Brookfield acupuncturist Jesse Foy believes the mind is a powerful tool in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Foy backs up that belief as the founder of Rooted in Mindfulness, a practice he developed several years ago after studying the discipline. Today, Rooted in Mindfulness offers an array of experiences from weekly drop-in practice sessions to formalized courses and workshops.
He became involved with mindfulness - a form of meditation - because he saw firsthand how his patients and others often get caught in a cycle of anxiety.
"This is really a combination of Eastern psychology and traditional medicine," Foy said. "I have worked privately with some of my clients for the past seven years or so, but the center just opened a few months ago."
The key to using mindfulness, he said, is living in the moment.
"In a nutshell, it is the practice of being able to look at your life and how you respond to what happens in your life," Foy said. "Instead of getting caught on automatic pilot in how you respond to certain situations, you learn to live with more intention and choice."
Foy said the key is to take in what the moment gives you, respond directly to it and move on.
"Whether you are dealing with being angry with someone or dealing with cancer, you can do this," he said. "But it takes practice. To master it is a lifetime thing. It's a matter of how much time you put into it."
Who it helps
It's easier said than done, and clients such as Lorrie Ransome and Patrick Nettesheim say it takes full commitment to master.
Ransome, of Sheboygan, said she felt a lot of stress in a previous job as a consultant for a global engineering firm. Her hectic travel schedule and high-level responsibilities were ingredients for an anxiety-ridden life.
After meditating on her own for 10 years, Ransome said, she met Foy at a stress-reduction workshop near her home. She has followed his practice and said coming to the Brookfield location is worth it.
"The more I got into it, the deeper I wanted to go," she said. "I don't react to things like I used to. If I get a flat tire, for example, I am calm about it.
"I wish I had encountered this much earlier in my life when I was in graduate school," she said. "There are periods of our life that are filled with stress."
An issue of health
Nettesheim, a Milwaukee resident with a pulmonary condition and chronic pain, said mindfulness has been one of the only successful answers to his health issues.
"I started with acupuncture with Jesse in 2005, and then I began with mindfulness after 2010," Nettesheim said. "It takes time, but you eventually learn to take the pain and compartmentalize it. We as humans can do a lot, and Jesse has a lot of faith in humanity. That's the key."
Traditional medical professionals also have begun to recognize mindfulness as an option. Dr. Corey Carr, a psychiatrist affiliated with Elmbrook Memorial Hospital, said mindfulness may not be mainstream, but professional therapists borrow from it.
One of those borrowed pieces is mindful-based stress reduction, a specific approach that Foy features.
"You see that stress-reduction component as a way to blend mindfulness into therapy," Carr said. "Therapy can be eclectic."
Try it out
WHAT: Rooted in Mindfulness drop-in practice and programs in mindful meditation
WHERE:4040 N. Calhoun Road
COSTS: range from $10 donations to $365
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