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Reflections On Sleep, And The Earthquake In Haiti
Posted January 15, 2010 | 12:30 PM (EST)

Biochemically, psychologically, and spiritually, each one of us has to make our own peace with sleep. But why the epidemic of sleeplessness? Is unrest merely your or my personal problem? Or is it a pervasive societal symptom?

Is there something about our world that keeps us up at night?...

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Healthy Christmas Shopping List
Posted December 18, 2009 | 02:16 PM (EST)

I always track the latest health research, the newest recommendations by doctors and experts, the best health books and products. So this year I decided that the most helpful thing I could provide is healthy gifts, that contribute to my loved ones' wellbeing.

So here's my healthy gift list--and I...

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A Meeting Of The Hearts: The Dalai Lama And The Thirteen Grandmothers
Posted December 12, 2009 | 11:08 AM (EST)

A number of indigenous cultures have foretold a time when humanity, our future, and the earth itself were at stake--due to human folly. In a typical fairy tale, folk legend, and in our hopes and dreams, at such a time "a hero" would come forth to save us.

But suppose...

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Smiling at Fear: Pema Chodron
Posted November 13, 2009 | 08:49 AM (EST)

What do you fear most--- the Swine Flu, or the Swine Flu vaccine? Airport terrorists, or airport security searches? Growing old, or the alternative?

If you answered "all of the above," you'll guess why I went to a weekend retreat on fear with Pema Chodron, the noted Buddhist teacher and...

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Hold the MSG: Food Triggers for Epilepsy and Other Neurological Illnesses
Posted October 26, 2009 | 05:23 AM (EST)

Last week, 60 Minutes reported on David and Susan Axelrod's search for a cure for epilepsy prompted by their two decade plus experience of the ailment, which their adult daughter has suffered since infancy. But while Katie Couric admiringly covered the researchers seeking to find "the Cure," ie. new anti-convulsive...

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A Guide For The Perplexed On Vaccinations: What The Coffee Jitters Tell Us
Posted October 20, 2009 | 12:30 PM (EST)

In following the vaccine debate, I've observed what seem like two completely different versions of reality. For those perplexed by this, here's a brief guide to a basic issue underlying this long-standing controversy: biological individuality. If properly understood, it can create the ground for reconciliation.

Have you ever noticed...

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Behind the Lost Symbol: Woo-Woo or Frontier Science? Part One
Posted October 12, 2009 | 11:15 AM (EST)

As it tops bestsellers' lists, Dan Brown's new book, The Lost Symbol, catapulted into the mainstream the frontier science he calls "Noetics," an area of active research for over twenty-five years, which he characterizes as humanity's best hope. Leading Noetic scientists report a concurrent boost in book sales and website...

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Mackenzie Phillips and the Stockholm Syndrome
Posted September 23, 2009 | 08:56 PM (EST)

In the aftermath of Mackenzie Phillip's shocking revelations of long term incest with her father, "Papa" John Phillips of the sixties' singing group, the Mamas and the Papas, some people are wondering why the actress allowed the incest to continue for ten years-- into her twenties.

The assumption is...

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Health Care By Sound Byte
Posted September 14, 2009 | 04:40 PM (EST)

I've always had trouble picturing the decline of Rome. Why would the Roman people get distracted by a mean-spirited and meaningless circus? At what stage of a civilization do cheap thrills become the best option?

Unfortunately, nowadays, I don't have to crack a history book to get that lesson....

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Their Money, Our Health: Andrew Weil Leads The Health Revolution
Posted September 8, 2009 | 07:49 AM (EST)

Dr. Andrew Weil's new book, "Why Our Health Matters" is a must read for anyone wondering why health care reform is in gridlock or what to do about it. In this book, Weil offers solid, original, clear-minded, and impeccably caring solutions for our health care conundrum.

"I am sure...

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Ted Kennedy and the End of All Health Care
Posted August 30, 2009 | 09:43 AM (EST)

Watching the traveling funeral cortege of Senator Edward Kennedy inevitably triggered memories of the funeral of John F. Kennedy-- the most tragic funeral of my time. The assassination broke America's heart. Its now iconic images mirrored our shared grief. If those images could speak they would remind us that we...

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Robert Thurman: The Sacred Cows in the Health Care Debate
Posted August 16, 2009 | 08:50 AM (EST)

Studies show that over half of all Americans are interested in promoting wellness and preventing disease. But some people are terrified that the food Nazis will come running after them and force feed them spinach.

In a series of upcoming blogs I'll be speaking with thought leaders in integrative...

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Why Self-Help Can't Solve It All
Posted July 24, 2009 | 07:40 PM (EST)

Would you buy a financial advice book from Enron executives about saving pennies for your retirement? No? Then what about former FDA Chief Dr. David Kessler's new self-help book on how people should "just say no" to neurologically seductive foods created by food industry scientists?

A former FDA chief advises...

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We Cared About Numbers, Not People: Former CIGNA PR Chief Comes Clean
Posted July 13, 2009 | 12:00 PM (EST)

"When you're in the executive offices... you don't think about individual people. You think about the numbers and whether or not you're going to meet Wall Street's expectations... That enables you to stay there, if you don't really think that you're talking about and dealing with real human beings, "...

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Making the Best of the Worst
Posted July 12, 2009 | 09:50 AM (EST)

Some people I know are exquisitely sensitive. Every hurt, harm, or horror imprints their impressionable soul(s). Meanwhile others laugh it off, tough it out, shut down, deny, or resolutely move on. How marvelous are the varieties of human resilience.

When I was a kid, I recall seeing a Jules...

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The Power of Prevention
Posted June 30, 2009 | 08:04 AM (EST)

"The attitude that we have a great system and we should not mess with it and if we do nothing we'll be okay, that's not true." President Obama told Diane Sawyer. "If we don't make these decisions we'll be worse off... If we're just going to just add more people onto a hugely inefficient system, I will say no because we can't..."

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Connecting The Dots
Posted June 19, 2009 | 07:26 PM (EST)

What's the single most important service you can do to help our troubled economy recover? Take care of your health! With health care costs rising (nearing 20% of GDP), if you commit to service for health, we'll all get a double-duty payoff (benefiting both health and the buckling...

Read Post   Having a Cow and Eating it Too: The Real Deal on Food Safety

How To Lessen Your Addiction To Animal Based Foods
Posted June 9, 2009 | 02:35 PM (EST)

I'm not the ideal candidate for a cleanse. When not on deadline, (which is practically always), I'm rushing around from one health seminar to the next. Meetings, interviews, causes, trainings, policy sessions, (and the occasional retreat) fill my days. Unless you can do a cleanse on the run, forget about...

Read Post   Having a Cow and Eating it Too: The Real Deal on Food Safety

Be the Change Now: Deepak Chopra Preaching in NYC
Posted May 21, 2009 | 09:42 AM (EST)

With the election of President Barack Obama, millions of Americans opted for "change you can believe in." But now as our country faces the tough job of redirecting a host of entrenched and interactive infrastructures that don't well serve the majority of regular people, many are wondering whether the major...

Read Post   Having a Cow and Eating it Too: The Real Deal on Food Safety

What Will Happen Next?
Posted May 1, 2009 | 11:06 AM (EST)

Have you ever wished you could see into the future for guidance on your next moves? Or have you ever been on the receiving end of that guidance?

If so, you've probably noticed that intuition, hunches, and outright premonitions, (typically vivid dreams forewarning future happenings--especially catastrophic ones) are real....

Read Post   Having a Cow and Eating it Too: The Real Deal on Food Safety

Having a Cow and Eating it Too: The Real Deal on Food Safety
Posted March 16, 2009 | 08:51 AM (EST)

When in the Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan portrayed agribusiness' unhealthy treatment of livestock animals, some readers suddenly lost their appetite for meat, going vegan overnight.

But others found "the sane food loophole:" Organic, pasture-raised meat and dairy-- the protein complement to the fruits and vegetables First Lady Michelle Obama championed...

Read Post   Having a Cow and Eating it Too: The Real Deal on Food Safety

The Doctors' Prescription: Oz, Weil, Ornish, and Hyman Talk Turkey to Senatorial Leaders
Posted March 1, 2009 | 09:54 AM (EST)

Not every health problem is an emergency. Unless you wait around and do nothing until it becomes one.

And that's what we've done ---as individuals and as a nation, now in the throes of a health care system in crisis with ballooning waistlines and ballooning costs. Supplying coverage to...

Read Post   The Doctors' Prescription: Oz, Weil, Ornish, and Hyman Talk Turkey to Senatorial Leaders

Day of Reckoning in Health Care
Posted February 25, 2009 | 07:58 AM (EST)

The unspoken corollary of the old adage, "If it's not broke, don't fix it.." is:

"If it is broke, we better fix it.."

Broken and broke. That's how a growing number of people -- including President Obama -- see the current health care system and what it does to...

Read Post   Day of Reckoning in Health Care

Do You Have the Right to Choose Your Health Care?
Posted January 18, 2009 | 01:04 PM (EST)

I'm all for lowering health care costs by taking more responsibility for my health. As a health journalist and coach, I'm a champion of supporting people to improve their diet, upgrade their exercise, and manage stress.

But a little question: if we're responsible, shouldn't we also have the freedom to...

Read Post   Do You Have the Right to Choose Your Health Care?

Fix Your Mood With Brain Food
Posted January 5, 2009 | 10:20 PM (EST)

Have you noticed? A lot of people are feeling funky lately.

With over $1.9 billion spent annually on antidepressants, and sixty million Americans (26% of the adult population) experiencing either depression or anxiety, Americans are not a happy bunch -- happiness prescriptions aside. If you or someone close to...

Read Post   Fix Your Mood With Brain Food

Resolving to Care: Integrative Health Care Reform
Posted December 31, 2009 | 04:16 PM (EST)

As a twisted Christmas present to Americans who care about health, the Wall Street Journal recently published an article knocking integrative physicians, Deepak Chopra, MD, and Andrew Weil, MD. Why? Why would the Wall Street Journal bother to devote space to this jibe? (For the doctors' reply to this...

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Something's Gotta Give: Ten-Point Plan for Integrative Health Care Reform
Posted September 19, 2008 | 11:05 AM (EST)

One likely aftermath of the recent Wall Street tremors is a next administration belt-tightening - which may impact one of this economy's highest ticket items: health. This occurs just as we planned to bring millions more under the insurance umbrella. Something's gotta give.

Though we need insurance coverage to prevent...

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McWounded: John McCain and PTSD
Posted September 27, 2008 | 04:01 PM (EST)

In the first Presidential debate, Senator John McCain exhibited an emotionally flat "shutdown" response when he did not appear irritable and cross. He refused to make eye contact with Obama, favored grandstanding over dialogue, and stated that he would refuse to come to the table with world leaders who don't agree with him. If in place of the...

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Stressed this Political Season?
Posted September 4, 2008 | 09:53 AM (EST)

Feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious this political season? If you're stymied, worried, or just plain despairing, Dr. James Gordon's new book, Unstuck (Penguin 2008) has some valuable strategies and insights for anyone who turned on the TV this week and felt like tossing the remote into the garbage.


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Returning to the Mat
Posted August 4, 2008 | 09:15 AM (EST)

As a teen, I first learned yoga from the classic Yoga in 28 Days, which 35 years after its original publication, is still in print. After a decade of dance study, I began a daily yoga practice that lasted over fifteen years-- including training to become a teacher of Anusara...

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The Sound of God Laughing
Posted July 16, 2008 | 03:04 PM (EST)

When the talk turns to God or consciousness and God, do you picture any of these?

Serene strolls across pristine sand by a dazzling aquamarine ocean,
Gazing awestruck at a vast indigo sky flecked with glittering stars,
Images of a cascading waterfall in a verdant forest....


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Healthy Lifestyle's Impact on Your Genes
Posted July 12, 2008 | 02:16 PM (EST)

When a Western doctor sticks a tongue depressor down your throat and tells you to say; "Ahhh," he's using one of the five senses to observe throat redness-- just one of thousands of signifiers of your health status. When an Ayurvedic physician "reads your pulses," he or she is also...

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Don't Take the Internet for Granted
Posted June 9, 2008 | 11:12 AM (EST)

Hearing and seeing Bill Moyers, Arianna Huffington, Naomi Klein, and Dan Rather--and a host of independent journalists and techies--all gathered under one roof at last weekend's National Conference for Media Reform (in Minneapolis) was soul refreshment for this 20+ year journalist. So why was I crying?

Because at last for...

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Why You Don't Need to Know Whether Cell Phones Cause Cancer
Posted May 29, 2008 | 05:07 PM (EST)

"Do cell phones cause brain cancer?"

This was the question that Larry King posed this week to Dena Cochran, the widow of Johnnie Cochran (who died of the disease), as well as to a group of five doctors. These docs commented on the "Interphone study" in which thirty-five researchers...

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Do You Believe in Objective (Ha! Ha! Wink, Wink!) Science?
Posted May 17, 2008 | 02:17 PM (EST)

As confidence in authorities plummets, one cherished bastion remains: the hallowed halls of medical scientific research. There we picture white-coated scientists making objective research determinations. Upon that bedrock, we make health decisions.

But does our image correspond to reality?

"The pharmaceutical companies say they're about the science, but they're...

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Making Peace with Mom
Posted May 9, 2008 | 08:16 AM (EST)

A bouquet of roses, a box of candy, or a long distance phone call? What will you give your Mom this Mother's Day? And more importantly, what will you feel as you offer your gift? Will your heart overflow with love and gratitude? Or will you be gritting your teeth,...

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Ms. Integrative Gets Sutures
Posted May 5, 2008 | 08:20 PM (EST)

I've been reporting on, learning about, and practicing integrative healing modalities for nearly two decades--and I'm constantly amazed at how powerful the most gentle therapies can be.

I really had the opportunity to put that to the test when I tumbled on the street, wound up in the emergency...

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Is Silver the Solution?
Posted April 29, 2008 | 12:40 PM (EST)

This week Detroit doctors reported an outbreak of seven cases of VRSA (Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a close cousin of MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an antibiotic-resistant infection that has proven deadly. The cases were discovered in nursing homes, wound clinics, outpatient kidney dialysis centers and hospitals, yet another reminder of...

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Same Old, Same Old ABC
Posted April 22, 2008 | 01:00 AM (EST)

Let's not forget that this is the same ABC that welcomes Cindy McCain to The View, the same ABC which refused to permit more than thirty seconds of the debate coverage to be re-broadcast by others, thereby hoarding coverage that should be considered -- and in the past was considered...

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Jenny McCarthy and the Autism Dilemma
Posted April 7, 2008

When I watch Jenny McCarthy on CNN or when I read the blogs (and comments) on autism, I keep wondering: What is this debate about? Yes, the parents of autistic kids are more "emotional" than the aloof doctors before them. But why are they met with anger, rather than compassion?...

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Don't Drink the Water: Overcoming Complacency in Health Reporting
Posted March 15, 2008

The media’s selling the Iraq war prompts outrage, yet the typical reporter’s eager acceptance of health reports and spins by the government and vested medical interests passes for “objective science.”

Health investigative journalism is an endangered species. So here’s kudos to the trio of Associated Press reporters, who recently undertook an...

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Don't Get Depressed Because Your Antidepressant is a Placebo
Posted February 27, 2008 | 04:16 PM (EST)

Stand back and watch the P.R. spin as a new study in a peer-reviewed journal finds that antidepressants make "virtually no difference at moderate levels of initial depression to a relatively small difference for patients with very severe depression."

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Jesus and Deepak in Midtown
Posted February 20, 2008

Last night, on the eve of the publication of his book, The Third Jesus, (Harmony, 2008) --currently a high-ranking Amazon bestseller, Deepak Chopra spoke of Jesus. Dressed in an elegant black Sherwani, (an Indian long coat with a Nehru collar), Chopra stepped forward from the nave of Manhattan’s St. Mary the Virgin Church, and casually...

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The Family Field: A Valentine to Enduring Connection
Posted February 14, 2008

When I first read The Field, I practically gulped it down like it was a mystery novel that I couldn’t wait to finish. As Lynne McTaggart writes in her beautiful sharing on this blog, the new science the book covers "suggests that at our essence, we exist as a unity, a relationship — utterly interdependent, the parts affecting the whole at every ...

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Just How Smart is Your Body?
Posted February 10, 2008 | 11:35 PM (EST)

We all know that ah-ha! moment when a new insight or experience changes everything. But ah-ha's are the province of the mind, aren't they? Like a backward beast, the body merely drags around our higher mental functions and our opposable thumbs. Despite its amazing capacity to self-heal, it's regarded as...

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New Year's Health Tip: Inoculate Yourself From Panic and Shock
Posted December 31, 2007 | 12:45 PM (EST)

You're in the airport, when the loudspeaker booms that the so-and-so authority has declared "an orange alert." Do you cringe? Or recognize the attempt to program you into fear? Whether it was yellow, orange, turquoise, or fuchsia, what exactly should you do? Squint suspiciously at your neighbor? Give up your...

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Family Karma Time
Posted December 24, 2007 | 01:50 PM (EST)

How to stay centered in a family gone awry when all the forces around (and in) you join to keep you caught in the same old roles and repeating patterns?

After twenty-five years of the self-help movement, we all know a heckuva lot about ourselves as individuals, but not enough...

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The Imperfection of the Aspirin Quick Fix10 Comments
Posted December 15, 2007 | 02:13 PM (EST)

In a recent post, Dr. Rick Positano calls aspirin "perfect" - a "wonder drug" in preventing heart attacks, strokes, even colon cancer. As an integrative health journalist, I wanted to offer a different view.

As Dr. Positano writes, people can "use aspirin if the benefit ... outweighs gastrointestinal...

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Medicine for the Body (Politic)
Posted November 21, 2007 | 10:20 AM (EST)

Assembled in New York City to be honored as Pioneers of Integrative Medicine by the Bravewell Collaborative, (a foundation directed by Christy Mack and devoted to promoting integrative health care), Andrew Weil, MD, and Larry Dossey, MD. and four more of this country's leading integrative doctors dialogued candidly...

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Pioneers of Integrative Health
Posted November 20, 2007 | 07:07 AM (EST)

For the wealthy, there are luxuries that millions can buy. But when raging fires strike enclaves in Southern California, no matter how valuable your property or portfolio, you learn that money can't buy you a stable environment. Nor can it buy you quality health care, some leading integrative doctors say--...

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Michael Moore Trumps the Loyalty Card
Posted July 12, 2007 | 05:03 PM (EST)

Along with apple pie and patriotism, loyalty to a cause, loved one, family, party, group, or country seems like it should always be a good thing.

But doesn't it depend on what someone is loyal to?

In the recent exchanges between Michael Moore and Sanjay Gupta, it's Moore...

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SiCKO: Why Health for Profit is Dangerous to Your Health
Posted June 29, 2007 | 10:29 AM (EST)

SiCKO is a must-see. At the press screening, an editor and reporter from an insurance industry trade publication sat in the same row.

Together we watched the film progress from the cancer patients bankrupted by medical payments, to the moms and widows left bereft when insurers denied their toddlers...

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Estrogen Therapy: Hot News or More of the Same?
Posted June 24, 2007 | 02:39 PM (EST)

In response to news headlines announcing "doctors change in course on estrogen replacement therapy," Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD, the OB-GYN and bestselling author comments, "This is nothing new."

The media claims that it's time to return to synthetic estrogen come in response to a WHI (Women's Health Initiative) study...

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Death, the Great Egalitarian
Posted June 18, 2007 | 12:06 PM (EST)

"We all get invited no matter how cute we are, how much money we have, or who our parents are. As far as I can tell no one gets out of here alive." So says Cynthia Burke (of the New York based non-profit group, Friends Indeed, which supports people in...

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An Urgency for Well-Being
Posted June 4, 2007 | 01:50 PM (EST)

Each day of Donna Karan's 10-day Well-Being Forum, certain questions and concerns circulated and echoed -- both publicly during the panel discussions featuring dedicated practitioners and thought leaders and privately in smaller gatherings over the delicious raw food lunch participants were served.

There was an urgency, as if...

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Who is a Healer?
Posted May 28, 2007 | 09:10 PM (EST)

Over the last two weeks, Donna Karan welcomed a diverse group of integrative physicians and practitioners into the Well-Being Forum at her late husband's studio. Her goal was to promote dialogue. And dialogue she got when the conventional and integrative faced off, and looked for commonalities in today's lively...

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Striking the Caring Chord
Posted May 22, 2007 | 05:53 PM (EST)

Today at Donna Karan's two week Well-Being Forum, the topic was Nurses: The Healing Touch. Donna welcomes everyone into Urban Zen, her late husband's former sculpture studio in downtown New York. Gathered together are a divergent group of leading integrative physicians, visionary thinkers, holistic nurse practitioners, media personalities, Buddhists,...

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PATH (Patient Advocacy Toward Health) -- an Urban Zen Initiative
Posted May 19, 2007 | 05:38 PM (EST)

Donna Karan welcomes everyone into the vast, raw space of her late husband's former sculpture studio in downtown New York. Gathered round tables, seated on pillowed platforms, and lunching on healthy gourmet cuisine, a divergent group of leading integrative physicians, visionary thinkers

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Since 1990, I’ve been writing, reporting, and contemplating the manifold dimensions of health in bestselling books, national magazine articles, blogs, TV and radio programs, and websites. Please share your questions and concerns with me at follow me on Facebook, or twitter or sign up as a fan to get my Huffington Post blogs here

© Copyright 2007 - 2010 All Rights Reserved - Alison Rose Levy