MDABC's Moves for Mind and Mood program
with Dr. Daniel McBain
A unique mental and physical health program for people ages 60 and over.
Research has demonstrated that regular physical activity can be as effective as antidepressants or cognitive-behavioural therapy for treating depression. Fifty-five percent of patients with major depression who engage in regular physical activity benefit from a significant reduction in symptoms.
The benefits of physical activity can increase when exercise is combined with mindfulness, a mental state of focused awareness on the present moment. Mindfulness helps people to calmly acknowledge and accept their emotions, thoughts, and sensations. Borrowed from Buddhist psychology, mindfulness is used in western psychiatry to help treat depression and anxiety, and to prevent relapse of major depression.
The mindful state has been investigated using the methods of cognitive psychology, and the two currents have been joined together in therapy. Mindful awareness of what is happening to us physically and consciously helps to improve emotional regulation. It is an important part of evidence-based therapies such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.
Mindful attention to movement can enhance our attention and cognitive control. Further, focused attention on movement is an easier portal of entry to mindfulness than conventional breath meditation. It can also be a lot more fun!
Research has shown that this works well with movement based not on forceful physical effort, but on sensitivity to variation and on exploring new kinds of movements. Martial arts such as Tai Chi are associated with increased mindfulness and subjective well-being. They also promote improved global cognitive function, memory and learning, mental speed and attention, visuospatial perception, language, and abstraction among the elderly with mild cognitive impairment.
Moves for Mind and Mood offers seniors a gentle program using the following static and dynamic mindfulness practices:
- Interoceptive meditation
- Mindful movement drawn from Buddhism and Yoga
- Mindful execution of Tai Chi-like manoeuvres adapted from a martial art called Wing Chun that is well suited to seniors.
Weekly classes are delivered via Zoom, roughly 90 minutes in length for eight weeks. Participation is voluntary. The leader, Dr. Daniel McBain, is a former family physician with a focused practice in primary care psychiatry, medical psychotherapy, and counselling. Dr. McBain is also a black sash candidate in Wing Chun Kung Fu.
Who Can Participate
Moves for Mind and Mood is suitable for people who meet the following criteria:
- Age 60 years or older
- Mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety and/or mild cognitive decline
- Do not have any physical conditions incompatible with mild physical activity, including but not limited to ischaemic heart disease, respiratory disease, limited mobility, orthostatic hypotension, sensory deficit
- Capable of managing basic computer functions
- Able to interact effectively in a group context
How to Participate
To participate in the Moves for Mind and Mood program, you will need a referral from your family doctor or psychiatrist. With the referral, the Moves for Mind and Mood program is covered by MSP.
To refer a patient to the Moves for Mind and Mood program, click here to download the referral form: Moves for Mind and Mood Referral form
Please fax the completed form to MDABC at **Our temporary Fax number: 1 866 821 5992. ** We apologize for any inconvenience.
Clients will receive a 20-minute psychiatric consultation with Dr. Daniel McBain prior to acceptance to ensure that the group is a good fit for the individual.
Space is limited, and not all referrals can be accepted. There will be a waiting list, and people will be assessed for commitment and availability before being accepted.
The Moves for Mind and Mood program meets once a week for 1.5 hours. The total program length is 8 weeks.
All sessions are currently held via ZOOM.
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Farb, Norman & Anderson, Adam & Irving, Julie & Segal, Z.V.. (2014). Mindfulness interventions and emotion regulation. Handbook of Emotion Regulation. 548-567. Frontiers in Psychiatry Review article. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2013.00071
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Meng Sun, MD, PhD, Krista Lanctot, PhD, Nathan Herrmann, MD, FRCPC, and Damien Gallagher, MB, MD, MRCPsych. Exercise for Cognitive Symptoms in Depression: A Systematic Review of Interventional Studies / Exercice pour les symptômes cognitifs de la dépression: une revue systématique des études interventionnelles. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry / La Revue Canadienne de Psychiatrie 2018, Vol. 63(2) 115-128
Jingjing Yang, Lulu Zhang, Qianyun Tang, Fengling Wang, Yu Li, Hua Peng, and Shuhong Wang. Tai Chi is Effective in Delaying Cognitive Decline in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Evidence from a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2020, Article ID 3620534, 11 pages. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/3620534
Walther, Andreas ; Lacker, Tim J ; Ehlert, Ulrike. The beneficial effects of Tai Chi Qigong and self-defense Kung-Fu training on psychological and endocrine health in middle aged and older men. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2018 Feb;36:68-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2017.11.021