Learning New Ways to Maintain Quality of Life

Our Blakeford Series Conversations: Exchanging Ideas Relevant to Today’s Older Adults kicked off March 29th. Our topic was “Understanding Complementary and Integrative Therapies.” Panelists discussed non-traditional ways to prevent and treat disease and other common health challenges. Topics included nutrition, Ayurveda, spirituality, and movement. With these topics, the panelists were able to introduce attendees to new ways of maintaining their quality of life.

Blakeford's Conversations SeriesIt has long been a passion of mine to study and discover new ways to help people manage chronic disease. In particular, those conditions that aren’t responding well to more medicine or surgical intervention. Our panel of experts included local, health professionals:

  • Kathleen Wolff, a nurse practitioner who specializes in mind-body wellness at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt,
  • Gay Welch, a counselor at The Pastoral Center for Healing,
  • Liz Workman Mead, a certified Ayurveda counselor and yoga instructor,
  • and Samantha Ruppelt, exercise physiologist.

Each expert gave us some specific tools and in many cases an inspiration to seek out more about their area of specialty. We learned how:

  • the food we eat is as important as the medicine we take
  • engaging the spirit in daily living is essential to quality of life
  • each individual person is an expert in their own experience of health
  • to use exercise to avoid surgery or to make simple yet long-lasting improvements in daily function

The evening closed with an exercise of mindfulness led by Kathleen Wolff, a practice that has been proven to reduce pain, and improve memory and mood.

The evening was live-streamed on Blakeford’s Facebook page. The video is available to view there as well as on our YouTube channel.

Conversations, sponsored by Blakeford, aims to engage the community in interactive discussions about ideas relevant to today’s older adults. Our next installment of the Blakeford Conversations Series is scheduled for June. Please contact us to share your thoughts and feedback about this panel and ideas you have about future topics. We hope you will join in the Conversation!

Want to learn more? Here are some great resources:

The Benefits of Mindfulness

What is Ayurveda?

4 Exercises to End Back Pain

What is a Blue Zone Diet?

Jane Kelley is the Executive Director of LiveWell By Blakeford. She also served as the moderator for this discussion.