Written by Martinique Davis
Achieving optimal health and wellness is not about jumping on the next health fad bandwagon, but rather, understanding the synergy that exists between mind, body, and spirit. The Telluride First Foundation’s second annual Integrative Wellness Summit brought together some of the country’s preeminent health experts for a three-day conference last weekend, in which the mind-body-spirit connection took center stage.
Internationally acclaimed musician Jewel kicked off the three-day weekend on Friday, introducing the heady concepts of the weekend as, in her words, “about getting to the essence of the true self.” Her heartfelt keynote address blended song and storytelling in the retelling of her own journey to higher awareness and better health through simple mindfulness techniques. Sunday’s live stream with Deepak Chopra, spiritual guru and integrative medicine pioneer, provided a fitting bookend to Jewel’s introduction, sharing some of his insights about the often underestimated power of the mind.
The weekend highlighted cutting edge research from physicians like head of the Hypertension Institute’s Dr. Mark Houston, who shared his knowledge about how nutrition, exercise, and maintaining optimal weight and body fat are critical to vascular health. Most traditional medical practices focus on treating the symptom but not the cause, he said, explaining that research has led to a better understanding within the medical community about the impact of the “ripple effect” on the body; for example, how reversing something as straightforward as a micronutrient deficiency can significantly decrease one’s risk of heart disease (as well as Alzheimer’s and a slew of other ailments.)
The power of the mind over the body’s state of health was also the focus of Dr. Marc Siegel’s talk, who outlined strategies to create better overall health through getting in touch with the “inner pulse,” which can offer guidance in both the health and spiritual realms.
Psychology guru Dr. George Pratt, bestselling author of Code to Joy , drew a large crowd to hear his insights on the power of “emotional self-management,” or how identifying and resolving negative thinking can open doors to greater career success and better relationships and health.
The role of fitness in aging (and the fact that all fitness regimens are not created equal), reversing the biological clock, as well as the importance of seeking out evidence-based medicine rounded out the weekend schedule with talks by such wellness experts as Chris Crowley, Bill Fabrocini, PJ O’Clair, Dr. Alan Safdi, and Dr. David Agus.
Attendees to the Telluride Integrative Wellness Summit didn’t just get access to some of the country’s top health and wellness experts; they left the weekend with workable strategies to consciously wipe away the slurry of bad habits, poor lifestyle choices, and toxic living environments that we have long considered normal, in the process creating more cogent pathways to healing oneself through nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, and more targeted diagnostics and therapies.