Elizabeth and Maureen bumped into each other, and Elizabeth was carrying a book titled Manifesto for a New Medicine. Intrigued, Maureen asked about it, and from there they began a conversation about the work they were each involved in – Elizabeth in mind-body practices, and Maureen in healthcare communication. They were excited, because they knew what an impact they would have if they combined their individual work into one original model. Visionary sparks began to fly! Over weekly coffees and lunches they designed this innovative project, for those people who need it most – patients. As wellness and communication fanatics, Maureen and Elizabeth created The Wellness and Communication Project .
Mind-Body Skills for Stress Reduction & Wellness
Mind-body skills groups provide an opportunity to learn scientifically proven techniques - some ancient and some modern - for creating lasting health improvements in a supportive, confidential group setting. These groups change the way that we deal with stress, illness, and our lives. The impact of meditative practices on brain activity opens up possibilities for self-healing. We can use meditation and imagery, for example, to strengthen our relaxation response and reduce our stress response. Extensive research has shown that these practices can lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve immune, attention, and memory functions, and decrease anxiety and depression. The Wellness and Communication Project provides a similar group process.
- Meditation has been shown to increase gray matter in the brain in the regions involved with learning and memory, emotional regulation, perspective taking, and attention
- Over 80% of doctor visits are stress-related, yet only 3% of doctor visits include a discussion about stress reduction.
The patient – physician interaction is a personal, dynamic process. The relationship creates healthier patients when both physician and patient are engaged in the healing partnership. Effective communication is the means by which a physician makes the patient feel listened to and cared for, and the means by which the patient takes a responsible and conscious role in their care. Actively participating in decision making often requires the patient to communicate in a way that may be unfamiliar, or out of their comfort zone. Evidence-based practices support that when patients participate in decision making, they get better health outcomes. The Wellness and Communication Project provides the needed communication strategies and tools - applicable to any relationship-centered communication - for patients to talk with their physicians, in a way that gets their medical and emotional needs met, for their best health and quality of life.
- Studies of clinician-patient visits reveal that when interruptions occur, the patient may perceive that what they are saying is not important and leads to patients being reticent to offer additional information, leading to incomplete data upon which clinical decisions are made.
- Less than half of hospitalized patients can identify their diagnoses or the names of their medication(s) at discharge.