Full Catastrophe Living

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By Jon Kabat-Zinn

Bantam Dell Publishing, 1990

Available at Amazon.com /googlebooks.com / Barnes & Noble.com

This book outlines how stress and anxiety can affect a person's physical health including the onset of chronic pain. Jon Kabat-Zinn discusses his 8 week course that teaches people the importance of mindful meditation and psychological thinking. He tells the story of several construction workers and truck drivers and how their health drastically improved by meditating and examining their emotions.

Table of Contents

  1. The Practice of Mindfullness: Paying Attention
  2. The Paradigm: A New Way of Thinking About Health and Illness
  3. Stress
  4. The Applications: Taking of the Full Catastrophe (Available as a PDF)
  5. The Way of Awareness

TMS Wiki Reviews

<a href="/account/Nams84">

Nams84</a> wrote

"I have also just been reading Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-ZInn, in which he talks about the power on the mind in influencing the body - from our immune systems to how we view the pain itself. Although he doesn't talk about repressed emotions (well, not in the bit i've read up to) it all seems to be part of the larger whole of "mind and body connection". I highly recomend it to anyone who hasn't read it."

Click Here for Full Thread

Amazon.com Customer Reviews

An Amazon Customer said:

This is one of the three most powerful books I have read in my ten year effort to rid myself of depression and chronic back pain. The other two were "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind" by Dr. Joseph Murphy and "Healing Back Pain" by Dr. Sarno. As a testament to all of these books, I am now almost completely free of both of these tiresome life-robbers: mental and physical pain. I have never been able to sit down and meditate, but this book taught me to reach a meditative state using the walking meditation, and recently I have started using the body scan while running - it is a superb way to combine exercise and meditation. I received a lot of inspiration from the case studies used in this book, also. The style in which it is written is intelligent, warm, compassionate and friendly. I recommend the book highly. If you are tired of being sick, and are ready to make a commitment to help yourself, this book is essential. I can not stress enough the importance that NUTRITION and EXERCISE have played in my own recovery, but mindfulness and relaxation are crucial as well. I use mindfulness every day now that I have learned the techniques presented in this book. I think anyone who is looking for a better way to live needs to read this book.

About the Author

Jon Kabat-Zinn is founding Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also the founding director of its renowned Stress Reduction Clinic and Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He teaches mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in various venues around the world. He received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from MIT in 1971 in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate, Salvador Luria. (Source)

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program that was founded by Kabat-Zinn is an intensive 8 week course that focuses on meditation and yoga. The course seeks to help participants gain an understanding of their mind-body connection, and how stress and anxiety can affect a person's physical well-being. More information on the program can be found here.

Jon Kabat-Zinn did a webcast for Oprah's Soul Series. This includes a two part interview of Kabat-Zinn where he discusses mind-body healing and how to practice mindfulness. Kabat-Zinn outlines how to begin a meditation practice here. He also wrote a Suggestions for Daily Practice of meditation for Oprah's webcast. These suggestions include:

  • Befriending your breath is a good idea
  • See if from time to time you can just feel the breath moving in and out of your body
  • Try lying in bed for a few moments after you wake up, and just ride on the waves of your own breathing moment by moment and breath by breath.
  • As best you can, be aware of the various sensations fluxing in the body, including the breath sensations.

For a complete list of these suggestions and tips on how to practice mindfulness and meditation click here

Research by Kabat-Zinn

The clinical use of mindfulness meditation for the self-regulation of chronic pain.

Journal of Behavioural Medicine 1985 Jun; Vol. 8(2):163-90.

Kabat-Zinn J et al.



Ninety chronic pain patients were trained in mindfulness meditation in a 10-week Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program. Statistically significant reductions were observed in measures of present-moment pain, negative body image, inhibition of activity by pain, symptoms, mood disturbance, and psychological symptomatology, including anxiety and depression. Pain-related drug utilization decreased and activity levels and feelings of self-esteem increased. Improvement appeared to be independent of gender, source of referral, and type of pain. A comparison group of pain patients did not show significant improvement on these measures after traditional treatment protocols. At follow-up, the improvements observed during the meditation training were maintained up to 15 months post-meditation training for all measures except present-moment pain. The majority of subjects reported continued high compliance with the meditation practice as part of their daily lives. (Source)

Other books by Jon Kabat-Zinn

  • Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life (Hyperion, 1994)
  • Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness (Hyperion, 2005)
  • Arriving at Your Own Door: 108 Lessons in Mindfulness (Hyperion, 2007)

A full list of his works can be found at Amazon.com

Have you read Full Catastrophe Living? If so write a review of the book and post it as a thread to the bottom of this page.

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