Original Presentation on: May 9, 2018
About the Webinar
The Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s Founder and Executive Director, James S. Gordon, MD, a world-renowned integrative medicine pioneer will explore the timeless origins of mind-body understanding and practices, share the excitement and critical findings of their modern scientific exploration, and offer a vision of how they can continue to revolutionize healthcare. This webinar will be an inspiring introduction to CMBM’s Mind-Body Medicine Webinar Series.
This webinar will provide an overview of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we hope to be headed.
I thoroughly enjoyed presenting the webinar to you last night and responding to your questions. There were, however, some questions that I couldn’t get to. Below are my responses.
First of all the model of self-awareness, self-care, and group support that we use is extremely versatile. It works with just about any population and has been (to respond to one of the questions) successfully used with people who are addicted to opioids in a variety of settings – at Bethesda Naval Hospital, in community mental health centers, and in community-based organizations. The people who use the model have come through our training program (we begin another cycle this October).
In the addition to the study I mention in which the 80% reduction in PTSD was maintained at three months follow-up, there are other studies which show a retention of benefits at seven and 10 months.
A couple of more words about epigenetics, Rachel Yehuda’s work which I cited, shows that the changes are transmitted through the chromosomes rather than from interpersonally, though of course, interpersonal influences can also be very important.
Someone asked about, “signing up for epigenetics research,” we are not currently doing that. important work is being done at the University of California, San Francisco, anyone wanting to learn more, should check out papers in which Elissa Epel is an author.
All of our training materials are translated into many languages: Serbian, Albanian, Hebrew, Arabic, French, Creole. We will soon be translating all of our materials into Spanish (we’re beginning a series of workshops at the end of June in post-hurricane Puerto Rico). Right now we only have translations of all the different techniques we teach (the different forms of meditation, guided imagery, drawings, movement etc etc). But stay tuned.
Someone inquired about our work with “Moral Injury.” Moral Injury refers to the pain that we suffer as a result of actions we’ve taken that violate our sense of morality – for example, deliberately or even accidentally killing a civilian during combat. In our small groups, where no one is pushed to speak about trauma or anything else, a feeling of safety develops in which people feel comfortable about sharing thoughts and actions about which they’re ashamed. Many people, including veterans, as well as those who have done hurtful things in civilian life, have been able, for the first time, to share what they did and how they feel about it. One of the techniques we teach to facilitate dealing with Moral Injury is a forgiveness meditation.
This approach includes, as one questioner suggests, the spiritual as well as the mind-body dimension. We address this explicitly in our training. Perhaps even more important we hope we manifest it in the respect and love with which we meet all those who come to any of our programs.
Thanks also to old friends who shared kind words.
Looking forward to being with many of you at upcoming webinars. And hopefully to seeing you at future center programs.
James S. Gordon, MD
Founder and Executive Director
The Center for Mind- Body Medicine