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Integrative Health Working Group

CHE's Integrative Health Working Group was initiated by Michael Lerner, President of Commonweal and Fredi Kronenberg, PhD, Director of the Rosenthal Center on Complementary and Alternative Medicine at Columbia University.

This group has formed for three fundamental reasons:

First, many CHE Partners who are personally facing illness turn to integrative therapies because mainstream therapies alone often are inadequate for many environmentally related diseases. Specifically, many CHE Partners face cancer, learning and developmental disabilities (including autism), infertility, and Parkinson's Disease -- just to name the conditions that we focus on in specific Working Groups. For these Partners, the use of integrative therapies in conjunction with the best available conventional therapies is sometimes a serious consideration.

Second, there are strong theoretical reasons linking the increasingly stressed environment in which we live and some integrative therapies that promote general resilience and reduce harmful exposures. There is a link, in other words, between the "ecological illnesses" that Ted Schettler, MD, so ably describes and the "integrative therapies" that combine conventional and complementary approaches to health promotion, disease prevention and disease treatment.

Third, the success of integrative therapies can in some instances provide important clues to the etiology of conditions that are otherwise very obscure. For example, the question of whether autism is in fact increasing as a result of environmental exposures is linked to the controversy over whether integrative therapies for autism that include reducing toxic exposures and enhancing nutritional resilience actually improve the health of some people with autism. Careful scientific study of these treatment claims will help elucidate the broader public health issues in this critical field.

Therefore, the foci of the Working Group include:
(1) balanced evaluation of integrative (complementary and alternative medicine) therapies that are used by patients facing the many illnesses linked to environmental exposures;
(2) discussion and exploration of what Ted Schettler calls the "ecological" model of health and disease; and
(3) discussion and exploration of practical ways that families and communities are adopting to reduce toxic exposures and build psychophysiological resilience in an increasingly stressed world.

This group welcomes CHE Partners who are interested in participating in this discussion. Currently the working group provides a listserv where CHE Partners can share and discuss the latest science. The group also offers a webpage and newsfeed dedicated to resources related to autoimmune disorders.

If you are interested in joining this group, please sign on as a CHE Partner, and indicate your interest in your application. If you are already a CHE Partner and would like to join the listserv for this group send an email request to: cheintegrativehealth-subscribe@lists.healthandenvironment.org

CHE Partners subscribed to the CHE Integrative Health listserv can access the listserv archive to view messages previously distributed.

Past Calls

February 5, 2016 --

CHE Partnership Call - Environmental Health Disparities in Children: Breaking the Cycle and Building Resilience for Better Health
Background Information/Resources

Listen to the MP3 recording

February 26, 2015 --

CHE Partnership Call - Environmental Influences on the Thyroid System
Background Information / Resources

Listen to the MP3 recording

January 8, 2015 --

CHE Partnership Call - The State of the Water: Linking Ocean Health to Human Health
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

November 12, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - Type 1 Diabetes and the Environment
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
Listen to the MP3 recording

June 17, 2014 --

CHE Partnership Call - Nutrition and Toxicants in Autoimmune Disease: Implications for Prevention and Treatment
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog
MP3 recording

September 21, 2010 --

CHE Partnership Call - Pediatric Integrative Health: Approaches to Optimizing "Whole Child" Wellness
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog

Listen to the MP3 recording

March 26, 2009 --

CHE Partnership Call - Integrative Medicine: The State of the Science and Its Interface with Environmental Health: A Conversation with Dean Ornish, MD
Background Information / Resources

Call Blog

Download the MP3 Recording

Read Related Article
: Change Your Lifestyle, Change Your Genes by Shelby Gonzalez 

February 1, 2007 --

Special Joint CHE Call with the CHE Integrative Health Working Group and the New School: A Conversation with Ted Schettler
Listen to the audio recording of this call (MP3 format)


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