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Andrew Weil

The Center for Spirituality & Healing will host health and wellness expert Andrew Weil at the Fitzgerald Theatre on Thursday.

Many ways to heal

The Center for Spirituality & Healing celebrates 10 years

From M, winter 2006

In the past 10 years, complementary therapies and healing practices-like meditation, acupuncture, yoga, and herbal remedies-have moved from the fringe into the mainstream. Today, nearly 62 percent of Americans report using some sort of complementary therapy.

Moving right along with the trend-which incorporates practices that outdate Western medicine by hundreds or thousands of years--is the University's Center for Spirituality & Healing. A decade old this year and a national leader in the field, the center conducts National Institutes of Health (NIH)- and FDA-funded research and clinical trials to scrutinize these therapies. A current study, for example, examines how stress reduction can help organ transplant patients reduce anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness.

Part of the Academic Health Center, the program also prepares doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and public health professionals for clients who will be asking for more and more expertise in the field. And its newly formed Graduate Minor in Complementary and Alternative Therapies is already one of the largest programs on campus. This view of healthcare isn't such a stretch for current students as it would have been for those just ten years ago. "We are now seeing many more students in class who were raised [as children with] some form of complementary or alternative medicine," says center administrative director, Pamela Cherry.

To celebrate its 10-year anniversary and a new program called the Purpose Project aimed at aging boomers, the center will host health and wellness expert and Harvard-trained physician Andrew Weil at St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater on Thursday, December 8.

"Aging can bring depth and richness of experience, complexity of being, serenity, wisdom, and its own kind of power and grace," says the 63-year-old Weil, author of the best-selling book, Healthy Aging. He will undoubtedly discuss his twelve-point program for staying well:

Tickets to the Weil event are available through Ticketmaster at Ticketmaster.com or 612-673-0404; at fitzgeraldtheater.publicradio.org; by calling the Fitzgerald at 651-290-1221; or in person at the Fitzgerald Box Office.