Teaching Thousands to Heal Millions
The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) was founded in 1991 by James S. Gordon, M.D. In the 25 years since then, CMBM has become a worldwide leader making self-care and group support central to healthcare, the training of health professionals, and the education of children. We have trained over 5,000 health professionals, educators, and community leaders from around the globe in our pioneering model; they, in turn, have integrated our program into their communities, allowing thousands to heal millions.
Throughout our history, CMBM has partnered with local organizations to address some of the world’s most intractable and complex psychological and physical problems. Now, as we commemorate our 25th year in the midst of these uncertain times, we are committed and prepared to greatly expand our reach.
The Need for Self-Care Has Never Been Greater
Now is a time of tremendous chaos and division.
Across this country and around the world, people are suffering severe psychological and physical distress. We face widespread loss of meaning and purpose, mounting levels of anxiety and depression, and rapidly increasing chronic illness. This psychic and physical pain fuels fear and withdrawal, anger and contempt. People are increasingly stressed and isolated, alienated and suffering. We see this play out in crisis after crisis in our communities.
Without a major shift in how we support mental and physical health, we as a society will continue to be driven further apart. There will be increasing despair, despondency, and violence. Current healthcare systems are wholly unequipped to address our needs. Each year, a greater percentage of global resources is spent on drugs and surgery. These interventions simply do not work for the issues most people face: psychological distress and chronic illness. The political leadership does not have answers for our healthcare problems, or for building trust within our fractured communities. We need new solutions.
There is a way forward. An opportunity to heal and strengthen our people. To increase compassion and bring our communities together.
CMBM’s self-care and group support model is the missing piece for transforming our failing healthcare, education, and community building systems for the better.
The Mind-Body Skills Small Group Model
For 25 years, CMBM has pioneered a model that brings self-awareness, self-care and group support to the heart of healthcare, education, and community building. Time and again, we have had astonishing success helping some of the worst-off communities around the world become more resilient and bridge their deeply entrenched social divides. .
CMBM’s model is scientifically proven to support population-wide healing. It works because it helps people biologically as well as psychologically. Mind-body skills provide simple ways to relieve stress and tension, calming the mind and body, and activating compassion. Our techniques include several forms of meditation; guided imagery; biofeedback; and self-expression in words, drawing and movement. Grounded in a group-based setting, the model increases connectivity. By teaching people how to take care of themselves and build supportive groups, CMBM’s model enables people to see humanity in those they previously feared or dismissed.
CMBM’s research and experience have shown the model’s effectiveness. Several published studies document that it leads to reduction in symptoms of post-traumatic stress by 80% or more. One of those studies, published in 2008 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, was the first randomized controlled trial of any intervention with war-traumatized children.
You are really amazing and we give great thanks to God for the remarkable work you are doing in so many places where God’s children are hurting.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate
How You Can Help
CMBM has the model, experience and plan we need to help many more high-need communities across the country and around the globe. With your support, we are ready to vastly increase access to our healing programs, equipping tens of millions more children and adults facing trauma with the skills and practices of self-care and group support.
We hope you will join our healing community.
A revered Lakota elder recently told me that The Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s (CMBM) work was “the missing piece” for his people and indigenous people everywhere. He and other tribal elders have said that we are giving them the practical, scientific tools to help a severely traumatized people restore balance to their minds and bodies. As they work with us they are realizing their capacity to live in the light of traditional wisdom as they meet the challenges of the modern world.
Their experience reflects the impact our CMBM work has had over the last 25 years. We have seen it in some of the world’s most troubled places as well as at home in American communities and professional schools: among our veterans and first responders; with the homeless as well as the privileged; for the desperately ill as well as the highly functional but highly stressed
Everywhere we work, we hear appreciation for the comprehensive way that our approach addresses the biology and psychology of stress. Everything we teach enhances each person’s capacity to help him or herself: the various forms of meditation; guided imagery; biofeedback; yoga; self-expression in words, drawing and movement. The small group model recalls the circles that people around the world have always created to promote understanding and healing.
The clinicians, community leaders and business people who partner with us are impressed, too, with the scientific evidence that supports each technique and confirms the effectiveness of our model for those who participate: consistent 80% reductions in post-traumatic stress disorder, significant decreases in anxiety and depression, and significantly enhanced compassion and hope.
The Lakota elder’s words challenge us to make this “missing piece” – of self-awareness, self-care and group support, of evidence-based health enhancement, of community-building and spiritual growth – available to people everywhere. It is time now for us to take this message to heart and to act. Social, economic and ethnic misunderstandings and divisions are widening; individuals and populations are facing the unmet and mounting challenges of increasing chronic illness; armed conflicts and fear of them are escalating; and our hope as well as our planet’s climate are ever more endangered.
At CMBM, we have a way to equip people everywhere to address the individual and collective challenges they face, to help all of us bond together to meet these challenges with greater intelligence and imagination, calm and compassion.
We have a plan. All we we need are visionary, committed partners to make it a reality.
James S. Gordon, MD