Mind-Body Medicine


MBM Student Completes Master’s Project on Combination of Equine Therapy with Mindfulness for Cardiac rehabilitation: Heidi Tobin (Fall 2010 Cohort)



For my master’s project, I decided to research a medical subject that continues to account for the highest numbers of deaths in the American, adult population: heart disease and damaging cardiac events. I wanted to explore the possibility of offering a mind-body experience that has always been very healing and meaningful for me, to those living with injured hearts: interacting, riding, and partnering with equines (horses). This project proposes that two mind-body modalities—equine-assisted therapy and informal mindfulness practice—can work together to complement conventional medical interventions for those engaged in cardiac rehabilitation to decrease physical, emotional, and spiritual stress on the heart. In addition, I developed a plan of treatment using these modalities for stress-reduction in heart patients. I based this treatment protocol on a review of research on equine-assisted therapy and mindfulness practices, interviews with experts on equine therapy and cardiac rehabilitation, and existing programs of therapeutic riding.

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MBM Instructor and Musician Creates Healing Sound Environments for Hospitals: Introducing Susan Mazer, Ph.D.

Susan Mazer with Harp


Susan Mazer is using her artistic talent as a musician and harpist to help transform hospitals into healing environments through the gift of music.  Susan and her husband Dallas founded the C.A.R.E. Channel® (Continuous Ambient Relaxation Environment) nearly 20 years ago.  Their original music is available through television in 700 hospitals across the United States.      

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MBM Student Completes Master’s Project on Acupuncture and Biofeedback for Diabetes: Jennifer Leonard (Fall 2010 Cohort)



Diabetic patients in the United States are increasing in number every year. One often over looked influence on the diabetic condition is stress, whether it is emotional, mental, or physical. Literature published on the subject has brought to light the usefulness of stress management interventions, proving that they positively influence blood glucose levels.  Acupuncture and biofeedback relaxation techniques are among the interventions that have proven efficacious.

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College of Mind-Body Medicine Faculty Member Pursues Optimal Performance: Heather Dermyer, Ph.D.

Imagine working full-time as a Clinical Psychologist, teaching Ethics for Saybrook University’s College of Mind-Body Medicine, and working at the United States Olympic Education Center (USOEC) with Olympic hopeful athletes on the Speed-skating, Weightlifting, Women’s Freestyle Wrestling, and Men’s Greco Roman Wrestling Teams.  Heather Dermyer rarely has a day off, yet she enjoys every minute of her busy and productive life. 
In addition to living a dynamic professional life, Heather is also dedicated to her own self-care.  At age 17 Heather suffered severe physical injuries from an accident that left her unable to walk.  After four and one half years of specialists, procedures, and physical therapy, the medical community told her there was nothing else that they could do for her pain. 

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New MBM Instructor teaches mindfulness in psychotherapy and daily life. Meet Donna Rockwell, PsyD



I take great joy in being a clinical psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher. There are many links between the capacity to “sit with oneself” as a prerequisite to being able to “sit with another,” something I consider one of the most important elements in psychotherapy, perhaps, even, its essence. "If the therapist can sit with him or herself, and tolerate arising emotion, then," says the client, "maybe I can, too."

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“My Sabbatical Turned into a Life:” Introducing Jerrol Kimmel, Mentor in College of MBM

Jerrol Kimmel in Haiti, with Global Trauma Relief Program


I used to joke that “my sabbatical turned into a life.” In the mid 90‘s, during a difficult passage in my life, I moved to the east coast on a journey to reclaim myself. I was looking for “my people” and “my work.” Someone told me to connect with the Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM). Little did I know that this chance meeting would completely change the direction of my life.  The Center gave me a language for what I was already doing and a structure that brought out my greatest gifts as a teacher/healer.

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Integrative Medicine in Scranton Pennsylvania and on the Island of St. Maarten: Meet MBM Student Peter Amato



            Peter Amato is passionate about the healing potential of integrative medicine, and takes an active role in the ongoing transformation of health care.  His passion is evident at his integrative wellness centers, Inner Harmony.  The original center is located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Peter’s hometown.  The other center is located on the beautiful island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean, Peter’s part-time home.  In addition to running two integrative healthcare facilities, Peter has recently expanded his work to collaborate with the Integrative Life Centers in Nashville, Tennessee (www.integrativelifecenter.com), and has authored a book, Soul Silence, a spiritually focused way to navigate recovery.  Deepak Chopra's gracious endorsement graces the cover.

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Integrative Care for Low Back Pain: A Research Report Worth Reading



Does the name David Eisenberg sound familiar?  David Eisenberg’s landmark 1993 study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1993, put complementary and alternative medicine on the radar screen for most health professionals.  Eisenberg of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School and colleagues conducted a national telephone survey of 1539 homes, and surveyed the use of alternative therapies and alternative practitioners.  The Eisenberg et al. (1993) study showed that 34 % of respondents used at least one unconventional therapy in 1990, and one third of these persons saw a provider of unconventional therapy. They saw the providers for an average of 19 visits, and paid an average of $27.60 per visit. A majority used unconventional therapy for chronic conditions, and the most frequent disorders involved were back problems (36 percent), anxiety (28 percent), headaches (27 percent), chronic pain (26 percent), and cancer or tumors (24 percent). Another important finding by Eisenberg was that 72 % of those using unconventional therapy did not disclose this information to their medical doctor.

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Three New Certificates in Mind-Body Studies



The College of Mind-Body Medicine opened in August 2009, with a master’s degree and three PhD specializations (mind-body medicine practice, health care systems, and research).  In addition, the College offered a 16 credit Certificate in Mind-Body Medicine, for busy professionals who were not able to dedicate the time for a degree program. This certificate included a nine credit sequence of foundation courses that include training with the Center for Mind-Body medicine. This is the same training that the Center uses in its humanitarian outreach programs in Kosovo, Gaza, Israel, Katrina areas, and Haiti.

Information on this original Certificate in Mind-Body Medicine is available on the College of MBM website at: http://www.saybrook.edu/mbm/academicprograms/programs

At this time in May 2012, the College is introducing three new Certificates in additional mind-body practice areas.  They include:

A Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching

A Certificate in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback

A Certificate in Clinical and Applied Hypnosis

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Mind-Body Medicine student creates “super-foods” based nutrition programs improving childrens’ health in San Diego: Ruthi Solari


Ruthi Solari is a master’s student in the College of Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University, and the creator of SuperFood Drive (www.superfooddrive.org), a 501(c) 3 non-profit located in San Diego, California.  Ruthi found the inspiration to create SuperFood Drive while attending the Center for Mind Body Medicine’s Food as Medicine (FAM) conference in 2009.  The inspiration for super foods, or nutrient dense foods, came from reading Steven Pratt’s book, “SuperFoods Rx.”  Dr. Pratt’s book opened her eyes to the health benefits of specific nutrient dense super foods such as beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.  Ruthi’s goal is to improve the nutritional status of people that use food banks by providing ‘super foods.’ Upon returning home from the FAM conference, Ruthi taught herself how to start a non-profit.  In June, 2009, SuperFood Drive was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

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