Watch an excerpt from Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn's episode in the Conversation Series
Prof. of Medicine Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
“Jon Kabat-Zinn brings to the arena of mind-body science a touch of the poet as well as the pragmatist, giving us the hows and whys of meditation in a language we don't often associate with the subject.” - Bill Moyers, PBS
Jon Kabat-Zinn is famous for his work as a scientist, writer, and work in teaching stressed out sick people how to meditate.
More than 20, 000 people around the world have now completed the teacher training program in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) that he first developed in 1979.
He convinced the dermatologists to let him teach the patients to meditate while they were being treated under the ultra violet light. They set up a small randomised trial to compare people getting the light treatment as per normal with people getting the light treatment while they were meditating. It turned out that the meditators skin cleared at four times the rate of the non-meditators. This finding was then repeated in other studies.
"And it is a beautiful example of the mind/body connection because you're doing something with your mind and something is happening in the skin. So it just doesn't get any better than that."
Watch this excerpt from The Connection where Dr. Kabat-Zinn talks about the study.
Dr. Kabat-Zinn is best known for developing the 8 week MBSR Program to catch the people falling through the cracks of the medical system, which has now evolved into Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
- Recent studies from Massachusetts General Hospital have shown that the MBSR program can produce thickening in particular regions of the brain important for learning, memory, executive decision-making and perspective-taking and that certain regions of the brain like the amygdala, which involves threat and fear circuitry, get thinner.