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Celebrating the Mothers of our UZIT Program

Last Updated on Tuesday, 8 May 2012 04:11 Written by Urban Zen Tuesday, 8 May 2012 04:11

collage Celebrating the Mothers of our UZIT ProgramIn celebration of Mother’s Day we wanted to give a love-filled shout-out to the mother’s of our Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program. In the three years since the launch of the UZIT Program, several of our students have had the incredible experience of learning the benefits of the eastern healing techniques not only for patient care and self-care, but also for maternal care. Caring for the next generation included moms with baby bumps or baby seats, while others learned they would be receiving more than a certificate at the end of their training. These mothers and mothers-to-be were able to use the modalities to care for themselves before, during and after delivery, and the results have been beautiful, as you can see.

The whole Urban Zen team is wishing a very Happy Mother’s Day to our UZIT moms.

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Supporting Father Rick at NPH Saint Damien’s Hospital, Haiti

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 07:12 Written by Urban Zen Tuesday, 24 April 2012 07:02

by Janera Soerel

Fr Rick2 Supporting Father Rick at NPH Saint Damiens Hospital, Haiti
Father Rick. He is American—from Connecticut, in his 50s, tall, fit, and very handsome, with neatly trimmed hair. Wearing khaki pants, sneakers, a snugly fitting t-shirt with a leather string tied around his neck, from which a wooden cross dangled, he was polite when we were introduced, but his eyes darted away as we shook hands. He was a busy man.

A medical doctor as well as a priest, Father Rick’s career as a humanitarian has taken him to Mexico and Honduras. He has been in Haiti for the past 25 years, working for Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH), an international Christian mission that shelters orphaned, abandoned, and other at-risk children.

The Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) Program is supporting the efforts of Father Rick at NPH Saint Damien’s Hospital, a pediatric facility that treats its young patients without compensation. Teams of UZIT-trained integrative therapists have been traveling to Haiti to provide doctors, nurses, staff and relief workers as well as pediatric patients.

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Amazing Grace: A UZIT Experience in Haiti

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 April 2012 11:37 Written by Urban Zen Friday, 13 April 2012 02:27

UZIT Amazing Grace: A UZIT Experience in Haitiby Mae Sakharov

My personal journey with the Urban Zen Integrative Therapist (UZIT) training began in 2008 when I read an article about the program in the New York Times. I was immediately drawn to the cross-disciplinary approach, focusing on self-care and integrating ancient healing techniques to complement the best in modern medicine. Donna Karan, Rodney Yee, and Colleen Saidman Yee spearheaded the training along with a group of practitioners who implemented a pilot program at Beth Israel Hospital in New York. The program has carefully designed yoga therapy movements (individualized according to population), Reiki (or healing touch), and Essential Oil Therapy, all based in a framework of contemplative care to help cancer patients, caregivers, and ultimately the professional staff.

The positive results of this pilot program led to the first full practitioner training in 2009-2010 at the Urban Zen Center in New York. Numbering approximately 100, my fellow students included psychologists, physical therapists, nurses, dentists, yoga teachers, educators and administrators of large hospital programs. This training included individual speakers who have become seminal to the training: Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman Yee, Roshi Joan Halifax, Richard Freeman, Mary Taylor, Richard Rosen and many other amazing individuals from the healing world. Programs have now been implemented for nurses at Kent State University, The University of California at Los Angeles, Beth Israel Hospital, The Farber Center and other sites including St. Damien Hospital in Haiti. Donna Karan’s dream is growing and this coming August, the third training will be at Omega in Reinbeck NewYork.

During the 2011 training, I served as a mentor to new students and was selected as a leader in an exploratory trip to Haiti to see if the conditions would permit groups of fellow UZITs to make clinical rotations. In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, Donna Karan has devoted time and love to this remarkable place and we were blessed with getting to know and working with outstanding individuals at St. Damien Pediatric Hospital in Port Au Prince.

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