Mark’s introduction to this show:
Dictionary.com defines resilience as:
- the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.
- ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.
The second sense is what Dr. Helen Lavretsky, MD, MS, has in mind in her work with older people, but the first sense could metaphorically be also applied to us as we age.
How often have we felt bent, compressed, stretched by life events, having lost our elasticity after emotional loss or upheaval. Can we return to our original form and position?
All lives inevitably experience illness, or some adversity such as depression. But how can we “re-float” ourselves and bounce on life’s ever-wobbly waters as we once did? These are huge questions – and ever more pointed – as we age. We think it natural to recover more slowly from an injury, from a common cold, from a memory lapse or the old vim and vigor if we dare let up on our physical regimes for a week or so.
But as we enter our last decade or two, the loses in our resilience can become downright deadly if not treated. Fortunately in this century, research in this characteristic, to recover, to bounce back, has become ever more studied, perhaps because there are so many more of us living so much longer! And also, the approaches of traditional medicine have been expanded to go far beyond its over dependence upon pharmaceuticals only.
Thus we enter the relatively new realm of “Integrative Medicine” Medicine which is not restricted to just the physical aspects of ourselves, but includes also the social, emotional, and spiritual realms. For example, here is our guest, Helen Lavretsky, as a practitioner of “Mind-Body medicine”, reporting on the results of a trial of Kundalini Yoga on patients suffering from depression and mild cognitive impairment: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/geriatric-psychiatry/cognitive-enhancement-with-yoga
Wouldn’t you rather entrust your care to someone like her?
And Integrative Medicine also extends its circle of care to our caregivers, as their well being will enhance their care of us!
About Dr. Helen Lavretsky
Dr. Helen Lavretsky is a Professor In-Residence and the Semel Scholar in Integrative Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA, a geriatric psychiatrist with research interest in complementary and integrative medicine and mind-body approaches to treatment and prevention of mood and cognitive disorders in older adults. She received the 2001-2007 and 2010-2015 Career Development awards from NIMH, and 2015-2020 Research Career award from the National Institute of Complementary and Integrative Health, and other prestigious research awards. Her current research studies include an NIMH-funded study of biomarkers of brain aging in geriatric depression, PCORI funded study of treatment resistant depression in older adults, and the NCCAM funded study of complementary use of Tai-Chi to improve antidepressant response in geriatric depression, as well as a yoga study for women with cardiovascular disease and memory complains. Dr. Lavretsky is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.
During the show Helen shows some slides about her topic. You can download them HERE