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RELAXATION PROMOTES MINDFULNESS

At Northwest Passage we recognize that the struggle to manage distress has often led our clients to our doors and that distress will continue to be a part of their lives long after they leave us. We are also aware that the concrete teaching and practice of relaxation skills is not a common occurrence in modern life. The use of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy approaches through Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills group and individual therapy interventions utilize the blend of Eastern practices and Western techniques to teach youth the practical steps in engaging in relaxation. Specific stress management skills spanning somatic, psychological, and contemplative approaches are woven throughout our residents’ experience. Professionals throughout the program engage in the teaching of activities including Yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and meditation.

Experiencing Relaxation

Guided Meditation & the Wheel of Awareness

The Benefits of Letting Go…

Relaxation Tips

“TEACHING PRINCIPLES AND METHODS OF RELAXATION HELP MANAGE DISTRESS AND PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY TO STEP BACK FROM OUR FAST-PACED WORLD.”

RESOURCES

The PassageWay is grounded in solid research. If you’re interested in learning more about the background of our approach, please dive in and investigate some of the resources we’ve used in developing our guiding principals.

NEURAL CORRELATES OF ATTENTIONAL EXPERTISE IN LONG-TERM MEDITATION PRACTITIONERS

Written by J.A. Brefczynski-Lewis et al. of the Medical College at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Radiology at West Virginia University and of the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. The article can be found here: Neural Correlates of Attentional Expertise

  • It is plausible from experimental results that meditation may strengthen the ability to inhibit cognitive and emotional mental processes such as rumination that can lead to or exacerbate stress, anxiety, or depression.
COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE OF MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

Presented by Philippe Golden at Google Tech Talks. The video can be found here: Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation.

  • There are many types of meditation, including concentration and analytic-logistical reasoning (also known as Buddhist Debate).
  • Today, meditation (traditionally an Eastern practice) is being incorporated into Western practices such as MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction).
  • MBSR helps to reduce stress, pain, anxiety and depressive symptoms associated with some of the most common social ailments such as:
    • Depression
    • Alcohol Abuse
    • Social Anxiety
  • Summarily, meditation is mentally beneficial because of its association with changes in the neural bases of:
    • Attention regulation and emotion
    • Shifting from the conceptual to the experiential self
    • Helping to develop neural synchrony of brain systems
THE HEALING POWER OF MINDFULNESS

Presented by Jon Kabat-Zinn  at the Dartmouth College Medical Center. The video of this presentation can be found here: The Healing Power of Mindfulness.

  • Part of the human condition is to resort to a “default mode” in which we all believe that we are the center of our lives and of the lives of those around us.
  • Therefore there needs to be a shift into a sense of present being and awareness; do not focus on the past or future, but rather the here and now.
  • The real meditation practice is how you live moment to moment as the root cause of suffering is not knowing how to handle our emotions in a given situation or time.
  • There is life before death, and we need to live and be aware of every moment of it.
COMPASSION MEDITATION MAY IMPROVE PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL RESPONSES TO PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS

Published by ScienceDaily as presented by Emory University. The article can be found here: Compassion Meditation

  • Data from a new study suggests that individuals who engage in compassion meditation may benefit by reductions in inflammatory and behavioral responses to stress that have been linked to depression and a number of medical illnesses.
  • Although secular in presentation, the compassion program [at Emory University] was based on a thousand-year-old Tibetan Buddhist mind-training practice called ‘lojong’ in Tibetan.
    • Lojong practices utilize a cognitive, analytic approach to challenge an individual’s unexamined thoughts and emotions toward other people, with the long-term goal of developing altruistic emotions and behavior towards all people.
  • “If practicing compassion meditation does reduce inflammatory responses to stress it might offer real promise as a means of preventing many conditions associated with stress and with inflammation including major depression, heart disease and diabetes.”

IT’S ALL CONNECTED… The individual elements of the PassageWay are deeply ingrained with one another. Feel free to look at a couple of our favorite stories regarding relaxation!

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