Articles from local publications
Upstate New York Retreat Offers New Hope for Female Veterans
For the last century, working women have traveled to Wiawaka, a restorative lakeside retreat in New York state, to relax and recharge. Now the retreat center is reaching out to female veterans in an effort to help them work through the psychological scars that so often accompany military service. Every summer, the non-profit Creative Healing Connections hosts retreats for female veterans. On "CBS This Morning,” contributor Lee Woodruff got an inside look at some of the incredible transformations the female veterans experience.
Writing to Calm and Compose the Injured Brain
New York Times, 8/24/12
“There is an old 'we' with the ability to multitask. We could recall anything after hearing it only one time…We could remember where we left things…We remembered our wives and our anniversaries…our children’s birthdays. Those men are gone.” Two veterans met at a seminar in Washington called the Veterans Writing Project and immediately felt a bond. Both suffered traumatic brain injuries. Ron Capps founded the project to serve veterans like them, by providing no-cost seminars to encourage them to tell their stories. Capps, a veteran himself, used writing to recover from PTSD and depression.
Art & Healing a Focus for Local Artists
In early November 2011, Capital Health Medical Center opened with 800 pieces of art by 70 artists—all local to Mercer County, New Jersey. One of them was the multitalented architect, designer, and artist Michael Graves. Graves was partially paralyzed after a bacterial infection in 2003. Months spent in physical therapy experiencing poor hospital design prompted him to start a new line of well-designed health care items, including innovative tables and cabinets now in use at Capital Health. Graves, a Princeton, New Jersey, resident, enjoyed collaborating in an atmosphere in which “the artist feels beholden to make something really good.”
Clive Robbins, Developer of Influential Method of Music Therapy, Dies at 84
Clive Robbins, a developer of an influential brand of music therapy designed to help people with various disabilities meet the physical, mental and social challenges that are facts of everyday life, died on Wednesday at his home in Jersey City. He was 84. With his wife, Carol, Mr. Robbins established the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy at NYU in 1989.
New York Times, 12/12
For Disabled, Cuts Could Affect Lifelong Improvement
For Milla Powell, a 12-year-old from Austin, Texas, USA, with cerebral palsy, the little things make all the difference. Massage therapy eases her tightened muscles. Recreational programs help her build her social skills. Music therapy helps Milla, who cannot speak, connect without words. But services like these are on the chopping block for thousands of Texans with disabilities — another casualty of the significant budget cuts that state lawmakers passed in May.
New York Times, 9/1
NYU to Display 9/11 Inspired Works of Art, Therapy
When New York University Art Therapy Program Director Dr. Ikuko Acosta looks at some of the new artwork submitted for the program's upcoming exhibit "9/11 Arts: A Decade Later," she remembers some of the first responders and others who have been helped over the years, including a hesitant firefighter. He picked up a charcoal and began to draw to process his emotions.
Rwanda: Experts Discuss Improvement of Healthcare Through Arts
The Society for the Arts in Healthcare, the University of Florida Centre for the Arts in Healthcare and the Rwanda Red Cross convened for a two-day East-Central Africa Arts & Health Forum, held on May 13th to 14th, 2011. The forum brought together several participants from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and the United States. By integrating the Arts in Healthcare, presenters suggested the most effective ways to enhance individual and community health, improve health literacy, and provide new vocational skills to people whose lives are affected by illness and disability.
The New Times, May 16, 2011
Young Pain From Japanese Disasters Eased By Artmaking
For the youngest survivors of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, art has been a key to recovery. This week, some of their drawings came to New York City and were on display at the AIGA National Design Center in the Flatiron District. The non-profit group Hug Japan visited more than 100 schools along the tsunami-ravaged coast. Workers noticed lots of material donations but not much psychological support. That's where art came in. As part of the exhibit, New Yorkers can respond by drawing or writing postcards to the children.
NY1, May, 19, 2011
Can a Picasso Cure You?
Known for the monumental style paintings he created with Vitaly Komar that riffed on and critiqued Socialist Realism, Russian émigré Alexander Melamid's most recent project is something called the Art Healing Ministry. At the storefront clinic at 98 Thompson Street in SoHo, people can come in by appointment and be treated, by means of exposure to fine art, for a variety of physical and psychological ailments. With one client he instructs: “So when you go to a museum, you have to be very discreet. You don’t want overexposure — that’s as dangerous as to take too many medicines. Art needs to be taken in moderation and according to a specialist who can prescribe the right dosage.”
NYTimes, May 25, 2011
Among Thousands of Film Festivals, One About G.I.’s
Brandon L. Millett, a public relations consultant, and his wife, a West Point graduate and Army reservist, were dismayed at how Hollywood was treating the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. So they came up with a plan: They would hold their own festival featuring films that portrayed troops in a more accurate way. The resulting G.I. Film Festival remains the only American film festival of its kind. Among the more unusual films in this year’s edition is an interactive documentary short called “The War Inside” that allows viewers to play characters and change the course of the plot. The film is intended to be used in therapy for service members and their families dealing with post traumatic stress.
New York Times, May 9
Art Therapy Brightens Lives of Children with Chronic Illness
Brooklyn Hospital Center is hoping a colorful new art program will help brighten the lives of kids with chronic illness. Looking forward to an art class made a young patient dread the trip to the hospital for chemotherapy slightly less. The Queens Village sixth-grader who was diagnosed with leukemia last fall participated in a weekly art workshop recently launched in the hospital's Pediatric Oncology/Hematology Division. Division chief Dr. Swayam Sadanandan, said of the art program: "Their mind is not on needles or blood tests. It's on something positive." The six-month pilot program is run by New Jersey-based ArtWorks, which brings art therapy to sick kids in hospitals in New York and New Jersey.
NY Daily News, Apr 1, 2011
Artwork from Experienced Hands?
Amy Henderson knew the name she chose would be provocative. She was opening an airy 1,400-square-foot space in Portland, OR, U.S., for artists over age 60, and she christened it the Geezer Gallery. “It’s memorable,” she said. “It’s edgy. Laughing at oneself is a sign of maturity.” About 60 older adult artists have been selected to display their work — paintings and prints, sculpture, photography, furniture, jewelry, ceramics — at the gallery itself. “There are so many older artists who found their passion after they retired,” said Ms. Henderson.
New York Times, Feb 21, 2011?
When patients share their stories, health may improve
A gifted artist in his early 60s, the patient was a liver transplant candidate who learned he had hepatitis B some 20 years earlier. Before finally receiving the transplant, he confessed an overwhelming concern: that he would not be strong enough mentally and physically to survive a transplant. In desperation, he contacted several patients who had already undergone a transplant. “That’s what made me believe I’d be O.K.,” he said. “You doctors have answered all of my questions, but what I really needed was to hear the stories about transplant from people like me.”
New York Times, February 10, 2011
Music as the medicine of the mind
Besides the various medical treatments designed to help people battle cancer, Maria Montserrat Gimeno says, it's important cancer patients get another kind of healing — that of the mind and soul. Gimeno, a certified music therapist, conducts individual and group music therapy sessions for cancer patients in need of emotional support. They are structured into several parts that involve talking with the music therapist, choosing and listening to music, visualization and relaxation.
Poughkeepsie Journal, January 30, 2011
‘The Music Never Stopped’: This is your brain on rock
A hit at the recent Sundance film festival, “The Music Never Stopped” might also win over classic rock fans. The movie, based on the essay “The Last Hippie” by Dr. Oliver Sacks, tells the story of a young man (Lou Taylor Pucci) who, because of a brain tumor, loses the ability to make new memories. His father (J.K. Simmons) finds out from his therapist (Julia Ormond) that the music of the 1960s can help him reconnect.
Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2011
Poetry, painting to earn an M.D.
The course list for medical students can be brutal, including old standbys like gross anatomy, cell biology, and organic chemistry. Now, aspiring doctors can add to that poetry and painting. Medical schools are placing a growing emphasis on the humanities, including courses in writing, art, and literature. The programs aim to teach students "right-brain" insights and skills they won't learn dissecting cadavers or studying pathology slides. Schools hope the programs help to turn out a new generation of physicians better able to listen attentively to patients, show emotion, and provide sensitive personal care.
Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2011
Art Intended to Make the End of Life Beautiful
Tobi Kahn made a present for his mother on each of her birthdays. But in 2004, his mother spent her birthday in the hospital, dying of pancreatic cancer and experiencing side effects of chemotherapy, such as an altered sense of smell. Khan decided to give her a painting of flowers, hoping to inspire her sense-memory. “Why shouldn’t the end of your life be beautiful?” Mr. Kahn asks, and from this philosophy he has created works that he hopes will bring solace and comfort to those experiencing the end of life.
New York Times, Dec 31, 2011
Art Program at Johnson Museum Helps Addiction Recovery Effort
Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services CEO Bill Rusen never thought to use art in addiction recovery, but after setting up a program with the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, he is now a believer. “Very quickly I realized the power art can have — it gives [people recovering from addiction] the opportunity to be fully human again," says Rusen. The outreach program, which opens it’s doors to people from two addiction centers twice monthly, highlights how art can aid in the addiction recovery process.
The Ithaca Journal, Dec 29, 2010
Giving Alzheimer’s Patients Their Way, Even Chocolate
To help a troubled patient with Alzheimer’s, the caregivers at Beatitudes nursing home in Arizona responded by treating her to what she wanted, when she wanted it. Indulgence of this type is uncommon in nursing homes, but research shows that creating positive emotional experiences for people with Alzheimer’s can reduce distress and alleviate behavior problems. Some of these methods include using art, music, and exercise to improve mood, or even to increase lighting within nursing homes.
New York Times, Dec 31, 2010
Visually Impaired Children Create Art with Magic Paintbrush Project
Fox 40 News in Binghamton, NY recently featured the Magic Paintbrush’s project in Johnson City, in which children who are blind painted together on 3-d canvases with their families. The activity provides the families with an “activity that we can all do together,” as one mother explained. It not only helps build hand strength among children with visual impairment, but also helps children feel more included.
Fox 40 News, Johnson City/Binghamton, NY, Jan 2011
How Does Your Hospital Room Make You Feel??
In this commentary, Dr. Pauline Chen acknowledges that physicians and health administrators need to “acknowledge the writing on the (pastel) walls” — namely, that patients respond to hospital environments. A recent editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine warns that unless “we finally acknowledge the importance of the patient’s nonclinical experience, we risk losing these services altogether, as well as the clinical productivity these amenities inspire.” While it is has long been known that certain environments and building designs can influence patient outcomes, researcher have only begun looking at the role of amenities in patient decision-making.
New York Times, Dec 16, 2010
Children Ease Alzheimer’s in Land of Aging
They were stooped, hobbled, disoriented, fumbling around the house. The two perfectly healthy 11- to 13-year-old children had strapped on splints, weighted harnesses and fogged-up glasses, and were given tasks like “Doorknob Experience” and “Bathroom Experience,” to help them feel what it was like to be older. It is part of a remarkable South Korean campaign to cope with an exploding problem: Alzheimer’s disease. As one of the world’s fastest-aging countries, with nearly 9 percent of its population over 65 already afflicted, South Korea has opened a “War on Dementia,” spending money on a disease that is, here as in many places, riddled with shame and fear. South Korea is training thousands of people, including children, as “dementia supporters,” to care for patients.
New York Times, Nov 25, 2010
Medical Illustrations as Art
Medical illustrations are typically found in textbooks. But a new museum exhibition in New Jersey showcases these illustrations as art. The Morris Museum in Morristown is highlighting the work of Dr. Frank H. Netter, whose career as a medical illustrator spanned half a century. Dr. Netter, who died in 1991, produced more than 4,000 detailed images of human anatomy and physiology. The exhibition features 47 paintings, watercolors and pencil sketches, and “highlights the startling beauty and stunning accuracy of [his] illustrations,” according to the museum.?
New York Times, Well Blog, Dec 9, 2010
Painting at 99, With No Compromises
Artist Will Barnet moved to New York City in 1931 to accept a scholarship to the Art Students League, and he never looked back. Over the last eight decades, he has produced work ranging from the purely figurative to much more abstract, exhibiting over 80 solo shows. His work can be found in the collections of museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney. Reflecting on his own life and mortality, Barnet says, "I have no opinion on what it means to be 99 except that it’s different from being 19. I used to work 8, 9, 10 hours a day." Now he paints three or four hours despite losing the use of his left leg two years ago after a fall. "I didn't compromise, ever," he added. "The old masters are still alive after 400 years, and that’s what I want to be."
New York Times, October 27, 2010
Art Therapy Helps Children Cope With Tragedy
A loved one dying is a difficult experience for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for children, who often don’t have the words or emotional maturity to deal with their feelings. But kids still need a way to cope with their grief after the death of someone close. As CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez reports, therapists have found one way to help children — art. Whether it’s drawing, painting, sculpture or any other medium, it’s always been a powerful way to express emotion without words. “It allows them to take the pain and to take the sadness, take the frustration, take the questions, and put it outside of themselves,” art therapist Mary Gambarony said, “and that’s very healing in itself to get it out of you, put it on something objective in front of you and be able to look at it.”
CBS 2 New York, Nov 4, 2010
Starting Over as an Artist in Retirement
Stepping away from the workplace and day-to-day routines can spark latent creative impulses. In this article, author Kelly Greene profiles six individuals and a couple who have built second careers for themselves in the arts, either by reconnecting with talent stifled long ago or by digging deep and starting from scratch. "People often set interests or opportunities aside on the way out the door to pay the mortgage," says William Winn, a psychologist with New Directions Inc., a Boston firm that counsels retiring executives. In later life, though, "they may have more flexibility and freedom to pursue something artistic from their past, and to see it as more of a possibility than as fantasy."
Wall Street Journal, October 25, 2010
Rx Art For Hospitals: Just What The Curator Ordered
For most people, hospitals can be pretty frightening places — even if you're going there to get well. The fluorescent lighting, gray hallways and sterile examination rooms don't do much to inspire hopefulness. And while hospitals have become more physically welcoming in recent years, with new buildings designed by famous architects and lobbies filled with art, those changes rarely find their way to some of the hospital's most difficult spaces — the rooms filled with machinery where treatment actually happens. Diane Brown is trying to change that. She's the founder of Rx Art, a nonprofit group dedicated to bringing art into the examination room and giving patients a way to escape their bodies' sickness through their minds' imagination.
All Things Considered, NPR, Sep 30, 2010
Live Music in the MICU Creates Positive Environment
Music therapy, which can facilitate physical well-being, has caught the attention and interest of Mount Sinai’s medical ICU, which has begun to measure its benefits for patients, family members and staff. About six months ago, volunteer violinists began playing live classical music on the MICU. The music reminds everyone on the unit of special memories and engenders good feelings. Patients, family and staff report the music reduces stress levels and that they look forward to the performances.
New York Nursing News, Sep 27, 2010
Music Therapy Helps Vets Control Symptoms of PTSD
The khaki colored Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic in southern New Jersey doesn’t look extraordinary from the outside. But inside, there’s some groundbreaking healing going on, specifically in the psychiatry ward. This morning, 15 Vietnam War veterans are in the group therapy room. They all have their eyes on a woman in a deep red skirt suit and pumps known around the clinic as “The Violin Doc.” The lady in red is Dr. Mary Rorro and to be accurate, the 41-year-old’s getting ready to play her viola, not a violin. She’s a staff psychiatrist, but today she’s playing music to him and his fellow vets so they can relax and talk openly for the next hour about how they’re doing with their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Getting veterans like Browne back on their feet once they’ve returned from the war zone is becoming an increasingly urgent goal for the VA and for President Barack Obama. In his remarks to the nation this week on the final American combat troops returning from Iraq, the president promised more money would be allocated to the VA for medication and psychotherapy to treat the country's vets with PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
WNYC, Sep 4, 2010
Center for the Arts: From Ugly Duckling to Swan
The Center for Arts model, examined up close, mirrors that of many successful arts organizations in larger and more economically vibrant regions. Since Tom Burrows took over operation of the venue in 1996 (it opened in 1994), he and the center’s staff have been drawing a series of big-name touring acts, from Ray Charles to Wynton Marsalis to David Byrne. With earned revenue from these events, the center has been able to fund deeply substantive and community-focused programs like the center’s lauded Arts in Healthcare program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Women and Children’s Hospital. Its Arts in Healthcare program, adapted from a similar project in Florida, continues to bring artists, dancers, and writers into Roswell and Women and Children’s Hospital, picking up accolades as it goes. It’s the familiar old philosophy espoused for most of his career by Neal DuBrock, onetime visionary director of the extinct Studio Arena Theatre: Strike a workable balance between bankable attractions and your own personal artistic vision, but never sacrifice quality in the name of profit.
Buffalo News, Sep 5, 2010
Artist’s Therapeutic Paintings Create ‘Impressions and Abstractions’
For a lifetime, art has been therapeutic for Washington painter and psychologist Ruth Jaffe, allowing her to temporarily leave the scientific world behind to converse with nature through paint and brush, translating vibrant expressions of mood and imagination onto the canvas. The Argentinean-born artist was always interested in drawing and creative expression, “but was actively discouraged as a child and adolescent in favor of pursuing an academic career,” she said. She did, earning a Ph.D. in psychology and a post-doctoral degree in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy from New York University, and opening practices in New York and Washington. But art remained an area of interest she wanted to pursue, whether it was through classes at Skidmore College or at the Art Students League in New York City.
Housatonic Times, Jun 10, 2010
The Elderly, Through the Eyes of a Geriatrician
Dr. Jeffrey M. Levine was studying geriatrics at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan when he began taking classes at the International Center for Photography a few blocks away. A painter, printmaker and sculptor all through college and medical school, he’d lost the spare room he’d used as an artist’s studio after moving into a small Manhattan apartment. Hence, photography. Twenty-five years later, Dr. Levine’s moving portraits of older Americans have appeared on 30 covers of The Gerontologist, among other medical journals. “Aging Through a Physician’s Lens,” an exhibit of his work, was shown at the New York Academy of Medicine earlier this year and traveled to universities across the South. When he travels — to Japan, Australia, Mexico, Portugal, and Peru next — he asks guides to help him meet the oldest folks in town.
The New York Times, Jun 24, 2010
Exploring Music’s Hold on the Mind: A Conversation With Aniruddh D. Patel
Three years ago, when Oxford University Press published “Music, Language, and the Brain,” Oliver Sacks described it as “a major synthesis that will be indispensable to neuroscientists.” It was written by Aniruddh D. Patel, a 44-year-old senior fellow at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, who recently spoke to the New York Times about the connections between music and language. He explains, “I published a paper in 1998 that really surprised people. It was the first imaging study showing what happens when the brain processes musical grammar as compared with what happens when it processes language." One example is the use of music therapy for recovery from stroke. Patel explains that patients singing simple phrases, "has proved more effective than having them repeat spoken phrases, the traditional therapy.” In this compelling interview, Patel adds, “Music neuroscience is also helping us understand Alzheimer’s. There are Alzheimer’s patients who cannot remember their spouse. But they can remember every word of a song they learned as a kid. By studying this, we’re learning about how memory works.”
The New York Times, May 31, 2010
Using Theater as a Salve to Soothe Minds
The Italian avant-garde actor and author Dario D’Ambrosi has finally found a home for his longtime passion — working with those with mental illness and producing plays that portray their perspective on life. His Pathological Theater, in the northern section of Rome, may be the first European drama school where people with disabilities not only learn their lines but also design and make sets and costumes, and conceive dramatic plots. In a converted warehouse that opened last fall, 15 teachers instruct 60 students — some with schizophrenia, others having bipolar disorder, autism, or Down Syndrome — on the essentials of stagecraft. D’Ambrosi discovered an interest in mental illness and disabilities when he was 19 and spent three months as a visitor in a mental institution in Milan as research. Soon after, in 1978, he started writing and acting in plays that focused on mental illness. After failing to find any theater willing to stage his plays in Italy, Mr. D’Ambrosi moved to the US in 1980, when he met Ellen Stewart from La MaMa. He will return this October for an International Festival of Pathological Theater at the East Village theater. In the meantime his students in Rome are working on a production of “La Dolce Vita,” a play about the afterlife that will have its debut this month.
The New York Times, Jun 2, 2010
Ex-Lawyer Provides Refuge for Rwandan Orphans
As Manhattan's assistant district attorney, Anne Heyman defended the rights of New Yorkers. Now the former lawyer is lending her voice to millions of children orphaned in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Inspired by Israeli youth villages that took in Holocaust orphans, she and her husband Seth Merrin raised $12 million to build a village in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. Agahozo Shalom, meaning "a place to dry one's tears and live in peace" in a combination of Kinyarwanda and Hebrew, houses 250 students, who live, study and volunteer in the community for three years while attending high school. This summer, the students will release an album they wrote, sung, and recorded with the help of S-Curve Records' Steve Greenberg, who produced the debut album by the Jonas Brothers. The 17-song album, called Rhythm of Life, echoes the struggles the children have faced since the 1994 genocide with a mixture of a capella singing, African drumming, and songs such as "Don't Be Afraid" and "Never Again Rwanda." All proceeds from music sales will go back to the village. "What started as music therapy has become a huge part of their lives," says Ms. Heyman. "In the evening, you'll hear singing coming from the houses or kids sitting outside the music center having a jam session."
Wall Street Journal, Jun 2, 2010
War Zone Traumas Restaged at Home
Elizabeth A. Condon saw all manner of horror and heartbreak, from dead bodies in the street to memorials for fallen friends while serving in Iraq. But it was a moment of tenderness, she said, that stuck with her most. It happened when she was helping to care for a young Iraqi woman, whose belly was infected from an amateur cesarean. “The eldest women in the room took my hand, and started kissing my cheek.” Major Condon’s experience is one of 10 such moments—each drawn from a veteran’s experience in a war zone—that have been given a surreal twist by the photographer Jennifer Karady for “In Country: Soldiers Stories From Iraq and Afghanistan,” an exhibition at San Francisco Camerawork. “In Country” is the result of five years’ work by Karady, who interviewed dozens of veterans and asked them to talk about their most traumatic war moments. She then overlaid those memories onto their present-day lives, in the suburbs, back at school and, in one case, on the streets. Karady described a process that she called equal parts journalism and psychotherapy. “This thing is replaying visually in the person’s head, and we really have no idea what is going on,” she said. “But the idea, conceptually, of taking that moment and recontextualizing and placing it in the civilian world, is based on a therapeutic model.”
The New York Times, May 5, 2010
When Treatment Involves Dirty Fingernails
As acceptance of alternative medicine increases and interest in green initiatives grows, healthcare facilities around the country are establishing horticulture therapy programs as part of treatment plans for their patients. Whether it is the building of elaborate outdoor gardens, or simply a weekly gardening club with a few pots, bags of soil and seeds, these programs are proving to be effective. Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare, a hospital in Elmhurst, Ill., last year began offering plant therapy for rehab patients, with gardening activities such as hydroponic (no-soil) gardening offered twice a week as part of the menu of programs. Legacy Health System, a nonprofit operator of five hospitals in Portland, Oregon, began a Thursday Garden Club in 1991 for their nursing home residents with dementia. They quickly found that the gardening projects decreased anxiety and wandering, while increasing attention span and engagement. The Legacy Emanuel Medical Center features a therapeutic garden for people in their burn center with winding paths, a perennial garden, a fragrant garden and fountain garden. Though burn patients don’t necessarily work in the garden, it is designed to stimulate their senses and serve as a therapeutic environment where they can meditate and build their strength.
The Wall Street Journal, April 2010
Book Clubs for Doctors Show Human Side of Medicine
Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are tapping into their inner Tolstoys to better connect with patients. With increasing regularity, they're meeting in monthly book clubs to discuss medical-themed literature. Humanities courses are now required in many medical schools. A hospital in Bangor, Maine, hosted the first program in 1997. The idea has spread over the years to 25 states, including California, Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Virginia. ''If you want to understand what someone who is dying is going through, the highs and lows, the emotions, read Tolstoy's `The Death of Ivan Illyich,''' said Dr. Robin Blake. ''One hundred years before Kubler-Ross identified the stages of dying, Tolstoy had it.''
New York Times, Mar 11, 2010
This is Your Brain on Music
A spate of best-selling books have appeared in recent years with the promise of unraveling the secret of music's enduring power. However, an abundance of brain scans, experimental studies and case histories has, in the end, failed to answer certain vital questions about music including the way our brains respond to it. Despite some scientific success in mapping the brian’s discrete compartments, the brain is also an organ that resists efforts to render its workings in black and white. At a recent conference on "Emotion, Music & the Brain"—held at the State University of New York's Purchase College Conservatory of Music in Westchester in collaboration with the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function at the Bronx's Beth Abraham Hospital—Concetta Tomaino, Beth Abraham's vice president of music therapy, explained the phenomenon: "Simply put, the brain changes as it experiences and learns." In effect, those attempting to pin down its internal circuitry are chasing a moving target.
Wall Street Journal, Dec 18, 2009
Zen and the Art of Hospital Care
Anne Reigeluth, who is training to be a chaplain, was walking the oncology floor at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and heard a patient moaning in pain. Ms. Reigeluth stepped into her room, held her hand and tried to calm her by asking if the woman had a favorite place. A lake, she answered. What time of year did she like to be there? Summer. Soon, the woman was quieter, imagining herself at the lake and recalling better times. This is what hospital officials call Zen care, which is nondenominational and more about stress reduction, breathing exercises and “being present” with patients and their families than about quoting Scripture or administering last rites. At Beth Israel, such ordained Buddhist monks serve alongside priests and rabbis as chaplains. But, as Congress debates extensive changes to many facets of the healthcare system, it has pretty much ignored the institution of hospital chaplains. And yet, some hospitals are finding that chaplains of all faiths are playing an increasingly vital role, one made all the more important as workloads increase and budgets constrict.
Prescriptions Blog, New York Times, Dec 12, 2009