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Aspen becomes center for `new medicine’ series

Aspen Times Staff Report

Aspen’s nourishment of the mind, body and spirit has inspired a new focus on health and healing.

The Aspen Center for New Medicine, founded in January by local resident Glenda Greenwald, will make its presence known this summer with a series of events that will bring the public and health professionals together to exchange ideas.

The organization, said Greenwald, will build on the vision of Aspen’s modern founders, Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke. Their “Aspen Idea” helped shape the resort as a place to nurture the mind, body and spirit through cultural, intellectual and recreational pursuits.

“I was so impressed with what the Paepckes have built here in Aspen,” said Greenwald, who has called Aspen home for three years after visiting regularly with her family for some 30 years. “But I felt that what was missing was a world-class institution in the field of health and healing.

“Through the Aspen Center for New Medicine, we hope to bring to Aspen a place where mind, body and spirit can connect with the world of medicine.”

The ACNM will work within the Roaring Fork Valley as well as nationally to increase awareness and educate medical professionals and the public on “new medicine.”

The organization is founded on a concept explained by Dr. James S. Gordon in his book, “Manifesto for a New Medicine.”

The book literally fell into Greenwald’s hands while she was boating in the Caribbean. “It was saying everything I’d been thinking about,” she said.

Greenwald sought out Gordon in Washington, D.C., where he is chairman of the White House Commission on Complimentary and Alternative Medicine policy and director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine.

He will serve on the center’s professional board, helping direct its mission of integrating modern science with the wisdom of ancient healing. New medicine, Greenwald explained, focuses on the relation of the mind and body and the ways in which emotional, mental, social and spiritual factors can affect the whole of human health. The concept is often referred to as holistic medicine.

The idea is not to toss out modern Western medicine, but to integrate its tenets with other, ancient practices to treat the whole person.

“We want some additional ways of healing and some less-toxic ways of healing – if they work – and even some less expensive ways of healing – if they work,” Greenwald said.

New medicine, she said, incorporates the notion of “self care” and health promotion as a way of life. The connection between body and mind and the importance of spirit in healing are part of its approach.

Events this summer that will focus on new medicine include a Worldwatch Conference on the Environment, to be held July 20-21 at the Paepcke Auditorium on the Aspen Institute campus. The Worldwatch Institute will offer its “State of the World” message, and ACNM will present two speakers on health and the environment. The event will be sponsored by the McBride Foundation and ACNM.

“Cancer Guide” training sessions are planned July 22-29 at the Snowmass Conference Center. More than 100 health-care professionals from around the country are expected to attend and be trained on the use of complementary and alternative medicine in their treatment programs for cancer patients. The ACNM and Gordon’s Center for Mind-Body Medicine will co-sponsor the conference.

Finally, a Prevention Symposium is scheduled Aug. 22 at the Paepcke Auditorium. It will be the first major public forum presented by the ACNM and will offer presentations by leading practitioners of new medicine on advancements in preventative medicine.

The symposium will feature Gordon and other professionals, as well as two spiritual leaders who will discuss the positive effects of spirituality on health. The cost will be $45.

“The low cost of the event is a reflection of the ACNM’s commitment to keeping the public events accessible to all those interested in integrative and preventative care,” Greenwald said. “We think everyone should have access to this information.”

To contact the ACNM, e-mail the organization at newmedicine@aspeninfo.com or call 920-2957.

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