Greenville Center for Mindfulness Teaches How to Live a Stress Free Life
Dr. Dingledine, a psychotherapist and owner of Greenville Center for Mindfulness, has an interesting background. As a child, growing up in Northampton, Massachusetts, she spent a good deal of time at her grandmother’s house which was furnished with antiques. She learned to love beauty, she says, whether natural or functional. She spent much of her childhood visiting museums, studying artifacts and gazing at landscapes.
Her early education took place at Andover’s Abbot Academy, a boarding school for girls and young women. It’s notable as being one of the first incorporated secondary schools in New England for educating young women. It became co-educational in 1973 when it merged with Phillips Academy. Dr. Dingledine’s love of history and art led her to Hollins University, in Roanoke, Virginia, where she graduated with a degree in art history.
Marriage and raising a family moved her to Baltimore, Maryland, and then eventually to Greenville, South Carolina. This period marked a change in her professional direction as she began to ponder on how life’s difficulties can serve as a catalyst for growth. Dr. Dingledine says that changing the perception of an individual’s experience can be the difference between “light and darkness”. She enrolled in USC and obtained her Masters of Social Work degree in 1990.
Her decision to pursue a career in healthcare dovetails with a family history of service to the community. Dr. Dingledine’s grandfather was a physician and her mother was one of the first women to become a “Wave” in the U.S. Navy during World War II. In 2000, she continued her studies by receiving a Ph.D. from Smith College and opened her practice.
Googling “mindfulness” several years ago led her to her studies with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness, Healthcare and Society at the UMass Medical School. He is also the founding director of its renowned Stress Reduction Clinic and he teaches mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in venues throughout the world.
According to Dr. Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness “is paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally, to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.” Mindfulness has been proven to be effective in helping to treat, along with medical and psychological treatments, people who suffer from many challenges, including chronic pain, anxiety and depression, cancer and chronic disease, work, family and emotional stress, eating disturbances, heart disease and sleeplessness.
The Center for Mindfulness program at UMass Medical School notes that participants of their Stress Reduction Program report a 38 percent reduction in medical symptoms, a 43 percent reduction in psychological and emotional distress and a 26 percent reduction in perceived stress.
Whether due to external or internal reasons, stress can generate anxiety, depression and physical pain. Dr. Dingledine notes that one of the many benefits of MSBR is its natural approach to healing, which does not rely on prescription drugs. She believes that we all have the power to heal ourselves; we just need “someone to teach us”.
The MBSR program at Greenville Center for Mindfulness is an 8-week program that meets for two hours per week. One day is given over to a retreat that usually includes a walking meditation. In a walking meditation, participants are encouraged to be mindful of the way their bodies feel, from the rhythm of their breath to the sensation of their feet touching the ground. The program is recommended for people with stress due to work, relationships, or health-related issues.
Greenville Center for Mindfulness is located at 45 Greenland Dr., Greenville. For more information, call 864-616-5499 or visit GreenvilleCenter.com. For more information on research of MBSR, visit UMassMed.edu.