Healing Brain Seminar: August 1982
Two Symposia at Cape Cod
August 7–8, 1982
THE HEALING BRAIN
August 14–15, 1982
Continuing Education, Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco
The Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge
Medicine has understandably focused on those who become ill. Certain environmental, behavioral, and biological factors increase the risk of disease-yet the majority of people exposed to such factors remain healthy. While some people may be protected by good genetic back-grounds, most protection is conferred by our own behavior, what we eat; how much exercise we get; how we manage stress; and how we take care of ourselves.
A new view of human health and disease is emerging—one which acknowledges human resiliency and the critical role we play in promoting optimal health. This continuing education symposium is designed to present the practical applications of current knowledge in nutrition, exercise, stress management, and medical self-care. The program will include lectures, demonstrations, panel discussions, questions and answers as well as the opportunity to form smaller interest groups.
William L. Haskell, Ph.D., is Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine, Stanford University and a senior staff member of the Stanford Heart Disease Prevention Program. His major research interests include the health benefits of exercise, factors limiting human physical performance, and the role of exercise in heart disease prevention and cardiac rehabilitation. He is author of numerous articles on exercise, performance, and health. He is also involved in a community health education intervention trial to prevent heart disease.
Marion Nestle, Ph.D., is Associate Dean, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, and Lecturer in the Departments of Medicine and Biochemistry. She directs the UCSF Nutrition Curriculum Development Project and teaches nutrition to medical and other health professions students and practitioners.
David S. Sobel, M.D., M.P.H., is Chief of Preventive Medicine, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center at Santa Teresa and Medical Director of ISHK. His current areas of interest include behavioral medicine, health promotion, and public health education. He is editor of the book Ways of Health and contributing editor to Medical Self-Care.
Carl E. Thoresen, Ph.D., is Professor of Education and Psychology at Stanford University where he directs Health Behavior Research at the Center for Educational Research and is establishing a new Ph.D. program in Health Psychology. His current research interests include the prevention of coronary heart disease, origins of the Type A Behavior Pattern in children and adolescents, non-pharmacological treatments of chronic insomnia, and the role of personal responsibility in health care. He has published widely in these areas including the books Counseling, Methods, The Behavior Therapist, and Self-Control: Power to the Person.
STRESS MANAGEMENT Carl E. Thoresen, Ph.D.
CHRONIC STRESS: MAJOR HEALTH HAZARD
• theories of stress and distress
• major life events and minor life hassles
• physiological and biochemical changes under stress
• correlates and consequences of stress
• Type A Behavior Pattern
ALTERING CHRONIC STRESS
• doing better, feeling worse
• connections between health and hostility
• steps of change: from commitment to care of others
• prevention of recurrent coronary attacks
LEARNING TO RELAX
• ancient and modern: from breathing to biofeedback
• progressive muscle relaxation
• meditation, autogenic training and sensory awareness
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR HEALTH
• abuses of medical model
• healing within: beyond drugs and surgery
• moral and spiritual connections with health
William L. Haskell, Ph.D.
HOW MUCH EXERCISE DO YOU NEED?
• requirements of exercise for optimal health
• anatomic, physiological, and biochemical effects of exercise
• health benefits and risks of exercise
• psychological effects of regular exercise
• techniques for evaluating physical fitness
• role of exercise “stress” testing for exercise program clearance
HOW TO DESIGN AN ACTIVITY PLAN
• optimal intensity, frequency, and duration
• tips for developing personal fitness programs and exercise prescriptions
EAT MORE AND WEIGH LESS
• role of exercise in weight loss and maintenance of optimal body composition
Marion Nestle, Ph.D.
EAT, DRINK, AND BE HEALTHY
• confusion in popular dietary advice
• nutritional deficiencies
• diseases of nutritional overconsumption
• dietary recommendations and goals
• unifying hypothesis for optimal nutrition
• how to obtain a diet history
• determination of adequate nutrient content
• biochemical and physical measurements
• evaluation of hair analysis
• diet supplements, food extracts, vitamins and minerals
• safety and efficacy of supplements
• evaluation of Vitamin C and colds and cancer
• types and extent of additive use
• purposes for additives
• safety and regulation
• evaluation of food additives and hyperactivity
MEDICAL SELF-CARE David S. Sobel, M.D.
CONSUMERS AS PROVIDERS OF HEALTH CARE
• lay people as primary providers of care
• current impetus to self-care
• individual behavior as determinant of health
• self-help and mutual aid groups
• lay symptom evaluation
• self-examination techniques
• home diagnostic tests
• lay health advisor
• nondrug self-treatment strategies
• self-care classes and groups
• developing a health-oriented periodic health exam
• self-assessment strategies
• health risk appraisal
THE HEALING BRAIN
We have radically underestimated our sensitivity to the social and physical environment as well as human capabilities for self-healing. Recent advances in the brain and behavioral sciences have revealed that interpersonal interactions can markedly influence physiological responses and that social support and friends may modify disease susceptibility. We are also learning more about how sensitive the brain is to environmental changes, how stress alters our immune system, and how to mobilize the brain’s intrinsic healing potential.
These and other findings of major clinical importance will be explored at a two-day symposium. A distinguished faculty of researchers and clinicians will provide through lectures, panel discussions, and questions and answers an up-to-date review of emerging trends in behavioral medicine.
Augustin de la Peña, Ph.D., is Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Texas Health Science Center, and Chief of the Clinical Psychophysiology Laboratory and Sleep Facility at the Audie Murphy Veterans’ Hospital, San Antonio. His major interests are developmental psychology, psychophysiology of sleep and stress disorders, and more recently, the role of automatization and boredom in health and disease. He is author of The Psychobiology of Cancer.
Marian C. Diamond, M.A., Ph.D., is Professor of Anatomy at the University of California, Berkeley and former Associate Dean of the College of Letters and Science. Her research has centered on how the structure of the nervous system can be modified by changes in the environment. She is also currently developing a school health education program to enhance body awareness in children.
Robert E. Ornstein, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Human Biology, Stanford University and President of ISHK. His major interests include the function of the two hemispheres of the brain and perception and communications in the human sciences. He is author of The Psychology of Consciousness andThe Mind Field, and co-author of On the Psychology of Meditation.
James J. Lynch, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology, University of Maryland School of Medicine and Scientific Director of the Psychophysiological Clinics and Laboratories. His research interests have included biofeedback control of brain wave activity, the psychophysiology of affiliation and cardiac function about which he has written a book, The Broken Heart: The Medical Consequences of Loneliness.
Meredith Minkler, Dr.P.H., is Assistant Professor of Health Education, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include the problems of aging in American society, the health effects of retirement, and the role of supportive ties in health maintenance.
THE HEALING BRAIN: AN INTRODUCTION
Robert E. Ornstein, Ph.D.
The brain constantly adjusts its state to maintain the body. In fact, the main role of the brain is the maintenance of bodily functions and. therefore, the health of the organism. The brain constantly changes its operations to meet changing circumstances and bodily needs. The implication of such brain changes for health are profound.
BOREDOM, BRAIN STATES, AND CANCER
Augustin de la Peña, Ph.D.
The brain is more a slayer than a healer when its optimal range of information processing is not being met. We have evolved cortical structures which enable prediction of the environment and automatization of perception and behavior. Excessive automatization or boredom effects a decrease in the amount of information processing for the cortex to suboptimal levels for organized function. The excessively bored brain then creates the experience of interest by promoting perceptions and behaviors, including illness, disease, and disorder. Implications of this model for conceptualization of a broad range of health-disease phenomena will be explored, with a focus on carcinogenesis.
THE PLACEBO EFFECT
David S. Sobel, M.D.
The placebo effect is one example of mobilizing the organism’s intrinsic healing capacities. The nonspecific expectancy effects of therapeutic interventions may at times be more powerful than the specific pharmacological and physiological aspects of therapy. The neglected importance and clinical implications of the placebo effect will be discussed along with some possible physiological mechanisms.
THE DIVIDED BRAIN
Robert E. Ornstein, Ph.D.
The major division of the human brain is the two cerebral hemispheres. In most people, the left hemisphere is responsible for rational and logical thought, the right for intuitive and holistic thinking. Evidence from split-brain studies and studies recording the electrical activity of the normal brain will be discussed. The implications for health will be considered, along with a discussion of the many controversies in this field.
ENVIRONMENT, AIR IONS, AND BRAIN CHEMISTRY
Marian C. Diamond, Ph.D.
We are becoming increasingly aware of the ease with which the cerebral cortex of the brain can be changed by alterations in the external environment. Most recently, negative air ions have been shown to change brain chemistry with different effects when the organism lives in an enriched or impoverished environment.
PEOPLE NEED PEOPLE:
SOCIAL SUPPORT AND HEALTH
Meredith Minkler, Dr.P.H.
A major and often neglected risk factor in morbidity and mortality appears to be the extent to which an individual is enmeshed in a supportive social network. Various mechanisms by which social ties influence health will be reviewed. Case studies will be presented to demonstrate the role of pre-existing and intentionally developed supportive networks in helping people cope with stressful life events and decreasing susceptibility to illness.
THE PSYCHOBIOLOGY OF HUMAN CONTACT
James J. Lynch, Ph.D.
Most psychosomatic disease results from hyperactivity of the autonomic nervous system in response to interpersonal interactions. In most settings the individual is unaware of this body reaction. The implications of this view of clinical diagnosis and treatment will be explored with particular reference to the medical consequences of loneliness and the importance of human companionship.
THE AGING BRAIN
Marian C. Diamond, Ph.D.
How much concrete evidence is there for the “facts” we accept regarding the aging brain? In the rat, nerve cells are not lost in significant numbers well into old age and nerve cells can grow new branches in the aged rat. It is important that we gather data on the true potential of the aging brain and perhaps, in turn, take a more positive attitude toward the values of aging.
These programs were presented on two weekends. Workshops were presented Monday through Friday, August 9-13, from 10:00a.m.-12:00p.m. as follows:
Monday, August 9 STRESS MANAGEMENT Carl E. Thoresen
Tuesday, August 10 NUTRITION Marion Nestle
Wednesday, August 11 SELF-CARE David S. Sobel
Thursday, August 12 THE HEALING BRAIN Robert E. Ornstein
Friday, August 13 THE CHANGING BRAIN Marian C. Diamond