The first sight of a yellow school bus can cause excitement and anxiety. The best way to prepare students for back-to-school is to do just that – prepare them.
“Children thrive with routine; it’s important that as we get back to school, we get back into those routines that kids can rely on – going to bed on time, eating healthy, limiting screen time,” said Marilyn Wilcher, Director of the Resilient Youth (RY) program at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine (BHI) at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Rana Chudnofsky, MEd, is a former Massachusetts school teacher who works with students, educators and families through the Resilient Youth and Resilient Schools programs. Back-to-school worries can vary according to children’s age and interests, but the one constant should always been open lines of communication, she says.
Read more: Back-to-School Strategies that Promote Positivity and Cultivate Resilience
The core belief of the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) - that teaching patients mind body approach like meditation and yoga can reduce their stress and improve overall physical health – was proven correct in a preliminary study published this fall in the journal PLOS ONE. The study found that patients who participated in BHI programs reduced their medical visits on average by 43% in the year after taking part.
The study was led by Dr. James E. Stahl of the MGH Institute for Technology Assessment. Dr. Stahl was previously affiliated with BHI and is Chief of General Internal Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
“Our study’s primary finding is that programs that train patients to elicit the relaxation response – specifically those taught at the BHI – can also dramatically reduce health care utilization,” Dr. Stahl said. “These programs promote wellness and, in our environment of constrained health care resources, could potentially ease the burden on our health delivery systems at minimal cost and at no real risk.”
Read more: Study Shows BHI Participants Reduced Doctors Visits by 43%