Presentation on Mindful-Gym at International Mindfulness Conference, Rome

Effectivess of MCBT for stress reduction among MS_presentation in IMC_Rome

Slides available from HERE.

Mindful-Gym MS: Program Outline


MINDFUL-Gym™ MS is a mindfulness-based stress reduction & wellness program which is specially tailored for medical students to cope with stress. It consists of 5 weekly two-hour experiential and participatory lessons with daily self-help & home-based practice (Home-Gym). It’s held at the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, UPM. The program is organized by the Department of Psychiatry, UPM & will be conducted by Dr. Phang Cheng Kar, a lecturer & psychiatrist from UPM. Participation is on voluntary basis & it’s free of charge.

Program Outline:

Week 1:

  • ABC of Stress
  • Introduction to Mindfulness
  • Happiness is Here-and-Now
  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • Home-Gym

Week 2:

  • Review of Home-Gym
  • Mindful-scope & beginner’s mind
  • Deep Relaxation & Mindful Breathing
  • 4 Pleasant States Imagery
  • Mindful-S.T.O.P. (Basic)
  • Home-Gym

Week 3:

  • Review of Home-Gym
  • Body Scan & Kindness
  • Biofeedback game
  • ‘3-G Gratitude’ Workout
  • Mindful-S.T.O.P. (Advance)
  • Home-Gym

Week 4:

  • Review of Home-Gym
  • Mind-Scan I – Identifying Thinking Errors
  • Lake/Mountain Meditation
  • Home-Gym

Week 5:

  • Review of Home-Gym
  • Mind-Scan II – Transforming Thinking Errors
  • MP3 – Mindfulness Personal Practice Package


– reduce stress, anxiety, depression
– more calm and better mood
– improve concentration/memory and sleep
– increase happiness and life satisfaction
– more grateful and appreciative of life

Mindful-Gym for Medical Students – Testimonial

Very relaxing, joyful and free of academic assignments.

It’s inspiring listening to the stories and sharing of experience.

The complimentary book, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” should be given to all medical students since year one…an excellent read.

I like the ‘pleasant imagery’ as it helps me to relax.

Can relax every Friday after hectic lectures during the weekdays.

Dr. Phang is my role model to be calm, relax and free of tension with bright smile on his face. I’m really inspired because even though his father has just passed away, he can still mindful-gym and guide us for our exam preparation.

I find ‘hypno-relaxation & confidence building’ very helpful.

It really helps me to relax and remember to enjoy the small things in life. Nowadays, I sleep better and have lesser muscle aches. Thanks to PMR and ‘pleasant states imagery.’ But I think the best part about Mindful-Gym is Dr. Phang himself. So, thank you Doc for taking time & guiding us.

Singing the songs together with all my course mates is the best part that I have benefited from the program. I hope this program can be introduced to more medical students.

I like the PMR and deep breathing techniques. They help me to reduce my tension under stressful situations. I also become calmer when facing situations like presenting cases to lecturers.

It helps me to think more positively & this really relieves stress.

The most relaxing ‘class’ I ever had! I like the way Dr. Phang conducted the sessions. Hope we can still join Mindful-Gym in other postings.

All the techniques are easy and simple to practice.

We can practice the techniques for ourselves & also teach our patients.

‘Be present, be calm & be grateful.” I like the whole concept of this program as we tend to look back to our past or forward to the future, and forget the current moment. It’s a good program to remind us about mindfulness & various ways of stress reduction. This is good as different people have different preference in ways for relaxation.

I like the wonderful time with my group mates and Dr. Phang, especially the fun and laughing. It’s a time to relax our mind. I like all the activities in Mindful-Gym.

Thank you for running the program. I find it very useful and I’m grateful to be able to participate in this program.

Very thankful meeting you, doctor. I want to be as dedicated as you.

I like the 3G-Yahoo exercise. I’m now more able to be aware of the happy moments in life.

It’s the best program conducted for medical students.

It’s the only time that I can escape from my world of books and just laugh…do nothing but just laugh….Dr. Phang is a good and positive person.


The activity that I like most is progressive muscle relaxation. It’s useful & really helps.

I like deep breathing. The mind can be emptied by doing this.

The book, “No Worry-Lah, Be Happy,” has benefited me a lot. It should be sold or given to all UPM medical students. Thank you Dr. Phang for your time and motivation.

I’m doing something useful that fills up my time. If I don’t join the program, I might probably be sleeping in my room.

It’s a fun program…learn to be relax and optimistic.

The best session about Mindful-Gym was when we were given chocolate, Yahoo! It is an enjoyable program. Yeah, we are also rewarded with a FREE book for joining this program.

Very good for relaxation…have longer sessions.

MINDFUL-Gym for MS – 2013

Mindful-Gym for Medical Students

Program outline

Testimonial by students

Mindful-Gym photos

Survey on preference of day/time

MINDFUL-Gym for Medical Students

This was presented on behalf of the Department of Psychiatry at the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University Putra Malaysia (UPM) on 1/6/2011 as part of CME. Participation in the 4-week MINDFUL-Gym program (N = 53) was significantly associated with reduced level of stress (GHQ & PSS), increased level of mindfulness (MAAS), and higher marks in end of psychiatric posting exam. Slides can be downloaded from HERE. Happy MINDFUL-Gyming.

10 Tips For Mindful Doctoring

By Riva Greenberg

My 10 recommendations to turn a patient visit into a mindful healing encounter

1. Greet me by looking at me, call me by name and smile. Knowing you see me makes me more encouraged I’ll get good results working with you.

2. Point out where I should sit if it’s not obvious. Having you take charge of the small things helps reduce my anxiety about the big things.

3. Ask me a few personal questions. It energizes me and stimulates my thinking. This may help you better diagnose the problem.

4. Look at me when you talk to me. The eye-to-eye connection makes me feel that whatever is wrong you will help me get through it.

5. Use language I understand and speak slowly enough for me to follow. If I understand the issue I can better weigh my options and/or know what to do and why it’s important. This affects whether or not I follow your instructions.

6. Ask me if I have any questions and listen to the whole question before you answer. Listening attentively you may also hear what I’m afraid to ask.

7. Be thoughtful in what you say and do. I am there because something is wrong and I am worried. Your understanding will help me to do better, your criticism will add to the problem.

8. Reserve judgment. It will help me hear you.

9. Ask me to repeat back to you any instructions you give me. That way we will both know I have understood what to do.

10. Ask me if I have any questions at the end of the visit. If I do, answering them will help me take any necessary actions. If I don’t, you’ll have given me a dose of kindness and respect.

Lazy neck exercise