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February 13, 2012

Meditation Workshop Series Set at Simmons Cancer Institute

Registration is open for a three-week series of meditation workshops at Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. The classes are free and open to cancer patients, their families and caregivers and will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21, 28 and March 6. Classes will be held at SCI, 315 W. Carpenter St. in Springfield.

Reducing stress in both mind and body is an important tool for cancer patients, according to the American Cancer Society. In a controlled study of 90 cancer patients who did mindfulness meditation for seven weeks, 31 percent had fewer symptoms of stress and 65 percent had few episodes of mood disturbance than those who did not meditate.

The instructor for the class is David Cain, a Primordial Sound Meditation instructor certified by Deepak Chopra at the Chopra Center for Well-Being.

The first hour of the class each week will be spent learning about meditation, its history and how to get started. “The second hour will be spent using those skills and practicing meditation,” said Ellen Brotzman-DeSart, education coordinator for the Side-by-Side program at SCI.

For more information, call 217-545-0798 weekdays. Registration is available on line at or by calling 217-545-0798. The class, which is open to any cancer patient regardless of where they are being treated, is limited to 20 participants.

The Side-by-Side program at Simmons Cancer Institute helps patients manage the physical and psychological effects of living with cancer through a variety of free classes, workshops and support groups. SCI also provides individual counseling services for patients, their families and caregivers.

The mission of the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer care needs through education, research, patient care and community service.  Its website is