Cancer patients, survivors and caregivers have another opportunity to participate in a popular self-care course on the practice of mindfulness meditation. In addition to reducing stress and emotional reactivity, mindfulness promotes focus, memory and mental flexibility, enhances self-compassion and empathy, increases creativity and leads to a greater sense of connectedness and well-being.
How the practice of mindfulness can help the well-being of cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers is the focus of a research study at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center by Elizabeth Bouchard, MA, PhD, Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement.
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Roswell Park offers the virtual, six-session mindfulness self-care course with funding from a Quality of Life grant from the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. Participants who enroll in the Caring with Awareness course will learn a variety of evidence-based mindfulness practices such as:
- Centering and breath awareness
- Mindfulness of the body
- Mindful eating
- Mindful walking and gentle yoga postures/movement
- Awareness of sounds and hearing
- Mindfulness of thoughts and emotions
- Mindful self-compassion
Participants may choose either the daytime (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) or evening (6 to 8 p.m.) class and will attend the weekly live sessions via Zoom on a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Each two-hour session includes instruction, practice and group sharing. Beginners and experienced practitioners alike are welcomed.
The course is taught by Rashmi Bismark, MD, MPH, a physician, author and certified yoga and mindfulness meditation instructor who focuses on holistic, mind-body approaches to well-being. Assignments each week offer opportunity to learn more about mindfulness, to practice the technique, reflect and journal.
The study is open to all Roswell Park patients, survivors and caregivers are welcome. There is no cost to participants. The next course will begin July 6. For more information, or to enroll in the course, please contact Fran Harfouche at (716)-845-4887 or via email at Frances.Harfouche@RoswellPark.org.