Dr. Richard P. Brown is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where he obtained his medical degree 1977. He completed Psychiatry Residency and a fellowship in Psychobiology and Psychopharmacology at New York Hospital, Cornell University Medical College. The recipient of numerous awards, he has authored over 100 scientific articles, books, and book chapters on pharmacological treatments, clinical studies, and complementary and integrative treatments in psychiatry.
A strong interest in natural treatments developed long before medical school. Gathering medicinal mushrooms with his grandfather in the hills of Kentucky, was an introduction to the healing power of plants. Summer visits to Indian reservations in Wyoming opened a world of traditional treatments. Learning martial arts from master teachers who routinely healed injuries in the course of practice demonstrated the power of ki, the human hands, and physical exercise. Intense breathing practices and physical and mental discipline are fundamental to martial arts. As an adult, training in Yoga and Qigong brought further physical, mental, and spiritual development. All of these sources, traditional healing and conventional medical training, contribute to Dr. Brown’s understanding and his practice of medicine.
For more than 30 years Dr. Brown has taught and worked as a psychiatrist, particularly as a consultant and resource for other physicians and health care providers who need help to treat very complex, treatment-resistant patients. Through the years, he has developed novel treatments—herbs, nutrients, mind-body practices, and emerging technologies—for many who were unable to respond to conventional medicines.
Dr. Brown developed a comprehensive neurophysiological theory of the effects of yoga breathing on the mind and body, particularly its benefits in anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Drawing upon his research and experiences as a certified teacher of Aikido (4th Dan), yoga, Qigong, and Open Focus Meditation, he developed the Breath~Body~Mind workshops for health care professionals, yoga teachers, survivors of mass disasters, research studies, people with medical illnesses such as cancer, and the general public. His workshops teach a unique fusion of ancient and modern mind-body techniques derived from QiGong, yoga, Christian monks, Coherent Breathing, Open Focus Attention Training, meditation, and martial arts. Through rounds of gentle movement, breathing and relaxation/meditation, participants learn how to improve energy, sleep quality, mood, stress resilience, emotion regulation, anger management, mental focus, compassion, empathy, closer relationships, and peace of mind.
Sponsored by the non-profit, Serving those Who Serve (www.STWS.org), Breath~Body~Mind workshops are helping people overcome the emotional and physical effects of the September 11th World trade Center attacks. These disaster relief techniques have been used by Dr. Brown and his trainees in Haiti, San Salvador, South Sudan and Rwanda. Under a grant from the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, Dr. Brown and Dr. Gerbarg trained 153 health care providers in mind-body techniques to relieve stress in caregivers and patients affected by the 2010 Gulf Oil spill. Drs. Brown and Gerbarg give weekend workshops at numerous locations and certificate teacher trainings at the Kripalu Yoga Center in Stockbridge, MA. Breath~Body~Mind workshops have brought new healing methods and transformative experiences to yoga teachers, health care providers, active duty soldiers and their families, veterans, and adults and children with a wide range of medical and psychiatric conditions in the US, Canada, Europe, South America, Australia, Asia, and Africa.
Dr. Brown gives over 100 lectures and courses every year. Since 1998, he has taught full-day courses on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as well as Mind-Body trainings for the American Psychiatric Association, other national and international conferences, military bases, and community service programs. He has lectured at the United Nations, the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, the Annual International Military and Civilian Combat Stress Conference, the National Association for Mental Illness-NYS, Gilda’s Club, the Buddhist Insight Meditation Center of NY, the All India Institute of Medicine, the Ackerman Institute, The Open Center, The Aspen Masters’ Conference for Integrative Medicine, Fellowships of the Spirit, the Coalition Against sexual Abuse, the Symposium on Yoga Research, and at numerous universities and medical centers. Breath~Body~Mind workshop webinars have been certified for Category I CME credits by the New York State Office of Mental Health.
Dr. Brown co-authored Stop Depression Now (1999) and The Rhodiola Revolution (2004). His 2009 book, How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, and Yoga in Mental Health Care (WW Norton), includes chapters on integrative treatments for people suffering from fatigue, stress, insomnia, anxiety, PTSD, depression, cognitive dysfunction, schizophrenia, addictions, and medication side effects. In the Health - Alternative Medicine categories, this book won First Place in the National Best Book Awards 2009, First Place in the International Book Awards 2010, and Bronze in the 2010 Living Now Book Awards 2010.
Dr. Brown and his wife, Dr. Gerbarg, have co-authored books and chapters including Stop Depression Now, The Rhodiola Revolution, “Complementary and Alternative Treatments in Psychiatry,” in the textbook, Psychiatry (Wiley & Sons 2003, 2007, 2014); and “Alternative Treatments in Brain Injury” in Neuropsychiatry of Traumatic Brain Injury (American Psychiatric Press 2004, 2009), The Healing Power of the Breath (2013 Nautilus Silver Book Award winner), Non-Drug Treatments for ADHD (2012 Winner Best Psychiatry Book in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards and 2013 Nautilus Gold Award winner), and How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, and Yoga in Mental Health Care (National Best Book Awards in Health: Alternative Medicine 2009 Winner First Place and International Book Awards in Health: Alternative Medicine 2010 Winner First Place).