A number of our associates had the opportunity recently (November 3-6) of attending another successful workshop with Matthew Sanford. They were reminded again that simple practices like grounding your hands and feet, taking a breath before you speak or standing back to back to support your co-worker are integrative health building methods, approaches which are becoming more common at PVMC.
These are sample techniques of the mind body approach developed by Matthew Sanford. In May of this year, PVMC was fortunate to have him return for a second visit to our hospital where he spoke to the community as well as holding two workshops for PVMC associates where he explored the mind body connection. Matthew, who is paraplegic as the result of a car accident at age 13, is a passionate yoga teacher, author of the book Waking, inspirational speaker and leading voice in the integrative health movement. He is the founder of the non-profit Mind Body Solutions in Minneapolis, which is “dedicated to transforming trauma, loss and disability into hope and potential by awakening the connection between mind and body.”
Matthew’s message closely correlates with Planetree’s Pillars of Healing Touch and Human Interaction. His approach allows healthcare providers to enrich the quality of their own experiences as well as foster richer, more fulfilling interactions between staff, patients and their families. His workshops provided insight into these concepts, and left many desiring even more. Karen Vizyak, Director of Physical Medicine, has worked with him over the past 5 years and recognized that a team of enthusiastic PVMC associates was needed to successfully integrate these concepts into the care provided at PVMC.
Thanks to the generous support of the Hospital Foundation, this team (Karen Vizyak, Christine Salvi, Director of the Patient Experience, Joyce Dann, Perinatal Charge Nurse, Theresa Solano, Med Surg Nurse/Clinical Coordinator, Nida Tansinsin, Physical Therapist and Nicole Woods, Physical Therapist/Therapy Coordinator) flew to Minneapolis to attend a weekend workshop called “Integrating Yogic Principles into Healthcare Delivery.” Prior to the workshop, Matthew held a private session for our team to practice techniques and discuss the application of these concepts at PVMC. The workshop was attended by 20 healthcare providers from around the country who shared their desire to take better care of themselves and their patients, employing a mind body approach. In addition to Matthew’s stories and teachings, the workshop included techniques taught by Matthew, a physical therapist, a lecture by a physician on the science behind the mind body approach, and a panel discussion discussing perspectives of the caregiver and the patient.
“Matthew’s workshop was astounding and inspiring. I left the workshop with a sensation of empowerment and enthusiasm to share this experience with my fellow peers,” Theresa Solano said. The team plans to continue educating others to incorporate these simple, yet effective practices into various areas of the hospital. Associates can use them to cope with everyday stress as well as applying them during patient care to decrease anxiety and pain and strengthen the provider/patient relationship.
Christine Salvi said the workshop helped drive home the realization that healthcare providers need to turn inward and remember “the importance of taking care of themselves first and foremost before effectively taking care of others.” The team looks forward to helping PVMC associates incorporate this approach into their work and lives throughout the new year ahead!
Karen Vizyak, MSPT
Director of Physical Medicine