By Erica Chester, Director, Corporate Communications
Participants at the 3rd Annual Mind & Body Wellness Day came from across the Mid-Atlantic region to learn more about the meaning of mindfulness and the role mental health has on health.
“It’s important that we all stay on the right side of care, and make sure we are doing all we can to progress away from illness,” said B. Rao Tripuraneni, MD, associate medical director and mental health clinician for Kaiser Permanente’s Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group (MAPMG) and health physician sponsor of this year’s event.
During opening remarks Dr. Tripuraneni discussed the importance of self-care by using the acronym S-E-L-F to help participants heed what contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
“S” is for Sleep – Sleep is the most important part of our being. Six to eight hours of restful sleep improves immunity; reduces inflammation and decreases infection and stress.
“E” is for Exercise – 150 minutes or 2 ½ hours of exercise a week is important to health.
“L” is for Love and Laughter – Love helps build positive relationships, reduces stress and improves an individual’s mood.
“F” is for Food – What you eat has a profound and long-lasting impact on your mind and body.
Joining Dr. Tripuraneni as a keynote speaker delivering opening remarks was Gene Gincherman, MD, emergency physician for MAPMG who uses the practice of meditation and mindfulness to challenge the conventional hurried environment of the Emergency Department.
Dr. Gincherman engaged the audience of more than a 1,000 to participate in a mindfulness exercise and moment of reflection that focused on gratitude, which according to Dr. Gincherman is essential to all of our existence.
Dr. Gincherman also stressed the importance of being present in the moment, and keeping mindfulness at the top of our daily agendas.
“Mindfulness can reduce anxiety and depression; increase a sense of well-being; reduce insomnia; and sharpen the memory,” said Dr. Gincherman.
Following opening remarks, participants attended educational sessions led by MAPMG doctors, therapists, and other providers. These sessions were full of information that could guide attendees towards enhancing their health, regardless of where they were on their mind and body wellness journey.
In addition, participants took part in wellness activities such as gentle yoga; art therapy; Qi Gong; chair massages; cooking demonstrations, as well as learned how to exercise while sitting in the Sit & Be Fit activity. And for those in attendance who needed clinical services, blood pressure screening, flu shots, and immunizations, they were also available on site.
Attendee feedback was tremendously positive. Attendees enjoyed that there were so many choices of educational sessions and activities that they could individually tailor the event to what they wanted to change or focus on as they strive for total health.
“This is a great event. I never had a chair massage and today I’m going to try one,” said Terry Martin, a Kaiser Permanente member since 1981.
Roberta Williams, a member since 1989, expressed sheer delight of being able to attend the event, and recognized Joshua Holloway, MD, MAPMG physician at Gaithersburg for being an amazing doctor.
Melinda Ojermark attended the event to learn more about non-medical solutions. She added the event to her calendar for self-care and stated, “Kaiser Permanente is a fantastic resource for health!”
Thanks to all of the volunteers and presenters for making the Mind & Body Wellness Day an enjoyable event and resource for those looking to build and sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Mind & Body Wellness Day is held annually and is part of Kaiser Permanente’s Whole Health and Wellness series.