Healing Brain Seminar: December 1981
THE HEALING BRAIN III
A Weekend Symposium
December 12-13, 1981
New York City
Continuing Education, Pacific Medical Center
And The Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge
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 the lasting effects of nutrition on brain development and how hypnosis and biofeedback may be used to mobilize the healing potential of the brain.
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.
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.
Rene Dubos, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of environmental biomedicine at the Rockefeller University. His early research involved the development of anti-microbial drugs and more recently he has been investigating the effects that environmental forces– physiochemical, biological, and social—exert on human life. Dr. Dubos is author of over twenty books including The Wooing of Earth, The Mirage of Health, and Man Adapting.
Jeffrey H. Goldstein, Ph.D., is professor of psychology at Temple University. His major research has been in the areas of humor and laughter as well as human aggression. He is co-editor of the book The Psychology of Humor and is currently editing The Handbook of Humor Research.
Suzanne C. Kobasa, Ph.D., is assistant professor, Committee on Social and Organizational Psychology, Department of Behavioral Sciences, University of Chicago. Her major research has been in the area of resistance to stress including ongoing studies of executives, lawyers, army officers and women at risk for cervical cancer.
Jon D. Levine, M.D., Ph.D., is acting chief of the Pain Research Laboratory and a fellow in the Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. His research has been on the mechanisms of pain and analgesia in animals and the role of endorphins in placebo analgesia.
Steven E. Locke, M.D., is acting director, Consultation Liaison Service in Psychiatry, Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and instructor in psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. His major research interests have been in brain and behavioral influences on immune function in humans.
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 affects of retirement, and the role of supportive ties in health maintenance.
Ethel Roskies, Ph.D., is professor in the Department of Psychology, and head of the Laboratory of Health Psychology at the University of Montreal. Her research interests have centered on the health benefits of altering lifestyle, specifically Type A behavior in business and professional people.
David S. Sobel, M.D., M.P.H., is chief of Preventive Medicine, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center at Santa Teresa and medical director of the Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge. His current areas of interest include medical self-care, behavioral medicine and health promotion. He is editor of a book Ways of Health and serves as a symposium chairperson.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12 MORNING
PSYCHOSOCIAL FACTORS IN HEALING
David S. Sobel, M.D., M.P.H.
Since the person is a biopsychosocial unit, social forces and mental states can profoundly affect bodily healing processes. An examination of social net-works, traditional healing practices, placebo effects, relaxation techniques, and clinical studies of mood and healing reveal powerful psychosocial forces as determinants of health and disease.
SELF-HEALING: A PERSONAL HISTORY
Rene Dubos, Ph.D.
Dr. Dubos will offer a personal account of the remarkable recuperative capacities of the organism by reflecting at the age of 81 on his own management of his two incapacitating illnesses.
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. More recently, negative air ions have been shown to change brain chemistry with different effects when the organism lives in an enriched or impoverished environment.
BRAIN, BEHAVIOR, AND IMMUNITY
Steven E. Locke, M.D.
Emotional distress may suppress the immune response and thereby be implicated in the multifactorial causes of infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer, resistance to which appears to be immunologic. The central nervous system, particularly the hypothalamus, and various neuroendocrines appear to be involved in regulation of the immune system.
PAIN, PLACEBOS, AND ENDORPHINS: USING THE BODY’S OWN HEALING MECHANISMS
Jon D. Levine, M.D., Ph.D.
Recent research on the intrinsic analgesia systems of the body has joined forces with research on endorphins, the endogenous opiate-like chemicals produced by the body. The role of endorphins in the placebo effect and other physiological states will be explored.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13 MORNING
COPING WITH STRESS TO STAY HEALTHY
Ethel Roskks, Ph.D.
Traditional research has emphasized the many ways stress can make people sick. Since stress is an inescapable fact of life, recent research has identified how the ability to cope effectively with stress can improve immediate sense of well being as well as increase resistance to disease. Ways in which effective coping can be taught to people with Type A behavior patterns will also be discussed.
Suzanne C. Kobasa, Ph.D.
The personality characteristic of hardiness identified by commitment, control, and a sense of challenge in the face of life change appears to help keep people healthy under stress situations. Hardiness is associated with less self-report of physical and psychiatric symptoms as well as favorable clinical laboratory measures. This personality characteristic works alone and in interaction with other resistance resources such as social support, exercise, and constitutional predisposition.
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 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 THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER
Jeffrey H. Goldstein, Ph.D.
Laughter is an age-old, but often ignored resource in the human behavioral repertory. The evolutionary value, physiological benefits, and salutary psychosocial functions of laughter and humor will be reviewed in light of the therapeutic potentials of laughter. Various research strategies will also be explored.