of Integrative Medicine
May 7, 2021
On May 20-22 we will be hosting the 2nd Annual Advances in Mind-Body Medicine Conference, a virtual CE/CME event designed for healthcare professionals interested in using integrative mind-body approaches to providing patient-centered care. In the lead-up to the conference, we will be sharing some insights from our speakers on what drew them to integrative medicine, and their perspective on health and the future of health care. In this installment, we spoke with Dr. Andrew Newberg*, director of research and physician at the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health. He is board-certified in internal and nuclear medicine.
Q: What is the role of research in integrative medicine?
A: Research in integrative medicine is essential for bringing its concepts to the broader medical community. Doctors appropriately only want to use interventions that have evidence, both clinical and physiological, of working. By studying diet/nutrition, mind-body interventions, and other integrative approaches, we hope to show how they work and how well they work. By establishing how these interventions work, we hope that more and more physicians and hospitals will incorporate them into standard practice.
Q: What is something new about Mind-Body Medicine that you have learned in the past year, based on new research, evidence-based practice or personal experience?
A: Mind body medicine has important physiological effects that have an impact on overall health and wellbeing. We can observe these changes through neuroimaging techniques. Our research has shown that mind-body practices change the brain while you are doing the practice and then the effects linger and literally change the way your brain works.
Q: What excites you the most about working in integrative medicine?
A: Understanding the physiology of disease and health from an integrative perspective is extremely interesting. By using our PET-MRI scanner, we can observe specific ways that different disease processes affect the brain and body. And we can determine how integrative approaches help to improve disease and maintain health. This is particularly relevant to maintaining optimal brain health by ensuring that the structure and function of the brain are as good as possible.
Q: What is one piece of advice that you can offer?
A: Every person needs to find the right balance in their life with respect to their work, relationships, diet, and stressors. This means carefully evaluating the different dimensions of who you are and figuring out how to optimize your strengths and minimize weaknesses. Think about ways of improving your diet to more plant-based, protein-based foods. Use effective stress management approaches including mind-body practices like meditation. Assess stressors in your life and determine how to best work with them. Explore your spiritual needs through prayer, other practices, or just being in nature.
Register to hear Dr. Newberg and other integrative health experts at the second annual Advances in Mind-Body Medicine CME/CE Conference here.
*Dr. Andrew Newberg is a top physician-scientist with specialized expertise in functional imaging of the brain and body. He has created one of the most unique and diverse research programs in the world, and he has mentored hundreds of students. Dr. Newberg is board certified in both internal medicine and nuclear medicine. He has published over 200 scholarly articles, several best-selling books, he has been featured in media throughout the world, named a Philadelphia “Top Doc” several times, and listed as one of the “30 Most Influential Neuroscientists Alive Today”.