Yoga Milestone—First CME-Approved Conference Supports Therapeutic Value

By Glenn Sabin

Physicians and and Yogis: Satkirin Khalsa and James K. Weber

Physicians and Yogis: Satkirin Khalsa and James K Weber
Photograph by Carl Kerridge

h5. The Mountain Pose Medicine & Yoga Symposium took place in gorgeous Copper Mountain, Colorado August 22—26, 2012. The seminal gathering marked the first CME (continuing medical education) accredited program for yoga in the United States.

The annual Mountain Pose Medicine & Yoga Symposium is the brainchild of Satkirin Khalsa, MD, a longtime yoga instructor, integrative medicine physician and scientific program chair of the conference. Khalsa is deeply concerned about the sobering statistics surrounding physician health, burnout and suicide rates, which are twice that of the general public. Thus, the primary educational objective of the symposium is to bring practitioners together across disciplines to review the medical literature and provide sensible tools to address the causation of chronic stress, fatigue and burnout—essentially a Heal Thy Docs, Heal Thy Patients approach.

Yogis David Romanelli and Rebecca Woods presented lectures and group, simulation-based didactic yoga sessions for medical doctors, naturopaths, physical therapists and other allied health professionals. Romanelli and Woods’s lectures received full CME credit for their participation through the AAFP (American Association of Family Physicians), essentially ushering in the scientific recognition of the clinical therapeutic application and value of yoga.

Dr. Dean Ornish’s Spectrum Program, a set of lifestyle interventions scientifically proven to reverse heart disease—including yoga as a core intervention and now covered by Medicare and other payers—was examined and discussed at length.

Other faculty included: Sara Gottfried, MD, Joe Alcock, MD, James Weber, MD, Kimberly Williams, PhD, Siegfried Bleher, PhD and C.L. “Doc PJ” Perrinjaquet, MD, MPH . The full program can be found here. Interesting to note that Drs. Gottfried, William, Weber, Khalsa, Bleher and Perrinjaquet are also certified yoga instructors—a growing trend as more medical doctors are discovering yoga as an effective way to address personal stress management.

I delivered the welcoming address and opening lecture, the intro to which can be found here.

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Glenn Sabin Author: Glenn Sabin

FON’s founder, Glenn Sabin, is a nationally recognized thought leader with a reputation for successfully positioning integrative health organizations for sustainable growth. Combining media, marketing and business development expertise with an extensive professional and personal integrative health and medicine narrative, Glenn is deeply passionate about advancing the field as the new standard of care—accessible to all.
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