Mind-Body Medicine in Schools: Las Vegas

Mind-Body Medicine in Schools
November 3, 2023

In part two of our blog series, Mind-Body Medicine in Schools, we take a look at The Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s work with Annie Weisman, PhD, MPH, LMT in Las Vegas, NV.

Las Vegas Landscape

CMBM Faculty Annie Weisman, PhD, MPH, LMT has dedicated her life to helping others. From helping teenagers experiencing homelessness work through their trauma to caring for people living with HIV/AIDS and in hospice, she has dedicated her life to helping her Las Vegas community heal.

After the traumatic shooting at Route 91 Harvest music festival in 2017, Annie felt compelled to help. While searching for tools to address and treat her community’s trauma, she came across the CMBM website. The next day, Annie was on a flight to New York, where she attended her first CMBM community workshop.

In this workshop, Annie engaged deeply with mind-body practices in the workshop, and brought skills like Shaking and Dancing back to Vegas. Inspired by the work, she enrolled in our Professional Training Program in Mind-Body Medicine and, when she got home, held a series of Mind-Body Skills Groups for those who responded to the shooting, including firefighters, police officers, emergency medical services, and coroners. She eventually went on to complete her CMBM training and earned her certification in Mind-Body Medicine. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Annie also created a series of mind-body skills videos.

Today, Annie continues her work with us as Faculty and through her work at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), where she currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Integrative Medicine and Culinary Medicine.

As the Director of Well-Being and Integrative Medicine of the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine, Annie and her colleagues also oversee Well-Being Program. The provides resources to support the nine dimensions of well-being—emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, sexual, social, and spiritual. She also leads Mind-Body Skills Groups for participating medical students, residents, faculty, and staff. She’s found that mind-body skills have a huge impact: participants are able to build resilience and increase mindfulness. They’re also able to cope better with stress, which benefits both them and their patients.

Over 400 medical students and 200 residents have received an introduction to mind-body medicine—either through Annie’s courses or participation in the program—and these numbers are constantly increasing.

Medical professionals often experience higher rates of stress, anxiety, and depression given the demands of the field. With the help of the Well-Being Program, Annie hopes that students and all medical professionals will be empowered to create and maintain a healthy and holistic lifestyle and tend to their well-being and mental health.

By being attentive first to their own well-being, these medical students will be more compassionate and more attentive to the health needs of their patients.

– Anne Weisman, PhD, MPH, LMT; Assistant Professor of Integrative Medicine and Culinary Medicine and Director of Well-Being and Integrative Medicine; University of Nevada, Las Vegas

However, Annie’s work extends beyond medical students and professionals. She has dedicated several years to introducing mind-body medicine to elementary schools in the Clark County School District, Las Vegas. At CP Squires, an inner-city elementary school, Annie collaborated with students and educators to skillfully implement mind-body techniques, including Soft-Belly breathing and active meditation. Recently, Annie—alongside CMBM Faculty Rosa Rauseo-Mazzocca, MS, LMHC and Matt Erb, PT—organized a burnout prevention workshop for approximately 50 teachers and counselors in the Las Vegas area. The participants gained valuable insights into evidence-based techniques designed to alleviate stress.

According to Annie, health outcomes in the state can be completely transformed through the successful implementation of mind-body medicine, proper nutrition, and movement. We know that Annie is single-handedly changing outcomes and are inspired by her work.

We’re all going to experience stress and trauma. It’s part of being human. But learning how to cope with it and learning these skills could circumvent chronic diseases from taking hold. This could change so many things.

– Anne Weisman, PhD, MPH, LMT; Assistant Professor of Integrative Medicine and Culinary Medicine and Director of Well-Being and Integrative Medicine; University of Nevada, Las Vegas
This work was generously supported, in part, by the Andre Agassi Foundation and the Guard Jamieson Family Foundation.

Create your own daily mindfulness practice with our Self-Care Basics or explore our model more deeply by enrolling in our February Online Professional Training Program in Mind-Body Medicine.

Learn more about our work in Schools, Universities, and Education Systems. Interested in bringing CMBM training into your school, university, or system? Partner with us.