The mind-body connection for health professionals
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Matthew Sanford understands adversity.
When he was 13 years old, a car crash took the lives of his father and sister, and left him paralyzed from the chest down.
"It changed the arc of my life," says Sanford. "I would not be the person I am now, or doing the work that I'm doing if that accident hadn't have happened."
That work centers around something Sanford discovered more than a decade after the accident, the mind body connection.
Through yoga, Sanford found what he describes as a whole level of sensation that was not part of his rehabilitation process.
"I want to get that out to people," says Sanford, "so our non-profit, Mind Body Solutions, helps people transform trauma, loss and disability into hope and potential by awakening the connection between mind-body."
Sanford decided the best way to make that happen, was to get the information to health care professionals, who could then teach it to their clients.
Courage Center, based in Golden Valley, agreed not only to the concept, but also to a research project to gather data on how staff training in mind body concepts might affect client care.
"It was pretty amazing when we started the research project," says Director of Nursing, Kathie Nichols.
"We did a screening of staff, and what we found out before and after is that many of the therapists and some of the nurses were thinking about leaving the profession and leaving Courage Center because of the stress. And simply learning the techniques of mind-body and becoming more aware, they found that they were better able to cope with those stressors, and people have stayed," says Nichols.
Sanford believes the information can translate into other fields as well, with positive results for the work place.
"It turns out embodiment and being connected to your body is good business," says Sanford.
Nichols also believes the concept can translate to other fields simply by giving people a way to deal with stress in their lives.
"It's a concept that is universal and can be positive for everybody."
Matthew Sanford and the Courage Center want to continue the work and create a way to train other healthcare professionals.
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Mind Body Solutions
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