By Kalpana Shere-Wolfe, MD
This is a time of year where regardless of our cultural and spiritual backgrounds, we celebrate love, family, peace and hope. It can be easy to get swept away or overwhelmed with preparations, holiday meals, parties, and gift giving. As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season approaches, staying grounded and centered can be more important than ever. Meditation is a wonderful way to achieve this but as the yogis clearly understood stilling the mind is easier said than done. Sound is a wonderful tool for facilitating meditation – it can soothe, tame and center even the most chaotic and busy minds. Whether you are a novice or a long time meditator, sacred sound can keep peace, joy and light at the forefront of the holidays.
Sound is universal and timeless. Peoples from all beliefs, backgrounds and times – ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Shamans, American Indians, Aborigines and more - have used sound for healing and transformation. There are many examples of sound being referenced as a primordial force in our existence. In Vedic tradition, sound is considered a means to link with the Divine or Universal Force – “tasya vacakah pranavah”. The American Indians reference a Spider-Woman who created all forms of life and breathed life by singing Creation song. In the Christian tradition, the Bible states “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
By Elizabeth Parker, PhD
Construction of an employee garden at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center (MMMC) in collaboration with the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine is finally complete! Conveniently located on the hospital property close to the cafeteria and employee entrance, this space adds natural beauty and functional resources for hospital employees to have access to the natural environment. The garden will be operated and maintained by the MMMC hospital employees. The planters along the edge of the sidewalk will be used for growing seasonal vegetables, and the lower beds contain flowers that are native to the area. In addition to the vegetable garden and a flower garden, there is also outdoor seating for the employees to sit and relax. Garden aims to add beauty, improve morale and provide edible vegetation to employees.
By Jason Bosley-Smith, MS, LDN, CNS, FDN
Memory, focus, thought, creativity, analysis. Our brains perform these functions and many more in the daily processing of information. Perhaps even more essential, our brains regulate the bodily processes necessary for basic survival. Even the slightest impairment to brain function can be felt in dramatic fashion throughout our bodies whether it’s a lack of mental clarity, altered mood, or a downstream effect in the way we digest food.
According to Gómez-Pinilla, dietary factors can affect multiple brain processes by regulating neurotransmitter pathways, synaptic transmission, membrane fluidity and signal-transduction pathways.(1)
A nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet rich in colorful plant foods and healthy fats serves as the basis for brain-supportive nutrition. To truly target and enhance these various brain processes, research suggests that there are several nutrients that are of particular value:
By Rebekah Owens
In the fall, pumpkins are everywhere. They are fun to decorate and even more fun to eat. Elizabeth Parker, PhD, RD, registered dietitian, nutrition expert and researcher at the Center for Integrative Medicine, told me:
Be in the know
Support our programs
Learn with us!
We have great classes for health professionals throughout the year.
Learn more here.
Yoga Teacher TrainingLearn more here.
From the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School: