Imagine a healthcare system where the patient is treated, not just the disease. Imagine a system where eastern healing techniques, yoga therapy, essential oil therapy, and nutrition are used in combination with western medicine in a holistic approach to patient care.
In 2009, the Urban Zen Foundation launched a new program designed to meet this vision: The Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) Program is a 500-hour advanced program focused on integrating multiple therapies into patient care.
Journey of the Integrative Therapist
Urban Zen Foundation, founded by designer Donna Karan, is based on three initiatives: preservation of culture, wellbeing and patient advocacy as well as empowering children. Under the wellbeing initiative, this foundation is dedicated to integrating eastern healing techniques with western medicine. By creating the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) program, Urban Zen has trained members of the healthcare and yoga communities in the healing modalities of yoga therapy, Reiki, essential oil therapy, nutrition and contemplative care. This curriculum is uniquely designed to address the classic symptoms of illness: pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, constipation and exhaustion.
The current paradigm of western medicine is to focus on treatment of the disease, not the patient. While science has made miraculous strides in controlling and eradicating disease, healthcare has neglected to include the emotional and spiritual wellbeing of not only the patient but also those who care for them, the nurses and loved ones. The objective of the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy program is to train and then to provide integrative therapists in hospitals, outpatient care centers, support groups and private practices to transform healthcare to include eastern healing techniques with western medicine.
During this curriculum, students from the healthcare and yoga communities are trained in five modalities of treatment; yoga therapy (breath awareness, in-bed movement, guided meditation), Reiki, essential oil therapy, nutrition and contemplative care. Each modality is introduced separately and then students are taught how to integrate the modalities to address whatever symptoms the patient or client is experiencing (pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, constipation (PANIC)). Once integration has been instructed, students begin their practical experience during their clinical rotation hours working with patients, loved ones and caregivers. Hours of such practice is required for certification.