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The Latest Research on Stress-reduction Techniques

3 May 2023

May 3, 2023

In: Therapy News & Events

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  • Understanding the most recent research on stress reduction techniques can help you provide the highest level of care to your therapy patients.  
  • New insights into mindfulness-based stress reduction show that this approach can help patients with sleep issues and PTSD see improved outcomes.
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction may positively impact patients suffering from asthma and diabetes, reducing their mental and physical symptoms. 
  • Therapists who practice minus-based stress reduction can see improved self-compassion and reduced stress in their daily lives.  

As a therapist, staying up-to-date with the latest research in stress reduction techniques can be invaluable to you and your patients. Mindfulness-based stress reduction, in particular, has been shown to effectively reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. By incorporating new MBSR insights into your therapy sessions, you can help your patients reduce stress and see better mental health outcomes. 

Current Research on Stress Reduction Techniques 

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), first developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn in the 1970s, is a popular approach to stress reduction. Recent research shows that MBSR can be beneficial for mental health therapy and occupational, physical, and physical therapists who refer patients to behavioral therapy practitioners. 

MBSR has broad applications across various therapeutic settings, making it a valuable tool for your treatment toolkit.

MBSR Can Reduce PTSD Symptoms and Stress 

People experiencing stress and PTSD can use MBSR to incorporate mindfulness-based coping techniques and evaluate how they process sensory, cognitive, and emotional experiences. 

A 2022 study of gun violence survivors found that 37% experienced a reduction in trauma and 52% in post-traumatic stress after using MBSR. They reported feeling more mindful and satisfied with their lives. They also experienced fewer issues related to grief and sleep difficulties. 

Veterans who participate in MBSR can experience a decrease in stress and PTSD. In a trial review of an MBSR group of veterans with PTSD, the veterans had lower levels of cortisol and increased their sense of mindfulness due to improved symptoms of PTSD and depression. 

A study of an MBSR program for female veterans reported increased mindfulness and reduced loneliness and PTSD symptoms. The veterans also experienced a rapid decline in stress six months into the program. 

MBSR Improves Sleep Issues

Practicing mindfulness may help patients cope with sleep issues by reducing levels of anxiety and stress that can interfere with sleep. In a 2022 study, migraine patients who participated in MBSR had better sleep quality and a 50% reduction in headaches. 

A 2022 study of post-menopausal women participating in an MBSR program found a significant improvement in sleep quality, including sleep efficiency and duration. However, mindfulness didn’t improve sleep disturbances until a month later. 

MBSR helps improve sleep quality among cancer patients experiencing fatigue. Breast cancer patients who underwent MBSR sessions reported feeling peace of mind and better sleep quality. Participants in an MBSR program for lung cancer patients saw improved sleep quality and a positive boost in mental health. MBSR can help with rehabilitation from cancer to boost negative psychological states and help patients find relief. 

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MBSR Reduces Stress for Asthma Sufferers

As a physical therapist or behavioral therapy practitioner, you may consider implementing MBSR for your patients with asthma. The findings of a 2022 randomized controlled trial suggest that MBSR can significantly improve asthma control in individuals with asthma-related mental health issues. 

The trial demonstrated that MBSR participants had a clinically significant improvement in asthma control, with reduced distress and airway inflammation. The intervention was also highly effective for individuals with depressive symptoms. 

These results indicate that therapists treating individuals with asthma-related mental health issues should consider incorporating MBSR into treatment plans to improve asthma control and reduce comorbid psychopathology. 

MBSR May Help Those With Diabetes Improve Their Mental Health

A 2023 review indicated that MBSR can positively impact the mental health of individuals with diabetes. Diabetes patients often experience mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression, adversely affecting their blood glucose management and health outcomes. 

According to the review, chronic stress, commonly experienced by diabetes patients, triggers the release of cortisol, leading to elevated levels of anxiety and depression. The review found that MBSR reduced anxiety and depressive symptoms in participants of several studies, improved mindfulness, and enhanced blood glucose management in individuals with diabetes. 

This review highlights the importance of incorporating mindfulness-based interventions in diabetes care to improve overall mental and physical health outcomes. For therapists treating patients who struggle with chronic mental health issues due to diabetes, MBSR may offer a therapeutic approach.

MBSR Also Benefits Providers

MBSR can benefit various therapy patients, but it’s also an effective tool for providers to develop increased mindfulness and self-compassion. A 2021 review of 30 studies found that MBSR was effective in reducing providers’ experiences of anxiety, depression, and stress and increasing levels of mindfulness and self-compassion. 

The review suggested that healthcare providers, such as mental health therapists, applied behavioral therapists, occupational therapists, and occupational therapists, can implement abbreviated MBSR programs at home for improved mindfulness. 

For example, brief daily meditation or MBSR practices embedded during the workday are similarly effective to traditional eight-week programs. This makes MBSR a feasible and efficient intervention for busy practitioners. 

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Implement Stress Reduction Techniques with the Help of ClinicSource 

ClinicSource, an all-in-one therapy practice management software that supports all types of mental health therapy. The platform offers customizable templates and documentation for therapeutic interventions, including MBSR, making it easy for providers to incorporate stress reduction techniques into therapy sessions. 

For speech therapists, ClinicSource is 100% ONC-Certified and offers pre-loaded templates for assessment scoring and monitoring. 

Physical therapists can benefit from accessible goal libraries and CPT codes for various therapy modalities. 

ClinicSource also has scoring grids for popular occupational therapy screenings and evaluation templates for SPM, VB-MAPP, and Vineland-II assessments for applied behavior therapists. 

See ClinicSource in Action at Your Therapy Practice

ClinicSource supports providers in delivering effective MBSR treatment and improving patient outcomes. 

Schedule a demo with a ClinicSource Specialist to discover how a cloud-based therapy EMR can simplify documentation and practice management tasks so you can focus on your therapy patients. 


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