Mindfulness is a therapeutic approach to help with stress reduction and its practice can promote good physical and mental health. It is based on deliberately focusing one’s awareness on the present moment with calmness in a non-judgmental way. In those moments, experiences may be external or internal. Examples of external experiences are what the body senses in the surroundings, such as feeling a breeze, hearing a distant train whistle, or smelling a cooking aroma. Internal experiences may be physical, for example, feeling muscles while stretching, hunger, or fatigue, or they may be in the mind, such as emotions or moods.
In being aware of and calmly accepting feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations in a non-judgmental way in a particular moment, one can achieve a state of alertness through focused relaxation. The process is not complicated and can be learned through in-person sessions or online. It is particularly good for reducing anxiety and depression and for coping with and adapting to stress in the moment or long term, including the stress of a disease like Parkinson’s. In this podcast, Angela Johnson, a doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine at Rush University in Chicago, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, gives some simple examples of mindfulness practices, how they may benefit people in periods of stress, and how to fit mindfulness into one’s normal routine.
- Mindfulness Mondays: PD Health @ Home
- Episode 80: How Mindfulness Techniques Impact the Nervous System (podcast)
- Episode 78: Benefits of Self Awareness with PD (podcast)
- Care Partner Summit 2020
About This Episode
Released: May 19, 2020
Angela M Johnson, DACM, MSTOM, MPH, LAc, Dipl OM
Angela Johnson is a Doctor of Acupuncture in the Cancer Center at Rush University Medical Center. She also holds a faculty appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Rush Medical College.
As the acupuncturist in the Rush Cancer Center, Dr. Johnson provides personalized treatments for patients who are interested in achieving optimal health in the face of chronic illness. In her faculty role, she collaborates in research, serves as a preceptor for students interested in integrative medicine rotations, and teaches mindfulness meditation in clinical, academic, corporate, and retreat settings.
Angela Johnson holds a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Master of Public Health, Master of Science Traditional Oriental Medicine, and Bachelor of Art. Additionally, she has completed mindfulness training with Mindfulness Without Borders; University of California San Diego Center for Mindfulness; University of California Los Angeles Mindful Awareness Research Center; Rush University Medical Center’s MBSR program; The Center for MindBody Medicine; and The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.
This episode is supported by a grant from Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.
For all of our Substantial Matters podcast episodes, visit parkinson.org/podcast.