What is well-being? In the age of quiet quitting and the amount of people struggling with anxiety and depression on the rise, The Ohio State University College of Medicine is transforming the idea of well-being through a body, mind and spirit approach. At the newly reconfigured Center for Integrative Health (CIH), conventional and complementary medicine are expertly combined to promote optimal health, prevent and treat disease and meet the physical, emotional and spiritual goals of patients.
“It’s not just physical wellness, not just mental wellness, not just spiritual wellness,” says Maryanna Klatt, PhD, director of the Center for Integrative Health and well-known researcher. “Rather, all three of those important aspects of wellness come together so you have the ability and the confidence to live life to the fullest potential possible.”
The CIH offers conventional medical care combined with scientifically proven therapy practices such as tai chi, qigong and yoga. Qigong exercise, similar to tai chi, consists of a series of breathing practices with body movement and meditation to attain deep focus and a relaxed state. Yoga is a spiritual and ascetic practice that includes breath control, meditation and posture-based physical fitness. Benefits include reducing stress, combating anxiety and improving muscle strength, flexibility, balance and aerobic conditioning.
In addition to patient care, the CIH faculty conduct funded research. Their funding includes more than $2 million in support through grants and collaborations to provide Mindfulness in Motion to first responders, health care professionals and other groups, including municipalities and employers, who can benefit from this programming.
“Mindfulness in Motion is an eight-week program for people to learn stress reduction and resiliency building,” says Dr. Klatt, who is also a clinical professor of Family and Community Medicine in the Ohio State College of Medicine. “People today are burned out, overstressed and don’t know what to do with it. This program gives them some strategies to try.”
Dr. Klatt says the program has been shown to have positive benefits for its participants through a combination of gentle yoga moves and mindfulness concepts like awareness of what you’re doing while you’re doing it.
The CIH team also provides integrative health education to all levels of health science learners — from rotations and shadowing to an undergraduate minor in Integrative Approaches to Health and Wellness, an advanced competency for fourth-year medical students and an integrative health physician fellowship.
The fellowship program is designed to provide physicians, future leaders in health care organizations, academic medical centers, government and industry with the wide range of knowledge and skills necessary to be successful practitioners in the field of Integrative Medicine. At the heart of this program, Ohio State-trained providers can work with patients to take an active part in their healing and well-being journey.
“My belief is that anyone can be well — someone in hospice, someone with cancer, someone struggling with a chronic disease. We are all called to be the best versions we can be,” says Dr. Klatt. “Well-being is the invitation to do that and to find ways that support us being well.”