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Zen at Kerckhoff Hall

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:52 Written by Donna Karan Tuesday, 16 April 2013 04:43

yw+ucla main Zen at Kerckhoff Hall

Currently in session is the 3rd cycle of Urban Zen Integrative Therapy at UCLA‘s Kerckhoff Hall. This training is an introduction to the 5 modalities, guiding each trainee toward creating an embodied experience of the Urban Zen Integrative Therapies. Comprised of 50 trainees, cycle 3 includes the in-house staff training of doctors, nurses and allied health care professionals from UCLA. Each trainee has committed to accomplishing 50 hours of clinical rotation hours and on-site visits with a wonderful advantage of having access to patients.

The outcome of this cycle is to prepare the trainees for next month, when they will be practicing the UZIT Self-Care modality integrating their practice inwardly before working with patients throughout the UCLA Health System. Clinical coordinators who are UZITs are on campus at both of UCLA’s hospitals to support the trainees. Because of their vast clinical experience, trainees are also being taught a shortened version of the UZIT program designed specifically for in-hospital staff trainings.

Faculty members currently on-site at UCLA include Master Trainers Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman along with Mary Taylor teaching Contemplative Self Care. UZIT and UCLA faculty member Mary Beth Charno, RN, BSN, OCB, HNB-BC is also attending and supporting this session. All oils used for this training were generously donated by Young Living Essential Oils. Find out more about the UZIT program and where you can take a class here.

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Donna Karan Visits the Farber Center

Last Updated on Monday, 9 July 2012 11:04 Written by Urban Zen Wednesday, 6 June 2012 10:03

farber web Donna Karan Visits the Farber Center
Last month, Donna Karan visited The Farber Center for Radiation Oncology, meeting the Farber team and patients, to see the integrative practice at work. Characteristically, Donna expressed interest in every aspect of the center including how patients find themselves at The Farber Center, the range of insurance that is accepted, how the doctors and staff guard against professional burnout, and even how the treatment beds operate.

Founder, Dr. Leonard Farber was on hand to show Donna the state-of-the art facility and share his commitment to treating the patient, not just the disease. “The visit with Donna Karan was most rewarding for the patients here. It added another degree of tangibility to tie her in to her Urban Zen program, which the patients already enjoy wholeheartedly. We hope that Donna’s visit will culminate in a further expansion of the UZIT program at The Farber Center for Radiation Oncology.”

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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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