From Mind-Body Medicine

Break-Shake

Break and Shake

By Kelly Rulle

It was day two, 3:00 in the afternoon, and time for a break. Dr. Gordon instructed us to stand up; he was going to play some music. We closed our eyes and were told to shake our bodies. We started from the ground up, gently bouncing, moving our ankles, knees, and then hips. Continuing up the body, we moved our torsos, shoulders, arms, and head. We shook like this for six minutes to music that had an almost hypnotic beat. Dr. Gordon counted the minutes and encouraged us to keep shaking, keep moving! Even though the last minute felt like eternity, my eyes were closed, my body was shaking, and for a moment I felt as if I were alone in the room (I should mention that I was actually one of 400).

The music stopped; we opened our eyes and took a few slow, deep breaths. Ready for part two, I was hopeful that it would not involve more shaking; I was worn out! Dr. Gordon instructed us to close our eyes and move our bodies in whatever way would feel good. The music started; I started to move my body and then I started to cry. The song was Three Little Birds, by Bob Marley. Even though I’ve heard this song a million times, this time was different; I drank in every word as if it were brand new. As Bob Marley sang to me, “Don’t worry, ‘bout a thing, because every little thing is gonna be alright.” a huge weight was lifted off of me; I felt lighter, I could breathe! At the time, I was a medical mess, lots of tests, waiting for results, and fretting about the future. Obviously, I was letting my personal situation weigh on me more than I realized. I wasn’t fully present and I needed to let the worry go.

The importance of being free and in the moment cannot be over stated; I realized that I was not a participant in my own life; my body was in the room but my mind was elsewhere. Now I know that I need to welcome myself and allow myself to be present. Hello self, I’m so glad you’re here!

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Mind-body-skills-groups-for-medical-students

Mind-body skills groups for medical students: reducing stress, enhancing commitment, and promoting patient-centered care

By James S. Gordon, MD

When I started The Center for Mind-Body Medicine in 1991, one of my missions was to bring our vision of self-care and group support to medical students. I am happy to report that I’ve just published a paper that describes how our Mind-Body Skills Group (MBSG) model is currently being used in 15 medical schools. The article, “Mind-body skills groups for medical students: reducing stress, enhancing commitment, and promoting patient-centered care” is in BioMed Central Medical Education (James S. Gordon, 22 September 2014), one of the leading peer-reviewed journals of medical education.

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Koru-A-Program-to-Help-Students-with-Stress-at-Duke-University

Koru: A Program to Help Students with Stress at Duke University

By Margaret Maytan, MD

“I don’t think I would have made it through grad school without this class.”

This is a quotation from a Duke student who participated in Koru, a course to help students with stress that has its inspiration in mindfulness meditation and The Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s mind-body skills group model.

Koru, which is a Maori symbol for growth around a stable center, began at Duke University in 2007 and has since then transformed the lives of hundreds of Duke students.
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Contentment

Contentment

By Carol A. Penn DO, MA

Recently, my husband and I were on an 800 mile cross country drive returning our oldest son to college. The Sunday before the drive I had slipped and fallen, resulting in an injury to my rotator cuff; I also had cystitis (an annoying and uncomfortable irritation of the bladder); and my husband was having an arthritic flare, his right wrist throbbing. A few days prior to that our home was flooded accidentally when a bathroom faucet overflowed; shorting out our electrical system and collapsing the kitchen ceiling. I also had a recent job promotion with enormous responsibilities. We actually left home 4 hours later than planned because I had to go to work to complete some important tasks.

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A-Powerful-Healing-Map

A Powerful Healing Map

By Jeannine Walston

I am no stranger to intense cancer experiences. I have been following my own healing path since a brain tumor diagnosis in 1998, a journey that has included three awake brain surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy plus hundreds of integrative cancer therapies. Along the way, I have discovered my lifetime purpose is to help others affected by cancer. Attendance at The Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s training events with James Gordon, MD specifically emphasized the importance of self-care strategies and supplied valuable tools that have enabled me to assist others with their quest for healing.

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Shaking-and-Dancing-Challenge

Shaking & Dancing Challenge

By Liora Schneider

Shaking & Dancing Meditation has been my favorite exercise since I learned it in the Mind-Body Medicine Professional Training Program. To me, it’s a dynamic and effective method that immediately changes one’s state of mind.

In the groups that I have led, I have noticed that it’s one of the exercises that the participants enjoy and do the most in their daily lives. The group members who have practiced it say they feel more energized and happier, at least during the day they do it. It is easily practiced and duration can depend on the time and availability of each person.

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Fear-or-Trust

Fear or Trust. You Choose.

By June Hyjek

Many things have happened lately to make me fearful of others and of life itself. My world seems to be filled with people who hold unfounded grudges that baffle me and choose to say vindictive things for no other reason than spite. We’ve had deaths and serious illnesses, difficult medical prognoses. Family members whose actions are more about greed than family values. Job losses and insecurity. It’s been difficult to hold on to the trust and acceptance that got me through past challenges. I see fear peeking out of every corner, tugging at me, knocking on the door, enticing me to believe that the world is full of anger, resentment, greed and struggles. Fear is ready to haunt me, settle into my stomach and my bones. In fact, I can already feel it in my body, aching and throbbing.

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