Fifteenth Anniversary Edition with a new introduction by the author.
“Happy 15th birthday to one of the great classics of mind/body medicine! More than any other, Full Catastrophe Living is the book that enabled Americans to discover the inner life. This book has brought peace of mind to hundreds and thousands of people and healed countless lives. This is your chance to let it heal yours.”
–Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., author of Kitchen Table Wisdom
It is everywhere around us. Even worse, it gets inside us: sapping our energy, undermining our health, and making us more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and disease. Now, based on Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s renowned mindfulness-based stress reduction program, this groundbreaking book shows you how to use natural, medically proven methods to soothe and heal your body, mind, and spirit. By using the practices described within, you can learn to manage chronic pain resulting from illness and/or stress-related disorders…discover the roles that anger and tension play in heart disease…reduce anxiety and feelings of panic…improve overall quality of life and relationships through mindfulness meditation and mindful yoga. More timely than ever before, Full Catastrophe Living is a book for the young and the old, the well, the ill, and anyone trying to live a healthier and saner life in today’s world.
“A practical guide not only to mindfulness meditation and healing, but daily life.”
–Joseph Goldstein, author of One Dharma
“Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn eloquently explains the power of paying attention and increasing awareness. I strongly recommend this book for everyone who wants to begin healing their life.”
–Dean Ornish, M.D., author of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for the Reversal of Heart Disease
About the Author:
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. is Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he was founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, and founder (in 1979) and former director of its world-renowned Stress Reduction Clinic. His work has contributed to a growing movement of mindfulness into mainstream institutions in our society such as medicine, health care and hospitals, schools, corporations, prisons, and professional sports. In addition to Full Catastrophe Living, Kabat-Zinn's books include Wherever You Go, There You Are and Everyday Blessings. They have been translated into over fifteen foriegn languages, including German, Japanese, Italian, Dutch, French, Spanish, Russian, Portugese, Hebrew and Korean. His series of Mindfulness Meditation Practice tapes were created to be used in conjunction with Full Catastrophe Living and Wherever You Go. Dr. Kabat-Zinn lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
One of our biggest selling books, Full Catastrophe Living is now being used in hospitals around Ontario in various Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programs:
Mary Pye, a community health nurse practitioner who has participated in and refers clients to the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, explains how it benefited her: "The best part for me was becoming more accepting of myself. You learn to accept your feelings and notice them, but you don't have to give reasons for them. It's very freeing. It gives you a lot more power in your personal life."
While there are a wide variety of stress reduction programs offered in almost every community, they are often available only to people who can afford them. The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program is widely accessible in the United States and is now gaining momentum in Canada. It was chosen as an example of a stress reduction program that benefits people facing a variety of serious health problems who cannot necessarily afford to participate in costly alternatives.
The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program is based on the practice of mindfulness or moment-to-moment awareness. This practice enables participants to become more aware of automatic reactions and wasted energies and teaches them to channel these energies into problem solving, healing and healthy living. The three main tools through which mindfulness is taught are the body scan (an experience in which attention is given to each part of the body in turn), meditation and yoga. Participants attend eight two-hour sessions and one full-day session and are required to practise for a minimum of 45 minutes a day, six days a week, between sessions with the help of audio tapes. The program is led by specially trained laypersons or trained health and social service professionals.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction was founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1980 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, at Worcester. In Canada, the program is currently available free of charge or for a nominal fee in the Centretown Community Health Centre in Ottawa, the Toronto Hospital and at some other sites in Ontario and Quebec. It may also be offered on a cost recovery basis in other settings.
The effectiveness of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program has been evaluated in several different client populations. For example, it was found that the program was effective in reducing anxiety and depression in people with anxiety disorders (Kabat-Zinn et al. 1992). Although evaluations indicate that the program can lead to an increase in positive health outcomes, it is intended as a complement to professional care, not as an alternative. The program is currently being studied at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto.
"The program is a sensible and straightforward way for people to experience and understand the mind/body connection firsthand and use it to deal better with their illnesses and their lives," writes Jon Kabat-Zinn (Kabat-Zinn and Santorelli 1993).
The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program aims to empower clients by helping them learn how to deal with stress, pain and illness and to feel more confident about their ability to do so. "People seem better able to draw on their own inner resources," explains Pye after observing her clients' participation in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program.
"The biggest impact it had on me was teaching me to live in the here and now, not in what might happen in the future or what might have happened in the past," explains a 32-year-old woman who participated in the program after spending a year being clinically depressed. "I have felt some of my pain lessen in my shoulders and back and I have changed in how I relate to people."
Materials used to train program leaders stress the importance of a client-centred attitude and sensitivity to individual differences. The training manual also stresses the importance of adapting the curriculum to local conditions and to the explicitly defined short-term and long-term objectives of the intervention. For example, the curriculum of the program offered in a psychiatric hospital, a prison or a community health centre may vary extensively while still following the basic principles of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. The success of this program is partly attributable to its ability to adapt to clients' needs.
"I was surprised that I enjoyed it so much and that I actually finished it. I usually start things and lose interest after a few weeks," said one participant. "This time I wanted to finish it!"
-from the Health Canada website
We also carry the audio tapes and CD's which can be used in conjuction with this book (and are used in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programs):
Mindfulness Meditation Practice Tape, Series 1, Tape 1 Tape 2 , CD