Migraines
  • Worsening of Nerve Pain
  • Worsening of PPPD
  • Worsening of psoriasis
  • Worsening of Thyroid Issues

How would your quality of life change if you had fewer of these symptoms?

MBSR to The Rescue!

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

In 2021, we started an MBSR program for our patients. Their pre and post-treatment questionnaires confirmed what has been proven in thousands of studies since the 1970s: With MBSR practice, people with all sorts of symptoms and conditions show an average of 35% reduction in medical symptoms.

This includes people with arthritis, psoriasis, broken backs, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, heart disease, PTSD, anxiety, and even cancer! (1)

Our patients also reported improved sleep and a better ability to tolerate symptoms that remained, which resulted in an improved quality of life.

Getting Started with MBSR

Signing up for MBSR is simple. With our instruction, you too can learn to practice mindful meditation at home and see the benefits with as little as 10 minutes a day, six days a week.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Our structured MBSR program is designed to teach you how. In addition to one-on-one training, you will also have a vetted list of free resources that you can use to practice with any time you want.

After ten weeks of instruction and support, you will be able to keep it going on your own. Think of it as a side-effect-free preventative medicine that takes 10 minutes to take, with the ability to add a dose anytime you need it!

Personal Consultation

At Comprehensive Rheumatology Center, we understand that managing stress is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. That’s why we offer personalized consultations to help patients explore the benefits of MBSR.

During your personal consultation at our Woodland Hills office, we will take the time to understand your unique medical history and discuss your specific concerns. This comprehensive evaluation allows us to tailor a treatment plan specifically designed to address your individual needs. We recognize the importance of the mind-body connection in achieving optimal well-being and will provide ongoing guidance on how to nurture this connection for enhanced overall wellness.

When it comes to stress management, a personalized approach is key. To schedule your consultation at Comprehensive Rheumatology Center in Woodland Hills, please call our office at (818) 598-0000 or send us a completed inquiry form on our website.

What Will I Learn & Practice in MBSR

MBSR is a transformative practice that offers a multitude of benefits for individuals seeking to improve their overall well-being. Furthermore, research shows that the practice modifies emotional responses to physical sensations and transitory thoughts. (2) This allows patients to reframe the problem issues with a concerted effort to change how they react to negative stimuli.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness is an effective relaxation technique and attention training method that promotes self-awareness and cognitive therapy. It involves intentionally paying attention to our thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations without becoming overwhelmed or reactive. One important aspect of mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment with an open and non-judgmental attitude. (2) This allows individuals to cultivate a deep sense of awareness and appreciation for their surroundings and experiences.

7 MBSR Myths Demystified

  • There is no need to do impossible things like “emptying your mind”.
  • You don’t need hours and hours!
  • No sitting cross-legged on the ground, special clothes, mats, or equipment needed.
  • No need to believe in any religion or spiritual philosophy.
  • Mindful yoga is about finding movement that feels good, not replicating fancy poses.
  • You learn by practicing, not by watching endless videos or reading books about it.
  • Research participants gained benefits with little guidance, and kept them for months.  So can you!

Living With Chronic Pain

Over 50 million American adults report pain on a daily or near-daily basis. (1) Chronic pain, also known as persistent pain or long-term pain, is a complex and challenging condition. But unlike acute pain, which serves as a warning sign of injury or illness, chronic pain persists for weeks, months, or even years. It can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, causing physical limitations, emotional distress, and reduced functionality.

The causes of chronic pain are diverse and can range from injuries and medical conditions to nerve damage or inflammation. It may originate in various body parts, including the back, joints, muscles, or nerves. Some common conditions associated with chronic pain include fibromyalgia, arthritis, neuropathy, migraine headaches, and lower back pain.

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Visit our NewsRheum blog for more information and pertinent articles about rheumatology.

Cost of MBSR in Woodland Hills

The cost of a mindfulness-based stress reduction program at the Comprehensive Rheumatology Center will depend on various factors. Each patient’s treatment plan is personalized to meet their unique needs and goals, which will ultimately determine the cost. 

Our team welcomes you to arrange a personal consultation to discuss your needs at our Woodland Hills office. For more information on managing chronic pain, and MBSR, please feel free to call us at (818) 598-0000 or schedule an appointment on our website.


Who invented MBSR?

Although many MBSR techniques have been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years, the practice was consolidated as a single training program by Jon Kabat-Zin in 1979.

Is mindfulness suitable for everyone?

Mindfulness is a practice that can benefit individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you are seeking stress reduction, improved mental health, enhanced focus, or simply a greater sense of self-awareness, mindfulness can be a valuable tool. However, it’s important to note that mindfulness may not be appropriate for individuals with certain mental health conditions. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new practice.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

The benefits of mindfulness extend beyond stress reduction. Regular mindfulness practice has been scientifically proven to improve cognitive functioning, enhance emotional regulation, and promote overall psychological well-being. Additionally, mindfulness has been associated with reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. It can also improve sleep quality, boost immune system function, and enhance interpersonal relationships.

Can I benefit from MBSR even if I don’t have a chronic illness?

MBSR can be beneficial for any individual seeking to manage stress, improve mental well-being, and enhance overall quality of life. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if MBSR is appropriate for your specific needs and circumstances.

Can MBSR be combined with other therapies or treatments?

MBSR can be a great complement to other therapies and treatments.  Because it does not involve any medication, supplements, or drastic changes to your diet or lifestyle, it is not likely to interfere with or counteract other treatments.
It may help to reduce the need for some medications. However, while MBSR can reduce or eliminate many symptoms, it does not fix structural problems or physical damage to your body.  For example, if you have arthritis,  you may get pain relief due to the reduction of inflammation, but mindfulness will not result in repairing your joints or preventing further damage.  Therefore, you are likely to need to continue with treatment and monitoring for arthritis. It is important to discuss with your healthcare provider if you are currently undergoing any specific treatments to ensure that MBSR aligns with your overall care plan.
It is also important to note that MBSR is not psychological counseling.  Nor is it a replacement for psychological counseling or psychiatric care.  If you are under the care of a mental health professional, continue with that care until or unless they agree that you can pause.  It may be that you will not require as much counseling or psychotropic medications after completing MBSR.  However, that is something that needs to be evaluated by your mental health professional and likely monitored periodically.

How long is the MBSR program?

After your history and baseline symptoms are documented in your Rheumatology consult visit, you will start MBSR under the supervision of the rheumatology provider monitoring your care. You will have a total of 10 MBSR visits, once a week for ten weeks. The visits are about one hour long each. You will also be expected to practice what you have learned that week for 10-12 minutes a day, six days a week. By the end of the ten weeks, you will have a full tool belt of mindfulness strategies, activities, and resources that will allow you to continue on your own without further instruction.

How long does it take to see results from MBSR?

The benefits of MBSR can be experienced both during the program and in the long term. Some individuals may notice immediate improvements in their stress levels, symptoms, and overall well-being. For some, it is a more gradual process. Most participants have noticed at least some effects by the time they complete the midpoint evaluation in week five. For others, it is even more gradual. Our participants are asked to record the levels of their symptoms both prior to starting and once they complete the program. We have consistently seen an overall drop in medical symptoms for every patient who has completed the questionnaires. For some, there are drastic improvements across the board. Even when the improvements are not great for a patient, they report that they have an improved quality of life because they are better able to tolerate their symptoms.  
It is important to note, that like any skill, the full benefits of MBSR are typically realized with regular practice and integration of mindfulness into daily life. A person who practices playing the piano on a daily basis is likely to improve more and play better than one who only practices once in a while. Similarly, your results will also depend on whether you will consistently practice for 10-12 minutes a day.  


  1. Zhang JY, Ji XZ, Meng LN, Cai YJ. Effects Of Modified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) On The Psychological Health Of Adolescents With Subthreshold Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2019;Volume 15:2695-2704. doi:https://doi.org/10.2147/ndt.s216401 
  2. Schuman-Olivier Z, Trombka M, Lovas DA, et al. Mindfulness and Behavior Change. Harvard Review of Psychiatry. 2020;28(6):371-394. doi:https://doi.org/10.1097/HRP.0000000000000277

How Do I Sign Up For MBSR?

Couple thinking about medical coverage

Simple! Just ask to speak to our MBSR Coordinator. We will check your insurance coverage, provide details, and answer your questions.

Break the cycle. Reclaim your life by learning to successfully manage the stress that is causing some of your symptoms and worsening others.

Schedule An Appointment