RMC Offers Stress Reduction Classes

February 2, 2012

Series of Classes Teach Mindfulness Relaxation to Combat Stress

Riverside Medical Center (RMC) is offering a series of stress-reduction classes in March based on the principles of mindfulness meditation.

“We are a fast-paced society and things seem to keep speeding up and compounding our problems,” said Barb Achten, who is teaching the classes. “But the solution for stress reduction is still the same, which is to be mindful in the moment.”

Over the course of three evening classes, Achten will teach participants how to cope by introducing them to the practice of mindfulness, the discipline of shifting one’s attention to be more fully aware of moment-to-moment experiences in life.

“Participants will discover how unconscious thoughts and feelings can increase stress and undermine well-being,” she said. “They will learn how to develop inner resources that respond rather than react to stressors. This improves self-esteem, reduces physical and psychological symptoms associated with stress, and results in a greater ability to relax.”

Achten, who has been teaching mindfulness since the 1990s, trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn, who heads the University of Massachusetts Medical Center's Stress Reduction Clinic. Kabat-Zinn, a best-selling author, helped propel mindfulness meditation into the mainstream with his books including “Full Catastrophe Living" and "Wherever You Go, There You Are."

Mindfulness meditation is now taught at hundreds of medical centers, hospitals and clinics throughout the country. Numerous studies suggest that meditation has beneficial effects on the immune system, blood pressure, cholesterol, chronic pain, headaches, anxiety and depression.

“We’ve gotten distracted and lost sight of the natural way to be tuned in to our senses,” added Achten, owner of Interiors, her business which also provides craniosacral therapy, feng shui, and interior design.  “It’s easy to learn, it’s practical, but it does take practice.”

The classes are planned for Thurs., March 8, 15, and 22, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at RMC’s Maasch Education Center. The fee is $20. To register, call (715) 258-1119.

Riverside Medical Center is a 25-bed acute-care, critical access hospital located in Waupaca. Riverside Medical Center has previously been rated among the “100 Top Hospitals™” in the United States by Solucient, Inc. Riverside Medical Center was founded in 1955 and employs more than 300 people, making it one of the five largest employers in the area.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! For more information, media may contact Megan Wilcox (megan.wilcox@thedacare.org), APR, corporate and public relations specialist for ThedaCare, at (920) 830-5847.