Mindfulness for People with Parkinson's and Care Partners
The stress of living with Parkinson’s Disease can be physically and emotionally demanding. This Mindfulness for Parkinson's class was designed to help people living with PD, and PD caregivers, learn skills to meet the stressors and difficulties of life with a chronic illness.
The practices of mindfulness and self-compassion can support us in our most challenging moments.
Mindfulness is paying attention to our present moment experience with acceptance and curiosity.
Self-compassion is meeting ourselves with kindness.
Join us for this 8-week class, where you will learn:
- What mindfulness & self-compassion are
- How perception shapes our experience
- Mindfulness tools to work with stress & anxiety
- Self-compassion for difficult emotions
- Ways to cultivate positive emotions
- Several formal practices including:
- Sitting meditation
- Mindful Yoga
- Supportive touch & self-compassion
Cultivating mindful attention and self-compassion will deepen your ability to be present, help you manage challenging experiences, and create space for wise choices in all areas of your life.
“YES! I would recommend this class to others as another tool that can be used to help cope with PD. The instructors were great.”
Angela P., Parkinson's Patient
“The environment in the Mindfulness Class was inclusive, inviting and safe. I would recommend the class to others; I learned so many excellent techniques. Wonderful class!”
Kathryn G., Caregiver
“I would definitely recommend this class. The environment was wonderful. I feel that there are many benefits to be gained. Just like Parkinson’s is different for each patient, I feel that this class offers benefits in many different ways.”
Deb F., Parkinson's Patient
Research on Mindfulness and Parkinson's Disease
In 2013, Dr. Barbara Pickut was the lead author of a study published in Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, Mindfulness based intervention in Parkinson’s disease leads to structural brain changes on MRI: A randomized controlled longitudinal trial. The study found an increase in gray matter density in the neural networks presumed to be associated with PD after an 8-week mindfulness-based intervention.
In a study on stress management and Parkinson's Disease published in 2021, those who practiced mindfulness noticed beneficial effects on both motor and non-motor symptoms, with 60.2% noticing improvement in depression and 64.7% noticing improvement in anxiety. Practicing mindfulness more often was associated with greater perceived improvement in symptoms.
This 8-week program will help you build a foundation of mindfulness and self-compassion that will help you incorporate these practices into your daily life.
Mindfulness for People with Parkinson’s and Care Partners Course
“I would definitely recommend the class to anyone interested in learning more about mindfulness. You were both very supportive and caring.”
Carol W., Parkinson's Patient
“I would recommend the class to others as a way to better deal with stresses in life and to learn/allow compassion for yourself and others.”
Rick G., Parkinson's Patient
Dr. Barbara A. Pickut, MD, MPH, RYT 200
Neurologist – MSU Health Care,
Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Instructor
Barbara is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Michigan State University, serving people with movement and memory challenges. She is a certified instructor in MBSR from the Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School and a certified Yoga instructor. She has been working with people with PD and mindfulness training since 2006.
Carol Hendershot, E-RYT 500
Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Instructor,
Co-Founder – GR Center for Mindfulness
Carol has been teaching the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course since 2008 and has led hundreds of students through the program. She has completed extensive training through The Center for Mindfulness at the UMass Medical School, UCSD Center for Mindfulness, and the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. She is also a certified yoga instructor.
About Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness
Founded in 2011, GRCFM has led hundreds of participants through mindfulness programs in West Michigan and beyond. Our programs are based on the groundbreaking work of Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.
Supported by over 40 years of research, mindfulness has been shown to be an effective complementary treatment to many different areas of physical, mental and emotional health.