VIDEO: Students Dish on Mission Thrive Summer

The Institute, in partnership with Real Food Farm, completed the pilot year of Mission Thrive Summer, a program for Baltimore City ninth and tenth graders that combines farming, cooking, nutrition education, fitness activities, and mindfulness training.

See what students had to say about their experience:

View WBAL-TV’s story about Mission Thrive here.

Student recruitment for Mission Thrive Summer 2014 will begin in February. For more information, contact Brandin Bowden at 443-681-7607.

Institute Awarded $1M Grant by TKF Foundation

Study will measure healing effects of nature on wounded warriors

The Institute has received a $1 million grant from the TKF Foundation to create an outdoor healing space and study its impact on wounded warriors who spend time there. Slated to break ground this winter, the Green Road Project will turn a swath of woodland into an oasis of respite on the campus of Naval Support Activity Bethesda, home of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

The only place of its kind on campus, the Green Road will include a streamside path, seating areas, a communal pavilion for casual gatherings, and a commemorative pavilion for honoring fallen veterans.

“While helping service members and their families restore their bodies, minds and spirits, the Green Road Project aims to expand the evidence base for using the natural environment as a tool for healing,” said TIIH President Brian Berman, MD.

TIIH has assembled a team of researchers to study the physiological, biological, and psychological responses to spending time on the Green Road. Using a new set of metrics designed to measure whole-body healing, studies will look at biomarkers of stress, analyze participants’ journals and stories, and examine changes in gene expression.

“Holistic therapies, such as art-making and encounters with nature, aren’t fully accepted because scientists haven’t had a way to measure their effects, but that’s changing,” said Fred Foote, MD, a TIIH Scholar who conceived the Green Road Project. “By 2016, we expect to prove by direct measurement that exposure to nature can heal the human body.”

Collaborators include the Consortium for Health and Military Performance at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (Department of Defense), NIH Clinical Center’s Pain and Palliative Care Service, and the University of Arizona Institute on Place and Wellbeing, comprised of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, College of Medicine, and the UA College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, University of Arizona at Tucson.

The Green Road was designed by a team of military service members, architects, engineers, landscape architects, and healthcare professionals. Design-build firm CDM Smith of Fairfax, VA, will perform the engineering and construction on the project. CDM Smith and the University of Maryland Landscape Architecture program are collaborating on the landscape design. Alt Architecture of Chicago is the designing communal and commemorative structures.

Funds for this project were provided by the TKF Foundation as part of the National Open Spaces Sacred Places Initiative. The mission of the TKF Foundation is to provide the opportunity for a deeper human experience by inspiring and supporting the creation of public greenspace that offers a temporary place of sanctuary, encourages reflection, provides solace, and engenders peace and well-being.

VIDEO: ‘Biofield of Dreams’ Offers New Way of Seeing the Body

To culminate his tenure as an Institute Scholar, Richard Hammerschlag, PhD, delivered a Capstone presentation: “Biofield of Dreams: Energy Physiology as a Basis for Integrative Health.”

Dr. Hammerschlag explored the possible role of connective tissue in monitoring and regulating the flow of energy, integrating the biofields inside our bodies with the biofields around us. This model offers a bridge between the Eastern, holistic view of the body and the conventional Western orientation, which sees the body as many independent units.

Forum Takes Cross-Cultural Look at Inflammation

With mounting scientific evidence linking chronic inflammation to serious diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, the topic of inflammation is high on the minds of physicians and scientists around the world. Close to 150 gathered in Salerno, Italy, in late October for the symposium, “Understanding and Treating Inflammation: A Transcultural Approach,” co-sponsored by the Institute for Integrative Health.

Medical experts from the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and the U.S. explored conventional biomedical perspectives as well as those of traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and functional medicine, among others.

“By bringing together health care professionals and researchers with diverse backgrounds, we gained new insights about the yin-yang balance of the process of inflammation. That understanding will allow us to develop better approaches for treating patients,” said Institute President Brian Berman, MD, who moderated a session on the relationship between nutrition and inflammation.

Institute Scholar Claudia Witt led the conference’s concluding workshop to identify gaps in knowledge about inflammation and patient-centered care. A consensus paper will be submitted for publication early next year.

Symposium partners included Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, the European Biomedical Research Institute of Salerno, and four other Italian medical institutions and foundations.

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Do you have a passion for integrative health and our work at the Institute? We’re in search of volunteers for a range of opportunities. Please contact Wendy Bohdel, chief operating officer.

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