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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

1-day MINDFULGym REST-Shop at KL Mental Health Conference

‘Mindfulness’ is a concept that originates from various meditative traditions, particularly Buddhism. Over the past few decades, it has gained immense popularity in neuroscience research and psychotherapy. Despite its spiritual origin, principles of mindfulness have been adopted in a secular approach for mental health. Mindfulness-based interventions, e.g. Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) are also used for treatment of mental disorders, e.g. anxiety, depressive, and borderline personality disorders. To introduce mindfulness to the Malaysian mental health providers, the 9th KL Mental Health Conference is organizing a one-day workshop on mindfulness. This workshop is based on a locally developed mindfulness-based intervention program – MINDFULGym. The program has been empirically shown to reduce stress and enhance wellness among medical students in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), critical care nurses in Hospital Serdang, and adults in the general community. Participants will learn simple, practical, and effective mindfulness-based tools to enhance mental health in daily life. 

More information on conference & pre-conference workshops - HERE
Registration for conference & workshops - NOW
Fee: RM350 for doctors, RM300 for students & paramedics

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mindful-Gym study presented at 8th International Congress of Cognitive Psychotherapy

Dr. Keng Shian Ling with her research poster at ICCP, Hong Kong

Summary of study:

Medical students often experience heightened psychological distress that may undermine their training experience in medical school. This study evaluated the effects of Mindful-Gym in reducing psychological distress and improving well-being among medical students, and whether the mechanism of effects were mediated by changes in trait mindfulness.

77 Malaysian medical students enrolled in the intervention programs; 57 served as control group participants. Participants completed measures of mindfulness and symptoms of psychological distress before and after intervention. 

Analysis showed that those who attended Mindful-Gym reported significantly greater decreases in symptoms of depression, anxiety, psychological distress and perceived stress, as well as increases in subjective happiness and satisfaction with life compared to those who did not attend the program. The analysis also showed that the effects of the intervention were mediated by changes in the levels of mindfulness, suggesting that the beneficial effects of the program are due to its ability to increase people's ability to be mindful in daily life.
This study suggests that Mindful-Gym is effective in reducing psychological symptoms and improving well-being among medical students. Mindfulness may be a key process responsible for the effects of the intervention.

Note: The study is a collaboration between University Putra Malaysia (UPM), National University of Singapore (NUS) & University of Queensland. Dr. Keng is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor in NUS.

Keng, S.-L., Phang, C.K., Oei, T.P.S., Seah, S.T.L., & Tan, J.X.  (June 27, 2014). Effects of a brief mindfulness-based group cognitive behavior therapy program on psychological distress among medical students: A preliminary study. Poster presented at 8th International Congress of Cognitive Psychotherapy, Hong Kong.

MINDFULGym tools for School Prefects

My name is Yee Onn, a graduate of the 8th batch MINDFULGym program. I am currently working as research assistant in Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR). I often conduct workshops related to learning style, stress reduction, interpersonal skills and mental health awareness. Lately, Mindful-Gym tools have become my favorite sharing since they are simple and easily applicable in daily life. Last month, I conducted a two-day workshop (12-13, June) on stress management specifically for school prefects. It was attended by school prefects from nine schools in Perak. The students responded positively to the program and techniques provided, e.g. 'Mindful Stretching & Muscle Relaxation.' The technique helped them to pay attention to bodily tension and relax them. Some students gave feedback that realizing which body part is tensed up during stress is an astonishing experience. In summary, mindfulness-based relaxation skills are easy to learn, apply, and useful with regular practice. Stay calm and be mindful.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

MINDFULGym at SJK (C) Taman Rashna

MINDFULGym was successfully introduced to teachers of SJK (C) Taman Rashna, Klang on 5/7/2014. The four-hour Saturday training program was co-organized by Than Hsiang Mitra Welfare Center & KL Buddhist Mental Health Association. Conducted by clinical psychologist Mr. Pheh Kai Shuen, tt was held at the main hall of the school. About 100 teachers of the school participated in two concurrent stress reduction ‘rest-shops’ which were presented in Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia with similar content.The program was designed based on ancient principles of mindfulness and state-of-the-art research in positive psychology. Examples related to education context were included in the program in order to enhance the applicability of the mindfulness skills.Among the content presented were on the popularity of mindfulness, benefits of mindfulness, and Mindful-Gym tools: 1. Mindful Eating, 2. Mindful Stretching, 3. Mindful Breathing, 4. Mindful S.T.O.P., 5. Mindful Bubbles, 6. Mindful Imaginary, and 7. Google-WWW-Yahoo.

Mindfulness-based stress management talk at MMHA...

KC Chiang, clinical psychologist and one of the Mindful-Gym trainers presented a two-hour talk at Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA) on 28 June 2014 on mindfulness-based stress management. She was assisted by Aveline, a registered counselor, and a graduate of Mindful-Gym. The talk was attended by 56 participants from the public.
The participants were introduced to the concept of mindfulness in the context of stress management and were given a “taste” of mindfulness practice such as paying attention to 'H.T.C.' (hearing, touching and seeing) and mindful breathing. Two mindfulness tools – Mindful stretching and Mindful S.T.O.P. were introduced to the participants. The concept of beginners’ mind was demonstrated through raisin eating exercise and optical illusion. In applying beginner’s mind, the participants were encouraged to adopt a  “childlike curiosity”  in viewing situations in life in order to break away from cognitive “auto-pilot”.
The participants were delightfully responsive – asking interesting questions, and actively joining the activities and mindfulness practices.  The talk appeared to have generated much interest among the participants as many of them stayed back after the talk to ask questions relating to mindfulness.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mindful-Gym Batch 8

We've just completed the 8th batch (June, 2014) of Mindful-Gym training for the community. Eighteen participants completed the five-week program and joined other Mindful-Gymers who had graduated since 2012. As part of continuing mindfulness education, all graduates are encouraged to participate in extended Mindful-Gym activities. e.g. Mindful-Gym Booster, Mindful-SPA, Mindful-Gym Newsletter, Mindful-Gym WhatsApp Group, Mindful-TEEN, Mindful Parenting. Mindful-ZEST (Therapist Support Group).

MINDFULGym at Berjaya

MINDFULGym was 'berjaya-ly' (successfully) introduced to Berjaya staff on 11/7/2014. The one-hour Friday lunch talk was co-organized by Berjaya Care Foundation & KL Buddhist Mental Health Association. It was held at Berjaya University College of Hospitality, Berjaya Times Square. About 50 staff participated in the stress management and wellness 'rest-shop,' which is based on ancient principles of mindfulness and state-of-the-art research in positive psychology. Among the content presented were on popularity of mindfulness, benefits of mindfulness, and Mindful-Gym tools: 1. Mindful-S.T.O.P., 2. Mindful Stretching (PMR style), and 3. Gratitude Workout: 'Google-WWW-Yahoo.'