Mindful Recovery

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  • Alison Shapiro

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  • Cameron Cuerden
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Mindful Recovery

Updates

  • Alison Shapiro
    Last week I gave a talk on Mindfulness at the Virginia Commonwealth University Stroke Symposium and this week I gave a talk at a local stroke group on the same subject. There is a lot of interest these days in what mindfulness can do in stroke recovery. People in Virginia are eager to try it.

    Next week I will be back in California and will experiment with teaching a survivor in an online format. Hopefully that will lead to giving the 8 week class online. Anybody interested in that?
  • Alison Shapiro
    Today was class 8, the final class of the series I have been teaching. I am deeply touched. The participants have grown close together and have brought so much benefit to one another. To be able to witness with them how mindfulness has helped them with their recoveries, their caregiving and their lives is a great privilege.

    Several people have asked me to teach this course online. I have agreed to try with a very small group using Zoom. In the way I teach, it's so important that...  more
  • Alison Shapiro
    Saturday our class was on cultivating happiness and laughter and play. We had a great time doing a laughing exercise, spreading happiness through grins, and playing with foam swords. Amazing what we can do and how we can increase movement in affected limbs when we let go and let ourselves relax.
  • Alison Shapiro
    We worked with moving the restricted side and comparing the movement of both sides. We tend to avoid trying things with our less able parts, particularly our hands because we have strong negative feelings about what is true. This is the very thing that will get in our way and limit our capacity to recover. When we push away those difficult feelings, we turn away from ourselves and the most important source of information that our brains have with which to construct a pathway to regain...  more
  • Alison Shapiro
    I taught mindful movement to both the ongoing class this last week and to a group of stroke survivors who meet regularly once a month. We all had fun exploring the nuances of movements. This week in the ongoing course we will explore the comparison of unrestricted movements and restricted movements. The brain loves puzzles. If we can train ourselves to pay the deep attention that we need we can explore what works and what doesn't - affected movements and non-affected movements. The brain...  more
  • Alison Shapiro
    I am nearly half way through teaching an 8 week Mindful Stroke Recovery class at the Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center. The response is wonderful. Participants tell us that this is the best thing they have learned to help with their recoveries. This week and next we will work with mindful movement.
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    • Nancy Weckwerth
    • Alison Shapiro
  • Alison Shapiro
    Saturday I taught the first of the two mindful movement classes. Recovery is the art of the small goal. When we know how to be deeply mindful of what we are doing, rejecting no part of ourselves, and bringing stabilized attention and broadened awareness to our movements, we fuel neuroplasticity in our brains.
  • Alison Shapiro
    The past two weeks we have been teaching mindful movement in our Mindful Recovery class. Kate Deaton is an expert in so many ways. Teaching with her is a delight. The ways we hold ourselves and don't let go can really interfere with movement. We layer that holding on top of the difficulties imposed by our strokes and brain injuries and we don't even know we are doing it.

    Experiencing the patterns heightens sensory awareness. Once we become more aware, we start connecting information...  more
    • Alison Shapiro
  • Alison Shapiro
    Interest in mindfulness as a support for stroke recovery is growing. In mid-May I will present to 140 nurses on this topic at the Virginia Commonwealth University Stroke Symposium. We will talk about teaching mindfulness to survivors and caregivers and the research studies we are starting on the Mindful Stroke Recovery course that I created and teach.
  • Joanne Nakao
    I received great validation of the effectiveness of Mindfulness Meditation. UCLA has 1/2 hr weekday meditation sessions in different places on their Westwood, CA campus. Today I made time to attend one before my dentist appt. The dentist always takes Blood Pressure readings and mine are usually in the 145/75 range (mainly because I hate going to the dentist). Today, 1 hour after the Meditation class, my blood pressure was 125/65. The dentist was amazed and delighted...as was I.

    Wow, such...  more
    • Admin
    • Joanne Nakao
  • Alison Shapiro
    Last night Kate and I taught the second session of the Mindful Recovery class. Session 2 is about kindness and self compassion. Stroke and caregiving for stroke is hard - profoundly hard. And we tend to fight against things that are hard. But there is no ongoing external threat to fight. We are already injured. There is only us and our desire to heal and claim our lives. Meeting ourselves in the midst of recovery by being fierce and hard on ourselves only makes our injuries worse. Our...  more
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    • Alison Shapiro
    • Jing Gu
  • Alison Shapiro
    What most people don't realize is that we already know how to be mindful. What we lack is practice. Remember a time when the sun was on your back and you felt your cares drop away and knew a deep sense of just being wherever you were? Or standing in a shower and for a moment just noticing the feel of the warm water on your face? Those moments are moments of mindfulness. Being truly present right now.

    When we practice mindfulness we stabilize our attention, our ever jumping mind, and...  more