A year after the Holistic Centers Gathering in Beijing, representatives from different centers were invited to attend The Localization and Globalization of Psychosomatic Medicine World Forum, hosted by Orenda Group at Jackson Hole Beijing October 10-14, 2016.
Ludwig Fischer and Peter Moore share this report.
Two hours north of Beijing, at the foot of the Yanshan Mountains, ancient Taoist caves bear witness from surrounding heights. They add a subtle sacred presence to the verdant landscape of streams and pools, vineyards and valley views. Jackson Hole Beijing is a themed Western Town with offerings of sophisticated luxury infused with ecological awareness. The Chinese community that inhabits the homes here share common commitments informed by an atmosphere of Enlightenment values.
Meticulous attention to detail was evident throughout as international presenters met the staff of skilled volunteer translators, each with schedules, event data and biographies of speakers in hand. We were ushered into a five-star hotel and served Chinese haute cuisine with graceful hospitality. Technical support was flawlessly executed during the entire conference, with live streaming to as many as 50,000 people online.
In his tone-setting introductory speech, host Mr. Liu gave the metaphor of changing the water of a pond rather than attempting, over and over again, to fix the diseases of the fish swimming in it. Extending the metaphor, he said the pure water of love and truth are required. From that point of view, this conference tapped into a fresh source of interdisciplinary exchanges, allowing representatives with a wide range of experience and expertise to carry on meaningful cross-cultural/cross-discipline conversations. This was a rich collaborations. Mr. Liu advocated self-care as the primary responsibility of every person, and urged all present to find the path to their own cure and care. This conference offered many paths to that goal. Mr. Wong, President of Orenda, our host organization, mentioned that October 10, the day our conference began, was World Mental Health Day, established 25 years ago.
The World Forum Presentations:
A unique combination of diverse perspectives, expertise and ways of knowing was presented at this conference, including:
- My Philosophy on Mind-Body Health: Philanthropism, Haiwen and Orenda: Liu set forth his vision for the scope of the conference.
- A note from the Chinese Ministry of Health representative: The Chinese government’s five goals for 2030 set for the entire Chinese population:
- Cultivation of a healthy, happy life
- Availability of resources for everyone
- Security of healthcare through a general insurance programme
- Creation of a healthy environment
- A strong industrial economic basis for these primary goals
The Global Development of Mind-Body Medicine and its Application in USA: A scientific analytical approach with graphs, statistics, and double-blind, randomized, control group studies, measuring pathologies, responses to therapies. To sum up, hostility is harmful to health.
- Process in Understanding Mind-Body Connections: Intervention that Improves Mental and Physical Health: The Williams Life Skills model from USA: Applicability of scientific studies to psychological and physiological healing, showing that better behavior can be learned.
- Role of Diet and Lifestyle in Producing Psychosomatic Disorders: An Ayurvedic approach to comprehensive therapy for body, mind and soul, from India.
- The Holistic Approach to Mind-body Health: Traditional Chinese Practice Meets Modern Western Science: A philosophical comparison between the history of Chinese and Western fundamental assumptions about healthcare and illness.
- Enhancing Quality of Life through a Mind-Body Curriculum: An examination of the program offerings of Breitenbush Hot Springs, a holistic healing center in USA.
- Considering Mental Health from the Viewpoint of Diet: A Japanese perspective on the science that supports diet affecting mood and alleviating depression.
- The Effectiveness of Medical Training Therapy in Aged Care: Therapy for older patients improving mobility and active engagement in activities, including trials from both Europe and Asia.
- Back Pain and Depression: The connection between mental health and physiological symptoms.
- The Healing Power of Music and Yoga as Complementary Medicine: Ancient practices and contemporary music applications, with live demonstrations predicated on the traditional knowledge that healing is a move toward wholeness.
- From Inspired to Tired: Preventing Compassion Fatigue in the Workplace: A socio-psychological investigation of compassion fatigue in the doctor-patient interaction demonstrating the necessity of self-care for caring professionals.
- Exploration of Business Model in Primary Healthcare Institutions Based on Medical Service: An explanation of the need for more trained medical practitioners based on expanding Chinese demographic of aging population.
- Psychosomatic Illnesses Through the Lens of Traumatic Experience: The effects of childhood trauma on adult psychosomatic illnesses, introducing the field of epigenetics.
- The Effectiveness of Life Skill Training on Male Youth Violent Offenders: A report on experiments using a therapeutic Life Skills approach in Chinese prisons.
- Psychosomatic Medicine and Treatment of Addiction: A Life Respect Institution: Taiwanese Buddhist hospital treatment using a humanistic approach to the rehabilitation of drug offenders.
- Balance Energy and Reduce Stress with Intuition: Using the I Ching to enhance intuition for great decisions with perfect timing.
- The Transformational Field of Findhorn: Representatives of the Findhorn Foundation and Community in Scotland described their experience of mind-body-spirit healing at one of the world’s leading holistic centers, and the emerging global network.
- Panel discussions and review sessions in the evenings with active audience participation: Each evening after daily presentations the day’s presenters fielded questions from the audience.
The contributions to this global forum, both scheduled and spontaneous, made for an intellectual feast, a celebration of diverse viewpoints and research, and a nourishing experience for heart and soul. It was a convivial format for new connections and new friendships, with much laughter and happy encounters.
Durga Dass, our inimitable Mistress of Ceremonies and plenary session leader, conveyed both profound knowledge of the many subjects treated, as well as deft mastery translating complex and technical language between Mandarin and English. Her contagious enthusiasm created an atmosphere of truly smart and joyful togetherness. Meanwhile, Sean Feng’s sensitive translation services and behind-the-scenes conference-wide community building were also key to the balanced success of the event. Sean also provided profound insights during his workshop on the Gestalt of the therapeutic process. Finally, the visionary Mr. Liu, from his opening remarks through to his final summation statements, was a smiling presence throughout the conference. Together, these three formed a trio of genuine leadership for this interdisciplinary event. We look forward to future events with this group of new leaders, and the many teams working with them in support of this conference.
The international conference on psychosomatic medicine, organized by Orenda Group in China exceeded all expectations. Indeed, in our estimation this conference established a benchmark by which other such gatherings could be measured in the future. Audience members, organizers and participants alike will continue to be inspired by this event. This conference successfully established a wider and more profound way to energize and bring together seekers of knowledge and wisdom with diverse backgrounds. The resultant spirit of collaboration was extraordinary.
The end of the conference felt more like an initiation into an exciting beginning, generating novel ideas and spawning new projects. We are in the midst of a paradigm shift. Humanity is moving away from the premises, presumptions and practices of the modern era and towards a more holistic, ecological worldview. Conferences like this light the way towards realistic solutions, based on acceptance of all sciences, serious respect for the wisdom of ancient traditions, pragmatic idealism and a genuine openness towards creative inspiration.
From the neurosurgeon to the musician; the university professor to the independent scholar; the hospital administrator to the program director of a holistic health center; the Ayurvedic physician to the nutritional dietician; quantitative, controlled scientific studies to tradition and personal experience-based insights; theoretical, philosophical, humanistic viewpoints to artistic, creative vision; business models in primary healthcare institutions to intuitive tools for stress reduction … East met West, theory met practice, tradition met innovation, and art met science.
The 2016 Jackson Hole Beijing event was a rare occasion in which all present had an opportunity to witness the opening of hearts and minds, in relationship to substantive, positive change in health and wellbeing. There was a dynamic movement toward a new harmony, mutual acceptance and cooperative spirit – a unity in diversity in the pursuit of a holistic vision for the wellbeing of all.