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November 10, 2011

MAPS Project helps parents relax, lower stress

The Mindfulness and Parenting Stress (MAPS) Project is a new program at Loma Linda University that offers Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) therapy to parents of children ages 2 to 5 with developmental delays or Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The MAPS Project course offers intensive training in relaxation techniques, meditation, gentle yoga-based stretching, lectures in various aspects of health and wellness, and supportive group discussions. The emphasis on mindfulness--which simply means paying attention to each moment in a non-judgmental way--gives people a practical way to apply these methods in everyday life.

MBSR is supported by over two decades of extensive research showing effectiveness in reducing stress, anxiety, depression and promoting overall well-being for a wide range of people.

The program is free and includes eight weekly sessions, a day-long meditation retreat after class 6 and daily home practice based on audio CDs with instruction. Free childcare and parking will be provided.

The project's hope is that the course will help reduce parenting stress, enable parents to feel more confident as parents and decrease concerns parents have about their children. Many studies have shown that when parents are less stressed their kids do better; thus, the program should have a positive effect on both parents and their children.

To learn more about the project, call Dr. Cameron Neece, the MAPS Project director, at 909-558-7201 or visit the MAPS Project Web site at mapsproject.org.

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