Archive for the ‘health and medicine’ Category

Rainbow heart of fruits and vegetables


A must-read article, which explores the notion that “food, and the very rituals of eating, could also have the power to heal afflictions of the mind.” Check out the following statements by Jeffrey Zurofsky, the culinary director of a treatment center in California, who also sits on an advisory board at the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts:

“It’s not just that food can affect and change emotions…but that the entire act of eating, the physical process—farm to table in the most literal sense—can be analogous to the trauma healing process.

We talk about understanding of, and comprehension around, what is the true healing power of this food,” he says. “The ideas around the transformative power of not just food, but the table, and the context in which we enjoy our food, and the memories we create, and the social connections that we make in that experience—how powerful that is to heal us.”

Zurofsky even has a name for the approach: the meal as medicine.


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“We are lacking intimacy with the activity – and reactivity – of our minds…,” which can have tremendous impact on our health and well-being.

Humorous, relevant, and deeply embedded in wisdom: check out this new lecture by one of my most influential teachers of mindfulness meditation.


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As I mentioned in a recent past Facebook posting, I’ll be including the ACE’s (“adverse childhood experiences”) quiz in my standard new client packet in the New Year, so we can work together more effectively to identify all of the factors (past and present) that might be impacting your current health concerns. The good news is that with the rise of trauma-informed care, more providers – medical and behavioral health – are utilizing multi-disciplinary approaches to prevent the occurrence of problems that might arise due to a history of trauma, abuse, or neglect, and to more effectively treat any issues if they do emerge. In addition, psychologists are uniquely posed to help individuals build resilience in the face of adversity.

To obtain your ACE’s score and learn more about the ACE’s study, visit this article. I encourage you to share this information with all of your healthcare team members, as appropriate. And I should point out, while the ACE’s quiz is helpful in identifying risk factors, it does not include a review of the various positive experiences (i.e. loving and attentive family members or teachers, supportive role models) that you might have experienced as well, to offset any past negative events.

Finally, remember that it’s never too late to learn how to connect with others and to engage in more skillful, healthy self-care!

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fork and plateRonna Kabatznick, Ph.D., a Center for Mindful Eating (TCME) Board Member and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF, offers some advice on how to set up a daily mindful eating practice.


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I learned a lot during this past weekend’s free virtual mindful eating event, and I hope you did too. During future monthly events, I plan to offer only one video and related posting at a scheduled time (likely 9am on a Saturday). Short(er), sweet, and focused is the goal, beginning with a rationale, leading into a guided exercise, and inviting you to develop your own plan for implementation.

By engaging more fully and intentionally with our eating experience, and “listening” to physical sensations such as hunger or fullness, sensory information, emotions, and thoughts, we gain access to information that we can use to guide our decisions in the future…beginning with this: the very next moment. And all of the moments that follow, too.

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2370002698764This past month, I’ve re-read “Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine,” by Saki Santorelli, Ed.D., the Executor Director of the UMASS Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society. Dr. Santorelli is a long-time MBSR practitioner and teacher,  and I would add poet and philosopher to his impressive list of credentials, after moving through his book for a second time. And truly, I was moved.

Narrative medicine has been described as a way for healthcare providers to “…reach and join their patients in illness, recognize their own personal journeys through medicine, acknowledge kinship with and duties toward other health care professionals, and inaugurate consequential discourse with the public about health care. By bridging the divides that separate physicians from patients, themselves, colleagues, and society, narrative medicine offers fresh opportunities for respectful, empathic, and nourishing medical care” (Charon, 2001).

In Heal Thy Self, this author thoughtfully enters into an intimate exploration of his own experiences, personal and professional (as Saki himself reminded us during an MBSR training, the two are not separable, as much as we might wish to demarcate a distinction), over the span of a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course.

More than ever before, healthcare providers and their patients are engaged collaboratively in efforts to improve individual health and well-being. (more…)

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