Pauline Lucas, PT, DPT, WCS, NBC-HWC, PYT, CMMI is the is the author and instructor of the Mindfulness and Meditation for Pelvic Health course. Pauline works as an integrative physical therapist, specializing in pelvic health, at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. As faculty member at the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine she is director of the Health Coaching course and teaches Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine. Additionally, she is the creator and instructor of a successful meditation program for Mayo Clinic employees and patients. Pauline is a frequent presenter for local, regional, and national medical conferences on topics related to mindfulness, women’s health, and integrative medicine. She presented twice at CSM, both on the therapeutic use of yoga for chronic pain as well as the use of mindfulness and meditation in rehabilitation. She is the owner of Phoenix Yoga and Meditation, www.phoenixyogaandmeditation.com
In 2014, JAMA published the findings of a systematic review on the use of mindfulness meditation programs for stress-related outcomes like anxiety, depression, and pain, in diverse groups of adults.1 The evidence suggested that mindfulness meditation programs could help reduce anxiety, depression, and pain in some clinical populations. The authors, therefore, concluded that clinicians should be prepared to talk with their patients about the role that a meditation program could have in addressing psychological stress.
As pelvic health providers, we frequently work with patients dealing with significant psychological stress, both the result of their condition, but often also a contributor to their symptoms. What is our role in addressing those stressors? And how do we manage our own well-being when providing care for patients with high-stress levels and sometimes strong emotions?
Colleagues sometimes ask me when I use mindfulness during my workday. My answer is that I aim to use mindful awareness all day; when I wash my hands, when I greet my patient, as I listen to their story, when holding space for a patient with strong emotions, when touching during an exam or treatment, and while staying present for myself at the same time.
The science is clear: when we as healthcare providers practice mindfulness, both we and our patients benefit. A mindful therapist helps the patient feel safe and heard, which improves the therapeutic relationship; one of the factors determining a positive or negative treatment outcome.2 Of course we need to have good clinical skills, but the therapist’s mindful presence is like “the secret sauce” that enhances everything else they provide in their interactions.
There are many studies on the effects of mindfulness training on mental health providers. Outcomes such as increased compassion, better counseling skills, less stress, and better quality of life, likely apply to pelvic health rehabilitation professionals as well. 3
These days we can easily learn the basics of mindfulness through various Apps, online classes, books, and podcasts. But with mindfulness has many aspects, and even some contra-indications, learning to create a personal practice and skillfully navigate the integration of mindfulness practices in patient care requires more in-depth training with a qualified instructor.
Would you like to learn about the origins of and the science behind mindfulness, create a personal mindfulness and meditation practice, explain mindfulness to your patients (without ever using the word mindfulness), what techniques to choose, and when to limit or avoid mindfulness practices with your patient? Join me for Mindfulness and Meditation for Pelvic Health on October 22-23.
October 22-23, 2022
Experience Level: All
Contact Hours: 12
Description: This 2-day virtual course is geared toward the pelvic rehabilitation professional to enhance both their personal and professional life satisfaction and serve their patients in a more mindful way. You will learn how chronic stress impacts health and well-being and the latest research on the benefits of mindfulness training for both patients and healthcare providers. You will personally experience various mindfulness practices such as body scan, breath awareness techniques, mindful movement, and meditation, so you can experience the power and benefits first-hand. We will explore how to apply mindful awareness in clinical practice to improve your patients’ experience and treatment outcomes, in addition to making your day more peaceful and productive as you enhance your ability to stay focused and become less reactive to triggering situations. You will return to your clinic with the ability to explain mindful awareness and its benefits to your patients and introduce mindfulness into your patient care. You will be able to begin or deepen your own mindfulness practice and apply practical mindfulness skills to a busy workday and personal life to promote your own happiness and well-being.