The Saratoga Stress Reduction Program is an eight-week stress reduction and pain management course taught by Dr. Selma Nemer, Caroline Russell Smith, and Pierre Zimmerman. Our program is grounded in both practice and science. Students learn multiple forms of mindfulness meditation as well as the latest neuroscience findings about the impact of mindfulness on the brain and our ability to heal. As our students discover they can experience a deeper sense of peace in the midst of a fast-paced, demanding and stressful life, they learn to navigate life’s challenges with greater ease. While the program is very personal and therapeutic, it is also solidly practical and offers concrete approaches to dealing with physical and emotional distress. This course is based on the program created by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979 and is now an international program. We have offered this program since 2005 and have over 1000 graduates
What do our graduates have to say?
At the end of the eight weeks, SSRP graduates say the program has helped them:
- Improve sleep
- Breathe more easily
- Reduce anxiety, and for some, eliminate the need for medication
- Better manage physical pain
- Increase physical flexibility
- Change negative thought patterns
- Bring greater awareness to their eating habits
- Feel more connected to their bodies
- Improve immune system health
- Discover a sense of inner calm even during stressful situations
- Be in the present moment with greater ease
Why do people participate in the program?
On the first night of class we routinely hear things like:
- I keep waiting for life to slow down but I am realizing it never will. I need to learn how to live differently.
- I’m afraid I will be controlled by pain my entire life.
- I’m always planning for what’s coming next or critiquing what just happened. I can’t focus on what is actually happening, let alone enjoy it.
- I feel exhausted and overwhelmed most of the time.
- My body is tense and I can’t relax