The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

All Will Be Well

All Will Be Well

“All is well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” This phrase has been reassuring for me in times of stress and anxiety for years. The fifteen months between May of 2012 and August of 2013 were months that challenged Julian of Norwich’s words as I lost both parents and my husband. I felt I could barely come up for air from one death, one crisis, until another hit. My friends were concerned for me; I have health problems including multiple sclerosis, and stress can exacerbate the disease.
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Break and Shake

Break-Shake

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!

Author: Kelly Rulle

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

Mind-body skills groups for medical students

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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Contentment

Contentment

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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Coping in the Courtroom — and in Life

Coping in the Courtroom -- and in Life

I assisted a young girl who was sex trafficked and helped her to overcome barriers with testifying in criminal court against her predators and they received maximum sentences as a direct result of my training through The Center for Mind-Body Medicine.
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Shaking & Dancing Challenge

Shaking and Dancing Challenge

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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TechnoStress in the Sauna

TechnoStress in the Sauna - Kathie Madonna Swift

The other day after my workout, I headed to the sauna to savor some quiet time to detox and unwind. Shortly after I got settled in to my warm cocoon and a meditative state, another woman came in to do the same, or so I thought. Wrapped in her terry cloth robe, she immediately reached into her pocket, pulled out her smartphone and began texting away.

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Fear or Trust. You Choose.

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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Shame

Shame - blog post

Shame is an inevitable component of binge eating disorder, so although it’s the most common of eating disorders, it’s rarely discussed.

Binging was a carefully hidden secret for me since my early teen years. I remember getting upset over a running injury and devouring a chocolate cake. Not a piece of cake — a whole chocolate cake — and it was still mostly frozen. Binging was my normal; I didn’t believe change was possible. So even as I got degrees in nutrition and ate more nourishing foods, there were still nights where I’d polish off a can of frosting, and suffer through the inevitable self-loathing hangover.

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Mind, Body, Spirit!

Mind, Body, Spirit!

I am facilitating my second Mind-Body Skills Group since completing both the Advanced Mind-Body Medicine and Food As Medicine courses. The first group started with eight members and ended with a core of four, who have since held two reunions with a third on the horizon. During the time between reunions these individuals have no contact except through me and yet they want to keep in touch, so every few months we get together for lunch.
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