Researcher Elena Gillespie joins faculty for School of Mind-Body Medicine

Elana Gillespie, Ph.D.

Elana Gillespie, Ph.D.

Elena Gillespie, PhD, is a new addition to the research faculty in Saybrook University’s School of Mind-Body Medicine.  She will be teaching a course on Quantitative Research Resign for Healthcare.  Dr. Gillespie has been involved in research for nearly twenty years with a focus in Mind-Body techniques.  She was co-founder of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Center at the University of Michigan funded by the National Institute of Health, now known as the University of Michigan Integrative Medicine Research Center.  Her study assessing the use of Reiki in the amelioration of pain in diabetic neuropathy was the second study utilizing Reiki as a healing modality funded by the NIH.  The results of that quantitative study were published in 2007.

She then moved to the United Kingdom and was co-investigator with Martin Stevens, MD, on a study assessing the use of taurine in the reduction of pain, again, in diabetic neuropathy. She also consulted on and co-authored a qualitative study with Luann Fortune, PhD, Director of Instructional Excellence, PhD Practice Specialization Director in the School of Mind-Body Medicine, assessing the lived experience of massage therapists based on their external certificates and qualifications.

Although well-versed in quantitative methodology, Elena has just published a chapter on qualitative methodology in Handbook of Clinical Research.  Since returning to the US, currently she is involved research in traumatic brain injury (TBI), and is interested in the use of Vipassana meditation in emotional regulation in patients who have suffered a brain injury.  She also has a research interest in the meaning and function of music in our lives.

Elena also trained with a psychic-shaman in Michigan for many years, and is a certified Medium in the Spiritualist Church, in addition to being a Reiki Master since 1988.  She previously conducted a private practice in Michigan, focusing primarily on working with patients with cancer, and in palliative care, when some of those patients chose to transition to end of life.  Her dissertation was a phenomenological-hermeneutic analysis of her transpersonal experiences with these subjects.  She has written a book based on her dissertation called The Anatomy of Death: Notes From a Healer’s Casebook.  The book will be available shortly on Amazon.  She also has a blog, A Farther Axis, where some of her stories are available for download.

Currently she lives and works in Indianapolis and lives with her partner, Steve, and her five finches, Henry, Nora, Sam, Janey, and Audrey, and enjoys cycling and writing.