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expert-perspectives

Essential oils safety: You may be using them wrong

When it comes to essential oils, there’s no shortage of health claims – from weight loss to immune system fortification and renewed mental clarity. But one thing’s certain: you’re probably using them wrong.

Health Talk explored myths surrounding aromatherapy, essential oils safety and identified some do’s and don’ts for integrating them into your care.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Many Americans don’t tell primary care physicians about complementary and alternative medicine use

More than 40 percent of Americans who use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) do not disclose it to their primary care providers.

A recent study through the School of Public Health and Center for Spirituality & Healing  looked at patients who used CAM across the U.S., and analyzed reasoning for disclosing or not disclosing that information to providers. The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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expert-perspectives

UMN Experts: How to talk about dying

Dying is an uncomfortable topic of conversation. No one wants to bring it up, not even our doctors. Unfortunately, this leads to miscommunication about how a person wants to die.

In fact, about 7 in 10 Americans would prefer to die at home, but only about a quarter of them actually do.

“There is a fundamental disconnect between what happens and what we want, and that stems from a lack of communication about dying,” says Frank Bennett, MDiv., senior fellow in the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality & Healing and former hospital chaplain and minister. “Most care providers frame the conversation around therapeutic interventions, because that’s their focus, but patients think in terms of goals, hopes and fears.”

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expert-perspectives

Practicing mindfulness in the workplace

As summer ends and to-do lists grow longer, stress seems unavoidable. But it’s important to give our minds and bodies a break; our wellbeing and productivity depend on it.

“Research has shown that we literally can’t do it all,” says Mary Jo Kreitzer, Ph.D., R.N., founder and director of the Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota. “When we’re trying to do too many things at once, we’re dividing our brain up and putting less effort and level of detail into each individual activity.”

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expert-perspectives

Be happy and lean; exercise green!

Exercise of any kind can be beneficial to our health and fitness, but exercise in nature, called ‘green exercise,’ can provide additional physical and mental health benefits. As we swarm the treadmills at the local gym, perhaps we should consider hitting the trails, the park or the lake, too.

“When you go outside, you have a more rich, holistic benefit to your exercise routine,” said Jean Larson, Ph.D., director of nature-based therapies at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. “Green and traditional exercises are both beneficial, but there is a bump in the satisfaction and overall impact of the experience when you go outside.”

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in-the-news

In the News: More Americans using integrative therapies

More Americans are practicing mind-body therapies, a recent survey from the  National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed.

The survey compared data on integrative therapy use in the U.S., compiled from surveys taken in 2002, 2007 and 2012. By 2012, the number of adults practicing yoga, tai chi or qigong doubled, reaching 10 percent of the American adult population. Use of massage therapy and meditation grew, too.

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