May 19, 2015

Mindfulness-based stress reduction available at Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

Vanderbilt’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine is offering training sessions on mindfulness-based stress reduction.

Vanderbilt’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine is offering training sessions on mindfulness-based stress reduction. The sessions will take place at the center, located at 3401 West End Ave., Suite 380.

The MBSR course consists of eight weekly classes held on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and one daylong class held on a Saturday.

Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life, a way of taking charge of your life, and a way of doing something for yourself that no one else can do—consciously and systematically working with your own stress, illness and the challenges and demands of everyday life.

MBSR was created by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. According to the school’s website, “Our work over the past 35 years has shown consistent, reliable and reproducible demonstrations of major and clinically relevant reductions in medical and psychological symptoms across a wide range of medical diagnoses—including many different chronic pain conditions, other medical diagnoses, and in medical patients with a secondary diagnosis of anxiety and/or panic—over the eight weeks of the MBSR intervention, and maintenance of these changes in some cases for up to four years of follow-up.”

Extensive clinical studies have demonstrated the positive effects of MBSR, including:

  • Increased immune function;
  • Shorter and less severe colds;
  • Reduced fatigue in cancer patients;
  • Decreased pain intensity and unpleasantness;
  • Increased cognitive function in traumatic brain injury;
  • Reduction in symptoms of IBS;
  • Reduction in myocardial infarction and stroke risk; and
  • Decreased depression and anxiety.

Attendance of orientation is required for each session. Sessions meet on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Upcoming sessions are:

  • June 16–Aug. 11
  • Sept. 1–Oct. 27

Facilitators for the sessions are:

Karen Pilkerton, RN, who has practiced mindfulness meditation for 10 years and has extensive silent retreat experience. She has a special interest in teaching MBSR and Qigong to parents of children with developmental disabilities and has worked with Vanderbilt’s Kennedy Center in the Parent Child Stress Intervention Project. In addition, she is trained to teach the Search Inside Yourself mindfulness curriculum at Vanderbilt.

Elmo Shade, M.Ed., C.P.L.P, A.C.C., who holds a master’s of education degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance distinction from the American Society of Training and Development. He is a graduate of the Mindfulness for Professionals Program at Duke Integrative Medicine and the Cultivating Leadership Presence Program at the Institute of Mindful Leadership. Shade serves as an executive and mindfulness-based coach at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management and at Belmont University.

Cost for each session is $375. Sign up online at, or call 615-343-1170.

Download a flier to post in your area.