If you notice some PVMC employees taking a moment to support each other by standing back to back, they’ll enthusiastically explain the power of the mind body connection, as taught by Matthew Sanford, who led a yoga class and was our guest speaker June 4 & 5.
Matthew, who is paraplegic as the result of a car accident at age 13, is a dedicated 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.
After spending the day at the hospital teaching a yoga class, meeting with Administration and working with Physical Medicine patients, Matthew delivered a powerful message to a packed room of PVMC employees and community guests. He interwove his personal story and injected some humor as he discussed the critical importance of using a mind body approach that provides much-needed mutual benefits to providers and patients. He emphasized the need for providers to nourish themselves in order to provide a better experience for their patients. “My goal is not only to make a mind body approach mainstream, but also to show that it produces better outcomes while being cost-effective. The more connected patients are to their bodies as they leave the healthcare system, the better they will take care of themselves, and the less likely they will be to re-enter the system. This will save money. Fortunately, the most effective way to create a system like this is to help healthcare employees connect to their own bodies. This, in turn, creates great value and cost savings for employers.”
He drove this point home at his interactive workshop for PVMC employees the following day. Participants reported feeling rejuvenated and inspired after attending. They learned many calming, grounding, supportive techniques to apply to themselves as well as their patients – practical tools to use throughout the work day.
“What an amazing experience,” Marcie Demchuk, PVMC Foundation director said. “Spending the day with Matthew and the team helped me reconnect with the reason I chose to work in healthcare. The energy in the room was undeniable!”