Complementary treatments can be integrated with conventional medical practices to offer patients the best of both worlds. As clinician/researchers we seek new approaches to relieve emotional and physical problems while reducing medication side effects. The goal of this newsletter is to share with you Integrative Treatments we find to be safe and beneficial. If there are topics you want us to cover, please let us know.
Breath~Body~Mind Goes On Line
Many people have inquired about our Breath~Body~Mind workshops because they want to enhance their physical and mental wellbeing. Health care practitioners, yoga teachers, and classroom teachers are interested in learning techniques they can use in their daily work to help others. Because we are engaged in active clinical practice, research, and teaching, we are not able to give workshops very often. We are excited to have an opportunity to offer our workshop for the first time online. Participants may attend the actual workshop in Lily Dale, NY or take the workshop online. This will enable anyone who is interested to participate even if they cannot travel to New York. For those who may be interested in eventually teaching these practices, we recommend first taking the course with us, second doing the practices daily for a period of time, repeating the workshop, and then getting some additional training and coaching with us.
October 23 & 24, 2010 Dr. Richard Brown & Dr. Patricia Gerbarg will offer the Breath~Body~Mind Workshop through The Fellowship of the Spirit. Viewers will be able to follow, participate, and ask questions online.
Watch future Newsletters and our website for further information.
From Sudan A Story of Coherent Breathing and PTSD
On December 4, 2009 / By Stephen Elliott / In Psychophysiology /
Adapted from the Coherence Newsletter, original article written by guest contributor Ellen Ratner, White House Correspondent and Bureau Chief for The Talk Radio News Service, author, and Fox News contributor.
In October 2009, in response to an invitation from Christian Solidarity International Ellen Ratner visited Sudan on a humanitarian mission. Many Sudanese have suffered years of war, torture, and starvation. Resources to treat PTSD are not available for most of the people. Ellen Ratner, Dr. Luka, and Pastor Mathews brought Coherent Breathing to help relieve their distress. Coherent Breathing is a simple program that uses a CD with a chime tone to pace the breathing at 5 breaths per minute (see www.coherence.com). This rate of breathing improves sympathovagal balance and calms the stress response system (RP Brown and PL Gerbarg, 2005, 2009).
Many Sudanese traveled long distances to participate in the Coherent Breathing program and reported that it was helping them to manage their thoughts and achieve feel calmer. Tests of PTSD symptoms are being given to document the effects. When the results are available, we will report on them. If this simple program proves to be effective in Sudan, it could be used to relieve PTSD in any natural disaster. Training local people to provide this program would not be difficult. It would make sense for everyone to learn Coherent Breathing to help provide stress relieve anywhere natural disasters occur. Many thanks to Ellen and all who participated in this mission for leading the way. Also, thank you for bringing our book to Sudan (see orange dress).
Heather Mason, founder of a company called Yoga for the Mind, is integrating psychotherapy, yoga therapy, mindfulness, and neuroscience in her approach to treatment of depression, anxiety and PTSD. Her background includes an MA in Buddhist studies, an MA in Clinical Buddhist-Based psychotherapy, training at the Boston Trauma Center, classes with Amy Weintraub (LifeForce Yoga), and extended residence in a Buddhist monastery. She is currently enrolled in a Neuroscience MSc program. Heather offers workshops, teacher trainings, and a structured 8-day cumulative skill based program for working with depression and anxiety. She is studying in the UK and will likely be working in the US in the not-too-distant future. We had the pleasure of meeting Heather and we were struck by her sensitivity, intelligence, and dedication to finding new complementary approaches to mental health challenges. We decided to feature Heather this month as an example of the new generation of yoga therapists who will have the training in therapy, mind-body practices, and science that is needed for yoga therapy to flourish in the future.
For information see: http://www.yogaforthemind.info
Dr. Patricia Gerbarg interview with Harry Croft, MD on Healthy Place TV, Jan 12, 2010
The show focuses on natural and integrative treatments for mental health conditions. Dr. Gerbarg provides a glimpse into integrative treatments, combining herbs, nutrients, and mind-body practices with standard approaches to improve outcomes and minimize medication side effects. She discusses best treatments for anxiety, PTSD, depression, brain function, fatigue, and post-Lyme recovery. This show may be viewed at: healthyplace.com/mental-health-tv-show where it has been be archived for those who did not see it live.
Dr. Richard Brown Offers Space in His Manhattan Office
Looking to rent one comfortable, large, sunny psychotherapy office in a ground floor suite staffed by psychiatrists and psychologists at 30 East End Avenue (between 80th and 81st). Spacious waiting area with 2 bathrooms for clients. Utilities (A/C, electric, water), maintenance and cleaning included. Currently available all day Monday, Tuesday, Wed, Friday, Sat, Sun, and Thursday after 6 PM. Contact: Dr. James Spencer at 212-249-3160.
Current Projects & Workshops with Service Organizations
Highlighting the work of service organizations interested in providing integrative treatments to those in need.
National Veterans Foundation
9841 Airport Blvd Suite 512, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Among the many services it provides, NVF is developing pilot projects using mind-body practices to help veterans and their families recover from the emotional scars of their war experiences. The mission of the NVF:
To Serve the crisis management, information and referral needs of all U.S. Veterans and their families through: Management and operation of the nation’s only toll-free helpline for all veterans and their families.
Public awareness programs that shine a consistent spotlight on the needs of America’s veterans.
Outreach services that provide veterans and families in need with food, clothing, transportation, employment, and other essential resources.
The founder of the National Veterans Foundation, Floyd ‘Shad’ Meshad has been working with Veterans since 1970. Meshad was a Medical Service Officer during the Vietnam War, where he counseled soldiers in the field who were suffering from a psychological and emotional problems resulting from their experiences in combat,
In 1985, Shad founded The Vietnam Veterans Aid Foundation (VVAF), a non-profit, 501- c (3) human service organization to help veterans and families. The VVAF established the first toll-free helpline in 1987 offering nationwide benefits information, resource referral, and crisis counseling. In 1992, the VVAF formally became the National Veterans Foundation.
Staffed by veterans (from Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert Storm, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan) who are specially trained in the delivery of crisis information and referral services, as well as licensed volunteer counselors to whom all crisis calls are routed, the NVF has served more than 275,000 veterans in need of medical treatment, substance abuse or PTSD Counseling, VA benefits advocacy, food, shelter, employment training, legal aid, or suicide intervention. NVF has provided financial assistance, training, and donations of food, clothing, and other goods to other non-profits serving the veterans’ including New Directions (CA), The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (NJ), LA County Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (CA), Desert Storm Justice Foundation (OK), Point Man of Northern California (CA), Veterans Coalition of the Hudson Valley (NY), Westside Stand Down (CA), Stamford Homeless Project (CT), US VETS (CA), and Swords to Plowshares (CA), among many others. The U.S. Government sought Shad Meshad’s expertise in PTSD to provide training to counselors at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The NVF is committed to developing the most effective means to help those who have served our country and their families. The NVF is open to all who seek emotional support and other assistance.
For the Fire Department of NY (FDNY) and their Families
Saturday, April 17th 10 AM - 6 PM & Sunday, April 18th 10 AM - 1 PM
Location: Subud: 230 W. 29th St. (Between 7th & 8th) 4 Blocks South of Penn Station 1 Block From the #1 28th Street Stop
We are happy to let you know that we are offering Dr. Richard Brown’s Breath~Body~Mind Workshop© for the 9/11 Community, exclusively for the FDNY and their families on Sat., April 17th & Sun., April 18th.
Many people that have taken the course in the past have enjoyed it tremendously and report positive changes in their lives. The course is especially beneficial for increasing lung capacity. Italian mountaineers who have done the breathing practices were able to climb up to 26,000 feet without oxygen while mountaineers who didn't take the course struggled in the same climb even with oxygen. 9/11 responders have had significant improvement in their pulmonary function testing and a reduction in ground-glass infiltrates in the lungs.
Research has also shown that extraordinary breathing techniques like those taught by Dr. Brown effectively relieve stress and improve energy, mental focus, heart function and endurance. These benefits have been demonstrated with many different people including victims of terrorism, war and natural disasters. This includes many members of the 9/11 community.
This workshop is normally $300 but Dr. Brown offers it to the 9/11 Community through STWS, including this course for the FDNY, for the low price of $75. In addition, FDNY wives, girlfriends and teen children can come for only $50 a person.
Dr. Brown volunteers his time for the course so 100% of the proceeds go to further the work of STWS. If you are on our 9/11 herbal formulas, by taking this course you not only learn very beneficial new info, you help yourself and others by helping STWS have more funds to offer our herbal formulas to the 9/11 community. To see a short video on Dr. Brown's workshop, go to: www.stws.org/video.htm. (The video has the dates to the first workshop in Oct. of '07 so ignore that.)
We hope to see all of you at the workshop.
Jose, Marshall and Nechemiah (Staff of Serving Those Who Serve)
For info, call Marshall Stackman at 212-631-1144 or Jose Mestre at 212-580-8043.
Serving Those Who Serve
Serving Those Who Serve (STWS) is a non-profit group providing services to people who are still suffering from physical and emotional illnesses related to the NY September 11th World Trade Center Attacks. The 9/11 Community includes First Responders, Ground Zero workers, WTC workers, and area residents. STWS sponsors our new Breath~Body~Mind© program for relief of physical and emotional distress as well as for personal development. Workshops are open to the public and a portion of the profits are donated to STWS. In addition to positive feedback from participants, our preliminary research data indicate significant improvement in measures of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms (Martin Katzman and Monica Vermani, in process). See www.stws.org.
STWS also provides Drs. Pankaj and Smita Naram’s Ayurvedic herbs (at cost) to help detoxify people exposed to chemical fumes from the WTC attacks and from working at Ground Zero. James J. Dahl, Ph.D., Research Director, Phoenix House Foundation, and Dr. Katherine Falk reported on a web-based survey of 50 people affected by the WTC attacks who were treated with these Ayurvedic herbs. All 50 respondents reported significant improvements in long standing, intractable respiratory symptoms, fatigue, and depression that had not responded to standard treatments. This article appeared in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. Jan/Feb 2008; 14(1):24-48. Correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org
Breath~Body~Mind Courses with Dr. Richard Brown
Dr. Brown teaches a fusion of modern and ancient practices to rapidly balance the stress response system, relieve stress and anxiety, and enhance physical and mental health. Training includes QiGong breathing and movement, Christian monk breath moving techniques, Coherent Breathing, and Open Focus Meditation. Proceeds from these courses will be used to benefit the 9/11 Community.
Manhattan, NY. Save the Dates: May 1 and May 2
Location and details to be announced. This will be the first Breath~Body~Mind Workshop open to the public, health practitioners, and members of the 9/11 community to be given in NYC in 2010. Proceeds will benefit Serving Those Who Serve. Watch for registration information in April at www.stws.org.
Professional Lectures and Conferences
9:00 10:30 am Plenary Session Brain and Mind Health: Roberta Lee, MD (mod), David Perlmutter, MD, Richard Brown, MD, Jay Lombard, DO
4:30 5:45 pm Richard P Brown, MD CAM Practice Movement and Breathing
Information & Registration: http://www.ihsymposium.com
March 6 2010 Anxiety Disorders Association of America
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore, MD.
Session # 150 Title: Breath-Body-Mind Practices for Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
Integrative treatments are needed to improve outcomes for anxiety disorders and to reduce the burden of medication side effects. By combining specific mind-body practices with standard treatments (psychotherapy, CBT, and medication) it is possible to obtain more rapid and more complete resolution of symptoms. Mental health practitioners are subject to caregiver stress and burn-out. Mind-body practices can help protect caregivers from the effects of professional stress. The goals of this symposium are to present the theoretical background, research evidence, and clinical applications of powerful self-regulation strategies to enable participants to improve their own well-being and the mental health of patients suffering from anxiety disorders including Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to childhood abuse, military service, and mass disasters. How to build upon this knowledge and use it in clinical practice will be discussed.
Session# 195 Experiential Training in Breath-Body-Mind Practices for Stress Reduction
Information & Registration: www.adaa.org
March 17-19, 2010 International College of Integrative Medicine
Nashville Airport Marriott, Nashville, TN
March 26-27 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium: The Power of the Breath Neurophysiological Tools for Self-Regulation
Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC
March 28 All-Day Workshop (#607) 10:30am12:30pm and 1:303:30pm: Breath-Body-Mind Practices for Caregivers and Clients to Enhance Empathy and Relieve Stress, Anxiety, and PTSD
Richard Brown MD and Patricia Gerbarg MD
There may be no clinical strategy as simple, effective, and useful as teaching clients soothing and healing breathing techniques. In fact, there’s now a large body of research demonstrating that a few easily learned breathing practices have powerful self-regulating effects that often quickly alleviate the symptoms of stress, insomnia, pain syndromes, anxiety disorders, and treatment-resistant PTSD without medication. In this workshop, we’ll review the neurophysiological research demonstrating the effectiveness of breathing techniques and their impact on cardiopulmonary function and the parasympathetic nervous system. You’ll learn a range of experiential breath-body-mind techniques, including “coherent” or “slowing down” breathing, Breath Moving, “ocean breathing”--a Yoga-based practice--and Open-Focus meditation. We’ll then explore a variety of strategies for integrating these tools into work with anxious and traumatized clients.
Information & Registration: www.psychotherapynetworker.org
The Psychotherapy Networker has been an innovative thought leader in our field for over 30 years. During that time, its annual Networker Symposium has become a leading conference, a reliable source of inspiration, learning, and renewal for thousands of therapists every year. We are pleased to be a presenters at this year’s Networker Symposium 2010 in Washington DC, March 25-28. We hope you’ll be able to join us at this annual celebration of all that’s best in our field. The Psychotherapy Networker provides stimulating learning experiences. NETWORKER Plugged-In is a year-round online teaching/learning community designed to extend the spirit of connection and shared inquiry that’s the hallmark of the Networker Symposium.
To add your name to Networker Plugged-In Resource List go to:
April 16 Ackerman Institute, New York
10:00 am 4: 00 pm Richard Brown, MD
Information & Registration: www.ackerman.org
May 7, 2010 Neuropsychoanalytic Study Group, New York sponsored by The National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis
1:45-3:00 pm Neuro-psychoanalysis and Yoga for Treatment of PTSD
Patricia Gerbarg, MD
Information : Neruro.NPAP@gmail.com or 212-288-0760
May 22-25, 2010 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting
Information & Registration: www.psych.org
Full Day Course #CO07 Saturday, May 22 9am-4pm: Complementary and Integrative Treatments for Stress, Depression, Anxiety PTSD, Mass Trauma, Cognitive Function, ADD, and Schizophrenia
Participants will learn how to integrate complementary treatments with standard treatments in psychiatry practice. The course focuses on research and clinical applications of complementary treatments for which there is sufficient evidence of safety and efficacy. The authors have selected those treatments that are the most useful for clinicians to integrate into their practices from the following categories: herbs, adaptogens, nutrients, nootropics, hormones, mind-body practices, cranial electrotherapy stimulation, and neurotherapy. Evidence for efficacy and clinical practice guidelines for integrative approaches will include the following diagnostic categories: Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Cognitive Enhancement, Brain Injury, ADD, and Schizophrenia.Participants will have an introduction to the experience breath techniques that rapidly relieve stress and anxiety.
Full Day Course #CO28 Sunday, May 23 2010, 9am-4pm: Yoga of the East and West: Integrating Breath Work and Meditation into Clinical Practice. Participants will learn the theoretical background and applications of two powerful self-regulation strategies to improve their own well-being and the mental health of their patients. A program of non-religious practices will enable participants to experience “Coherent Breathing,” Victorious Breath, Bellows Breath, and “Open Focus” meditation. Through a sequence of repeated rounds of breathing and meditation with gentle movements and interactive processes, participants will discover the benefits of mind/body practices. How to build upon this knowledge and use it in clinical practice will be discussed. An in-depth case of a patient with posttraumatic stress disorder who benefited from the addition of yoga breathing to her ongoing therapy will be explored from the perspective of neuro-psychoanalytic theory. This will also highlight clinical issues to consider when introducing mind/body practices in treatment.
This course builds upon introductory material presented in the Course “Complementary and Integrative Treatments for Stress, Anxiety, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Bipolar, Cognitive Enhancement, Brain Injury, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Schizophrenia.” This course is suitable for novices as well as experienced practitioners.
July 916, 2010 FridayFriday 7 nights
LifeForce Yoga® Practitioner Training for Depression and Anxiety: Level 1 with Amy Weintraub at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts
Dr. Richard P. Brown, and Dr. Patricia Gerbarg will join Amy on Sunday to contribute to her training program.
For yoga teachers and health professionals. This training interweaves ancient yogic wisdom with current findings in neurobiology. You will learn an evidence-based yoga protocol to help students and clients focus, relax, and have greater access to feeling states.
This program is eligible for CE credits for social workers, certified counselors, massage and body workers, and psychotherapists. Visit the Kripalu website for more information and registration.
Publications & Reviews
Brown RP and Gerbarg PL: Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Part I-neurophysiologic model. J Alternative and Complementary Med. 11(1):189-201.
Brown RP and Gerbarg PL: Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Part II Clinical Applications and Guidelines. J Alternative and Complementary Med. 11(4):711-717, August 2005.
Brown RP, Gerbarg PG, Muskin PR. Chapter 108 Alternative Treatments in Psychiatry in Psychiatry 3nd Edition edited by Tasman A, Kay J, and Lieberman J. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, London, UK. 2008, Pp 2318-2353.
Brown RP, Gerbarg PL, Muskin PR. How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, and Yoga in Mental Health Care. W.W. Norton & Company, New York. 2009.
Effects of a Yoga-Breath Intervention Alone and in Combination with an Exposure Therapy for PTSD and Depression in Survivors of the 2004 Southeast Asia Tsunami. Descilo T, Vedamurtachar A, Gerbarg PL, Nagaraja D, Gangadhar BNG, Damodaran B, Adelson B, Braslow LH, Marcus M, Brown RP. Acta Psyciatr Scand Aug 2009.
Richard P Brown and Patricia L Gerbarg. Part I. Longevity and Aging Advancements. Yoga Breathing, Meditation, and Longevity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2009, 1172:54-62.
"Yoga for Anxiety and Depression" Harvard Mental Health Letter April 2009 https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/April/Yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression
Review of How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, and Yoga in Mental Health Care, by Cathy Durga, LA Yoga magazine, June 2009.
About the Authors
Richard P. Brown, MD, Associate Professor in Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, NY is a psychopharmacologist and a certified teacher of Aikido (4th Dan), Yoga, Qi Gong, and meditation.
Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD, Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychiatry, New York Medical College, has a clinical practice in psychiatry and provides consultation for research on mind-body practices.