Spirit Series and its related teacher training are about to reach their 50,000th student – grades 4 to 8 – and 1000th teacher. Harvard educator Howard Gardner, PhD – the multiple intelligences guru – called the NEH-supported program “powerful and impressive – a blend of the true, the beautiful and the good.” In a private meeting with Spirit Series’ founder Richard Strauss, a former musician, co-founder of the first rock-and-roll school, screenwriter and cranialsacral therapist, Gardner “looked over his glasses and said ‘you have a very idiosyncratic background for this work.'” As creative arts therapy rises at the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, this deeply integrative program has data to prove that it gets to the heart of the whole child and to the development of social-emotional intelligence.
The Integrator Blog News & Reports – now published via johnweeks-integrator.com (with content going back to 2006 at the original Integrator site) – annually marks the winter solstice with a Top 10 for Policy and Action in Integrative Health and Medicine. In the selection of each in the Top 10, “the accent” – as the jazzman sings – “is on the affirmative.” Thus the coming of the light from individuals and organizations in the field making positive contributions to shift the medical industry toward a system that focuses on creating health. The Top 10 lists for 2006-2014 are here, for 2015 here, for 2016 here, and for 2017 here. Below are the Top 10 for 2018.
An alert went out two weeks ago to a set of policy-oriented integrative health and medicine types. The Trump administration had published a report – “Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition.” The email suggested that there was support here for the non-discrimination in healthcare provision of the Affordable Healthcare Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”). Was this actually a dovetailing support of the Trump administration with the healthcare policy of his predecessor? I took a look and then connected a lobbyist who was on the ground when the Obama administration’s Section 2706: Non-Discrimination in Health Care was being drafted. The findings on the Trump study were mixed.
A significant trend is appearing in major research organizations on integrative health and medicine. The timing is right: in the United States, major reports, meetings and guidelines now include non-pharmacologic, a.k.a. integrative approaches. But how do we move these into practice? Top acupuncture, integrative oncology and general integrative health conferences are featuring what is called “implementation science.” This study of methods to promote the integration of research findings seeks to propel changes in healthcare policy and practice. The integrative trend arises amidst a renewed push for health services research of all kinds. Action on these lines can straighten out some twisted karma relative to the 1998 US Congressional legislative mandate that established the globe’s most significant scientific investment in alternative, complementary and integrative medicine.