Foundations of Mindfulness: Introduction to Mindfulness Based Stress & Pain Management (MSPM)

Hosted by the Program on Integrative Medicine

The UNC Mindfulness-based Program for Stress and Pain Management offers training in meditation and mind-body awareness that will teach you how to slow down, set priorities and stay calm, focused and relaxed in the midst of a busy life. These practices will enhance your body’s natural adaptive healing ability and will cultivate the mind’s clarity and insight.

This evidenced-based program is based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s model that teaches Mindfulness is “the awareness that arises from paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” It enables individuals to step out of ‘automatic pilot.’ and to connect and respond to daily life with increased awareness and self-control.

The class format includes instruction and practice of mindfulness skills, mind-body exercises, group dialogue, and daily home assignments. In this program, you will receive:

  • 8 weekly classes of 2-1/2 hours each
  • One 6-hour retreat on a Saturday
  • Recordings with guided meditations and stretching practices
  • Access to extensive handouts, reading lists, home assignments, resources, etc.

Participants are encouraged to practice home assignments for 30-40 minutes every day and to complete an initial questionnaire and a course evaluation. This challenging, life-affirming course requires a strong commitment for maximal benefit. Your instructors are committed to and skilled at creating a safe, supportive, and deeply engaging learning environment.

Questions? Email

Well Said: Reducing stress through Mindfulness

Listen to Kessonga Giscombe, on UNC Well Said: Reducing stress through mindfulness. Kessonga discusses the definition and meaning of mindfulness and clears misconceptions.

Follow this link to listen on SOUNDCLOUD:

Kessonga Giscombé, MS, L.Ac. is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Certified Holistic Health Counselor, and Mindfulness Meditation Instructor. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Master’s of Science degree in Acupuncture from The New York College of Health Professions. He specializes in Japanese Meridian Therapy as well as Traditional Chinese Acupuncture. Mr. Giscombe also received his national certification for Holistic Health Counseling from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, located in New York, and has received training in Mindfulness from the Oasis MBSR Center at University of Massachusetts and the Program for Integrative Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mr. Giscombe has successfully treated patients who presented with an array of ailments, such as migraines/headaches, asthma, arthritis, hypertension, obesity, anxiety, digestive orders, and chronic pain.

February  2019

Mindful Parenting, with Caroline Hexdall, Ph.D.

Limited Space Still Available

Class Dates: Fridays, February 15 through March 8, 2019.

Instructor: Caroline Hexdall, Ph.D.

Time: 9:00am – 11:00am

Location:UNC Hospital Hillsborough Campus, 430 Waterstone Drive, Hillsborough NC 27278 [HBT 10011 Training Room]

Click here to Register!

Caroline Hexdall, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and owner of the Center for Mindful Development, PLLC in Hillsborough. After working at UNC’s Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities and serving as the state consultant for school psychology, she returned to the rewards of clinical practice in 2013. At the Center for Mindful Development, she provides psychological services and mindfulness education, with a focus on mindful parenting.


Morning of Mindfulness with Paula Huffman, BS, RN, ERYT

Class Dates: Saturday, February 23, 2019, from 9:00-12:00pm

LocationUNC Center for Rehabilitation Care, 1807 North Fordham Blvd., (on 15/501 in the former Borders building), Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Click here to Register!

Paula Huffman, BS, RN, ERYT holds a BS in Special Education, an NC License to practice as a Registered Nurse, and is certified as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher. She studied with the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts with Jon Kabat-Zinn, completing MBSR training for health care providers and the 9-day MBSR intensive. She also completed a Mindfulness Teacher training through the Program on Integrative Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Paula is currently teaching Mindfulness Foundation Courses with the Program on Integrative Medicine.

Paula is also a perinatal educator and is trained as a Doula. She founded Whole Beginnings in the early 1990’s and has been providing services to expecting families since that time.

Paula has been actively practicing yoga and meditation since the 70’s. She incorporates these practices into her classes as well as her daily life.

March 2019



Graduate Level Mindfulness Course for Health Professionals

Mind-Body Skills Group for Health Professionals, instructed by Vera Moura, MD, MS-MBM, CIHWC

Class Dates: Thursdays, March 7 through April 25, 2019, from 6-8 PM

Location:Ecoheal, 6435 Pathway Ct, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Click here to Register!

About Vera Lucia Moura, MD, MS-MBM, CIHWC

As a mind-body medicine practitioner, and life-long student of conventional medicine as well as ancient ways of healing, I can pull from a variety of practices, techniques, and viewpoints. Self-care and self-awareness as a means to wellness are fundamental to my work. My work is practical, experiential and focused on the present moment. In working with groups, we create a safe space to grow together toward healing and transformation.

After receiving a medical doctor degree in my home country, Brazil, where I worked as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst for two decades, I have had additional training and certification in mind-body medicine skills, and integrative health and wellness coaching. In addition to training for decades with many masters and teachers of ancient traditions from different cultures, I earned a Master’s Degree in Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University, CA. My professional practice in the last two decades is the result of my previous experience as a physician, my deep connection with nature, and my work in Mind-Body Medicine with groups and individual clients at the University of Michigan, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as well as in private practice.

After registration, please contact the instructor, Vera Moura, MD, MS-MBM, CIHWC, at 919.320.8285 or via email to setup a time for a personal interview (in person or by Skype) before the beginning of the group sessions.
Note: If truly needed, please negotiate partial scholarships with the instructor.

Mind-Body Medicine Skills for Health and Wellness Retreat

One-Day Workshop: Saturday, March 16, 2019, from 10am to 4pm

Location: Ecoheal Center, 6435 Patthway Court, Chapel Hill NC 27516

Click here to Register!

Join us to experience how mind-body medicine skills could be of help for you. This one-day workshop focuses on self-reflection, mindfulness, and self-healing using tools as yoga breathing practice, meditation, expressive drawing, and spontaneous movement. This workshop utilizes the principles of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine ( Empirical evidence supports the effectiveness of mind-body medicine interventions to manage stress and prevent burnout of a variety of population in addition to:

•    Reduce and relieve stress

•    Improve sleep patterns

•    Increase self-awareness

•    Enhance productivity

•    Stimulate mental clarity and creativity

•    Promote healing

•    Maintain a sense of well-being

Foundations of Mindfulness: Introduction to Mindfulness Based Stress & Pain Management (MSPM), with William Frey, M.Ed.

Class Dates:Mondays, March 11 through April 29, 2019

Instructor: William Frey, M.Ed.

Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Location: UNC School of Social Work, Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building, 27599, 325 Pittsboro St #3550, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, Room 500

Click here to Register!

Day of Mindfulness: Saturday, April 27, 2019, from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, Location TBD. Please remember to bring a lunch on the Day of Mindfulness!

William Frey, M.Ed., is trained in a variety of stress management models, and has served as an instructor of mindfulness-based stress reduction for the Program on Integrative Medicine since 2000.  William is currently working at the University as an organization and professional development specialist. He is a certified professional co-active coach and holds undergraduate degrees in psychology, chemistry, and medical technology and a master’s degree in education. Will is the author of Ease into Freedom: Keys for Reducing Stress and Unlocking Your Potential  (2016).

Four Qualities of the Heart: Kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity, with John Orr

Graduate Level Mindfulness

Starting spring 2019!

John Orr received Theravada Buddhist ordination and training for a period of eight years while living as a monk in the 1970’s in Thailand and India. He has been teaching meditation and leading retreats around the country since 1980. John is the guiding teacher of the New Hope Sangha, which is a nondenominational community located in Durham, North Carolina that respects the wisdom of various spiritual traditions. He is on the faculty of Duke University where he teaches courses on Yoga and Meditation and Stress Management.


Class DatesWednesdays, March 27 through April 17, 2019

Instructor: John Orr

TBD LocationUNC Center for Rehabilitation Care, 1807 Fordham Blvd., Chapel Hill NC 27514

Click here to Register!

Four states of mind support our mindfulness practice and when experienced, allow us to feel light and flexible, open and concentrated at the same time.

They are loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.

During this series of classes together, we will open to these beautiful qualities of the heart, which are inherent to our being. We will also explore what seems to block us from dwelling in these beautiful states of heart-mind. It is often our fears that get in the way of our access to this loving heart. Using mindfulness practice and guided meditations focused on loving kindness, compassion, joy and forgiveness, we will make contact with this loving heart, nurture it and manifest it in the many contexts of our daily lives.