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By Gary Goldman

Over the last 30 years, I have been sick with various illnesses that have caused me to be out of my office, sometimes for significant amounts of time.  Although these were not deadly illnesses, they did greatly affect my life and my family.  They included migraine headaches, chronic back pain and ulcerative colitis.


After many drugs, hospitalizations and only days away from spinal fusion surgery, I was able to heal myself with the help of some very special MD’s using mind-body medicine.

At The Center for Mind Body Medicine I learned techniques of self-care, self awareness, and mindfulness. The focus is on the interactions between mind and body and the powerful ways in which emotional, mental, social and spiritual factors can directly affect health.  Using these techniques, I was able to heal myself. I now have a regular yoga and meditation practice and live a life without being in constant pain.

Now that I have healed myself I want to pay it forward.  Below is an easy technique you can practice at home to help ease your pain and discomfort:

Place: Pick a place in your home that is quiet and where you will be undisturbed.  By doing a practice in the same place each time, you begin to build an energy in that place that will support your practice.

Time of Day: Most people find either the beginning of the day or the end of the day easier for their schedules, but anytime that is you can maintain a consistency of the practice will work.

Length of Time: 10 Minutes is a good starting point, working up to longer periods of time.

Regular and Consistent: These are the keys to making progress with your practice.  This is YOUR time.  You deserve it.

No Judgment: The best meditation is the one you do! Keep watching, noting, being aware without attaching good or bad thoughts to the practice.

The Practice:  Settle in.  Close eyes. Breathe in and out slowly.  Feel the breath.  Observe the breath.  If any thoughts come in, let them in and let them out.

As you breathe in, say the word “soft” to yourself.  As you breathe out, say the word “belly”.  Continue feeling the body calm and relaxed.

My training has enabled me to lead and teach others in these effective mind-body techniques.  My passion is to help others live a pain free life, to be of service, and share my experiences with others who have chronic pain and just cannot find a way out.

Join me at Blum Center for Health this month for a 4-week Mindfulness for Pain Relief Series. Click here for more information and to sign up!

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The Powerful Benefits of Meditation

A new study conducted by Harvard Medical School has found that participating in an eight-week meditation training program can have measurable effects on how the brain functions even when someone is not actively meditating. Similar to this study, we’ve been seeing a great deal of news articles in recent months discussing the benefits of meditation and are excited to see the conversation growing.


Meditation as a practice and its resultant mindfulness are incredible tools that can be applied to every walk of life. Anyone can benefit from the deepening self-awareness that comes with devoting time to yourself and your thoughts (meditating) and learning new skills like breathing techniques. Think about it- the more focused and present you are, the happier and less stressed you can be!

Which is why we’re excited to be offering a Mind-Body Skills Workshop at Blum Center for Health beginning Wednesday, January 21st. Lead by Elizabeth Greig, MSN, FNP, the group meets weekly over the course of 6 weeks and provides a supportive small environment to gently begin the journey towards self-discovery, reducing and relieving stress and creating optimal health. During the course you’ll learn a series of powerful and effective healing techniques such as meditation and breathing to help you explore life changes and well being.

We also offer weekly meditation classes on Friday mornings (what better way to start your weekend) and beginning on January 20th will be offering a Tuesday meditation class focused specifically on reducing stress. If you can’t physically make it to The Center, our Learn to Relax Guide is a great tool to get you started towards understanding more about the connection between what is happening on the outside (life!) and what is happening on the inside (your body, mind and spirit). We look forward to teaching you more about these powerful tools!

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Elephant: Bringing Mindfulness to Medicine

Dr. Susan Blum discusses the importance and connection of meditation between patients and healing. “Estimates are that stress is a contributing factor for 80 percent of all chronic illness in our country, and numerous studies have shown the power of various types of meditation and mind-body skills to reduce the effects of stress in the body, and in many cases, reverse illness…Meditation also cultivates a self-awareness that is a crucial part of any health program.”

Read the article in its entirety, here: