Workshop: Wellness Ways

A class that promotes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Expected outcomes:
Improved health, which can prevent illnesses and diseases
Less sick time
Improved productivity
Increased satisfaction with life

Background: Dr. David Eisenberg wrote in the March 1993 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine that Americans spent $13 billion annually on "complementary healthcare." Since then, the American public, Kaiser and other HMOs and PPOs have increased their spending on complementary and alternative healthcare to well over $20 billion a year. Complementary and alternative healthcare includes acupuncture, chiropractics, massage and behavioral medicine, treatment modalities that provide high-quality, cost-effective approaches to healing and wellness that frequently outperform those offered by traditional medicine.

In Healing and the Mind, Bill Moyers describes how Stanford physician David Spiegel achieved a 50% reduction in mortality among breast cancer patients through support groups. The work of cardiologist Dean Ornish demonstrates the possibility of reversing heart disease with yoga, meditation, diet, group therapy and stress reduction.

Dr. Joan Borysenko, who worked for many years in healthcare at Harvard University, has divided medicine’s evolution into three distinct periods: Era I, the body and its mechanics; Era II, the mind-body connection; and Era III, the mind-body and spirit. We are now in Era III, so we must provide healthcare that addresses the mind-body and spirit. Anthropologist, choreographer and humanitarian Katherine Dunham argues that "the body, mind and spirit grow together and unite," and ultimately achieve "self-love."

Currently, Kaiser Oakland offers classes in Stress and Anger Management, Art and Healing, Mindfulness and Relaxation, Healthier Living, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Overcoming Overeating, Assertive Communication and Yoga.

This workshop: Wellness Ways will integrate all the above-mentioned classes and more by focusing on five topic areas:
Nutrition (e.g., organic foods and why they produce more chi or life force)
Emotional healing (e.g., how to address the roots of addictions--to tobacco, food and alcohol, among
other substances--that cause poor health)
Exercise (qi gong, yoga and salsa dancing, how to rejuvenate the mind-body-spirit)
Self-esteem (how low self-esteem prevents us from engaging in healthy behaviors)
Meditation (how thoughts affect our stress levels, blood pressure, proteins and genes)

About the Instructor: Indra C. Thadani RN, MS, has garnered 24 awards in education, service and innovations from Kaiser Permanente, and earned a Master of Science degree from the University of California, San Francisco. She has 17 years of experience in acute hospital care, 11 years in management & education and 2 years in long-term hospital care. She has extensive experience in program development, research, teaching, gerontology and college health. She has a proven record of strong leadership, organizational and communication skills, and has been described as "a highly innovative and competent systems thinker who values excellence, collaboration, compassion, and the ability to achieve results."

Thadani currently works 30 hours / week as a Health Services Coordinator for the Peralta Community College District, where she also teaches a three-unit Health Issues course each fall. She has consistently received excellent evaluations from deans, students and administrators. Further, she has a strong interest and professional background--over 32 years--in dance as a health-promotion activity, a field in which she has taught for 8 years.

Contact information: day: (510) 464-3516; evenings: (510) 434-1273


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