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Medical Mindfulness: What Is It and Why Is It Important to Our Healthcare System?

By Kristin Kilburg

Our mission at Challenge to Change is to spread mindfulness to as many people in our community as possible in order to help empower people to live their best lives. To that end, we have been working hard to develop a Medical Mindfulness program to serve our professionals working in the medical field.

People in healthcare are essential workers, and the work they do is valuable beyond measure. Unfortunately, those who work in the medical field are more likely to burn out than any other profession in our country. This is a call for help, and while this problem will require many minds and hearts to solve, we believe Medical Mindfulness will be an important tool that healthcare workers can utilize to help minimize their stress.

In addition, we believe that yoga and mindfulness can be especially helpful to those recovering from any type of injury, trauma, or illness. Moreover, with the right modifications, yoga and mindfulness can be made accessible to anyone. The quest to share this vision is also a part of our Medical Mindfulness program.

The mission of the Challenge to Change Medical Mindfulness Department is to offer accessible yoga and mindfulness techniques that support the mind, body, and emotional wellbeing of all people, regardless of ability. We believe in empowering medical professionals, caregivers, and patients to know how to integrate inclusive yoga and mindfulness practices as an alternative approach to healing.

To implement this mission, we’ve begun by offering presentations to healthcare staff sharing how yoga and mindfulness are helpful in managing stress and preventing burnout. The presentations offer hands-on practice in simple yoga and mindfulness tools that can be utilized during a workday whenever stressful situations arise.

Attendees of these presentations also receive access to our C2C Hub, which in an online portal that provides a wide variety of fitness classes and mindfulness practices participants can attend at their convenience. Within the C2C Hub, there will soon be access to specific Medical Mindfulness content. This content will include instruction on injury-specific movement, yoga for cancer patients, prenatal and postnatal yoga, and specific mindfulness practices for the Medical Mindfulness user. This portion of the C2C Hub will continually grow to adapt to the needs of our Medical Mindfulness community.

As we continue to grow our Medical Mindfulness Department, we will offer trainings to those in the healthcare field, informational sessions for patients and workers, community outreach and integrations, and so much more. We can’t wait for what is to come!

Kristin Kilburg is the Director of Medical Mindfulness at Challenge to Change. She graduated from Mount Mary University in December of 2017 with her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy. She passed her national certification exam in January of 2018 and began practicing occupational therapy at a pediatric and orthopedic outpatient clinic. As she settled into professional life, Kristin simultaneously discovered a love of yoga. Deciding to invest in herself, Kristin completed a 200-Hour yoga teacher training so that she could share her love of yoga with her local community. She also obtained her children’s yoga teacher certification and began implementing the practices of yoga and mindfulness with her young patients. During the pandemic and its aftermath, Kristin began to experience the painful effects of burnout in her job, and decided to pursue a career change. This led her to Challenge to Change, and we are so grateful to have her! In addition to creating and implementing our Medical Mindfulness program as our Director of Medical Mindfulness, Kristin is one of our Yoga and Mindfulness in the Schools teachers.

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