Academic Health Center promotes holistic medicine

A documentary shows the benefits of combining mind and body medicine.

Yelena Kibasova

Academic Health Center students and faculty members will gather Wednesday at the McNamara Alumni Center to watch a documentary produced by Twin Cities Public Television.

The documentary, called “The New Medicine,” concentrates on the growing trend of integrative medicine.

” ‘The New Medicine’ is about a new kind of health care,” said Jessica Bari, an associate producer at Twin Cities Public Television. “It’s really about showing that there is scientific evidence that your mind and your body aren’t disconnected.”

The University Center for Spirituality and Healing teamed with Twin Cities Public Television to create a planning tool called My Health Planner on “The New Medicine” Web site,

The planner is free to use and allows people to monitor their health by setting and tracking personal goals and receiving health information and tips, said Louise Delagran, an education specialist at the center.

“It’s designed to support you in behavior change,” she said.

People can get health information on eight topics, including diet and nutrition, stress mastery, spirituality and exercise and fitness.

“The New Medicine” Web site gives integrative medicine resources provided by medical professionals.

“It’s a really great one-stop shop for looking at this new kind of medicine,” Jessica said.

The two-hour documentary, hosted by the late Dana Reeve, wife of the late actor Christopher Reeve, looks at integrative medicine in terms of history, science and availability.

The first hour concentrates on the concept “that you can combine Ö traditional medicine with alternative healing methods,” said Dennis Novack, a professor at Drexel University in Pennsylvania who was featured in the documentary.

The second part discusses the doctor-patient relationship. Bari said a typical checkup takes eight minutes.

“People need more than that if they are really going to heal,” she said.

The holistic approach increasingly is being introduced in health education facilities.

“People are whole beings,” Novack said. “If we want to really take care of people and not diseases, we have to attend to all aspects of a person.”

After the documentary, a panel called The New Medicine in Minnesota will air locally with discussion featuring MaryJo Kreitzer, director of the Center for Spirituality and Healing, and other Minnesota health professionals.

“This is as a follow-up to show Ö how far along our health care community has come with integrative medicine,” said Cass McLaughlin, outreach coordinator at the center.

University health students and faculty members plan to meet again April 4 to watch a taping of the discussion panel, McLaughlin said. They also will host their own panel discussion at that time.