Physician and Saybrook Mind-Body Medicine Student Pete Buecker Creates Wellness Center
Dr. Pete Buecker initially became interested in mind-body medicine as a way to manage his own stress and health. His interest led him to study Mindfulness Meditation and he completed an 8-day Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction training retreat with Jon Kabat Zinn and Saki Santorelli from the University of Massachusetts. While he found the course personally transformative and continues to practice mindfulness, he wanted to learn more. His quest to learn more about the interface between the mind and the body to promote healing led him to consult the wise advice of Google. The search terms mind-body medicine led Pete to the Center for Mind-Body Medicine and the professional training programs that the Center offers. It was on the CMBM website where Pete began reading about the founder, Jim Gordon, MD, and his affiliation with Saybrook University School of Mind-Body Medicine as founding Dean. Pete was intrigued by the CMBM faculty profiles and the inspiring work people affiliated with the center are doing all over the world.
After researching the training programs offered through Saybrook School of Mind-Body Medicine, Pete initially enrolled to complete a Certificate in Mind-Body Medicine.&nbs p; After attending the first Residential Conference Pete fell in love with the program and after some soulful conversations with School of Mind-Body Medicine Administrative Director Dan Sterenchuk, mentor Jerrol Kimmel, and Director of Mentoring Devorah Curtis, Pete committed to pursue a PhD in Mind-Body Medicine in the Health Care Systems specialization.
Attaining a PhD in the Health Care Systems specialization will assist him in achieving some of his long term goals in health care, which include challenging the status quo of how health care is delivered. More specifically, he wants to start a conversation with his fellow physicians about how and why they practice the way they do. Some of the questions he is interested in are: “Is there a better way to interface with people during end of life?” “Can we take care of people as wholes?” He is also very much interested in the “why’s” of illness and disease.
Pete’s insight about how mind-body medicine can transform people inspired him to create a new dialogue with his patients. As an orthopedic surgeon people frequently come to him in a significant amount of pain, and sometimes feel hopeless. He began asking questions such as, “What do you do for yourself?” That meaningful question often resulted in a tearful response from the clients as they would reflect upon the deeper meaning of how, and if, they care for themselves. Pete began to notice a theme with his patients as they engaged in more heartfelt conversations about their own self-care. His patients seemed lighter and they commented that after talking with him they felt better. The realization that being present for another’s pain provides relief further fueled his desire to be a leader in changing how health care is delivered.
As Pete began to suggest healing modalities for his patients, such as massage or yoga, he realized that his community lacked many of the resources he was recommending. He began to envision a healing center with a collaboration of resources in one location. His dream was to someday create a place where people could learn how to care for themselves, or simply enter into a tranquil environment, which alone could provide respite from pain or life challenges. His dream quickly became a reality, and Wellness 360 (http://www.wellness360studio.com/) opened its doors to the community on January 2, 2013.
Pete commented on Wellness 360: “This is really my dream come true. I realized along the way that painful body parts often reflect painful lives. Wellness 360 is the mechanism by which I can help people to stop simply managing their symptoms and start healing their lives. What a beautiful gift!”