By Annick Guillemot
One year ago, two hospital professionals of Paimpol launched their first program discovery of mindfulness meditation within the public institution. A first in the Côtes-d’Armor.
“Meditation is not a miracle”
Dr Sylvie Besson and psychologist Anne Le Jossec have been practicing meditation for many years. Both are part of the mobile palliative care team at the Paimpolais hospital.
Against stress, chronic pain, depression, the practice of mindfulness meditation is not a miracle, but an effort to observe what is happening inside us which, thanks to training, changes the way we perceive things, our very perception of life.
Since a year, two groups of ten people have participated in weekly practice sessions for two months : half shared between staff from the Paimpol and Saint-Brieuc hospitals, and patients suffering from certain pathologies, including chronic pain.
Chronic pain, depression, stress
A condition that Dr. Besson knows well since she has been leading consultations on these specific pains at the Rennes public hospital for ten years.
The first publication on the interest of mindfulness meditation for these pains was written in the 1980s by an American biologist Jon Kabat-Zinn.
But both sessions also welcomed people on the verge of burnoutothers suffering from stressof depression or of complications from illnessan operation.
As for the hospital staff, “some came out of curiosity or because they themselves were affected by these health problems”.
An active commitment
Participation requires an active commitment over two months: a daily practice at home for an hour at best, and a practice appointment with the group each week.
Since the first two sessions:
We did two small booster sessions for each of the groups, half of the people came back to participate and the feedback was very positive.
“For some, it’s a positive upheaval in their lives”
Since they followed this program, several people practice daily: from 45 minutes to an hour a day for some, 5 to 10 minutes for others.
Many testify about the power of mindfulness to manage stress or pain:
The feedback also shows an impact for everyone on the way things are looked at, on the difficulties experienced. Because mindfulness allows us to step aside. Many told us that it was a positive upheaval in their lives. One participant told us that she no longer experienced her pain in the same way.
New upcoming sessions
new sessions will therefore be offered regularly “at the rate of 2 or 3 per year”.
They will now be also open to patients who follow the cardiovascular and nutritional rehabilitation programs within the hospital of Paimpol.
The next one starts in November and there are still a few places left.
To participate, a preliminary interview, which may be by telephone, validates the commitment. There is no need for preparation nor to already know the practice.
On the other hand, it is necessary commit to not missing any appointments and to practice at home over the eight weeksfor 45 to 60 minutes a day.
These two months are an experience in itself that is necessary. Because even at the biological level, studies show that in eight weeks, we already acquire something.
Eight sessions on Monday evening
The 8 collective sessions last 2h to 2h30 (Monday from 6pm to 8pm) and offer formal mindfulness practices, exercises from behavioral and cognitive therapies, informal exercises.
They are followed by a time of exchange on the experiences lived by each during the practices in group or at home.
Overall, the word circulates very well in a climate of trust and confidentiality. And if it is easier for some, it is also possible to have discussions with us, outside the group.
A minimal participation of 80€ (10€ per session) is requested with possible adjustments.
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Côtes-d’Armor: meditation makes its way to Paimpol hospital
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