WMU News

WMU offers unique way to study holistic health

June 20, 2002

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- A unique educational experience beginning in late July will attract people interested in holistic health care from across the country to Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula.

Offered by Western Michigan University's College of Health and Human Services and its Holistic Health Care program, the Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute will allow participants to immerse themselves in intensive, week-long classes devoted to integrating holistic methods into everyday life. Participants will be able to enjoy Michigan' s beautiful natural surroundings, while living with a community of like-minded classmates.

"The Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute is a different and refreshing way to learn," says Gay Walker, a member of the holistic health care faculty at WMU. "It takes place in a lovely environment with a community of interesting people, who all have intentions of deeply exploring holistic subjects."

This year's institute will be offered in two sessions, each with two small classes designed to give students an opportunity to sample a holistic lifestyle. The classes will be highly experiential and non-traditional, combining a variety of complementary and alternative approaches, techniques and resources, including meditation, yoga, massage, time for reflection, group discussion, beach activities and guest presentations. Each will be taught by experienced members of WMU's holistic health care faculty, including three authors of the popular book on holistic health, "Seeds of Awakening."

The first session will take place July 28- Aug. 3 and will offer the courses Introduction to Holistic Health, taught by Dr. Karen Horneffer, and Introduction to Holism and Expressive Arts, taught by Walker. The second session, Aug. 4-10, will offer Seminar in Holistic Methods II, taught by Dr. Tom Holmes, and Holistic Approaches to Stress , taught by Dr. Edo Weits. Students may take one class per session.

The institute will take place at the Leelanau School, a private 50-acre boarding school in scenic Glen Arbor, Mich. The campus is located in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on the coast of Lake Michigan, 25 miles west of Traverse City, 260 miles northwest of Detroit and 340 miles northeast of Chicago.

Students enrolling in the institute may take courses for personal enrichment or for application toward WMU's popular 18-credit-hour graduate certificate program in holistic health care. The graduate certificate program also is offered in a weekend format at the University's main campus in Kalamazoo, Mich., and at its other campuses in Grand Rapids, Lansing, St. Joseph, Traverse City and Battle Creek.

"It's hard to put into words the experiences I had in the program" says Katie Alkema, director of the new holistic student center at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and a graduate of the program. "I feel like a totally different person because of it and I incorporate what I learned into all of my life."

The certificate program, one of the nation's first university-based holistic health care programs, is relationship-centered and integrates health knowledge into everyday life. It is based on the philosophy of holism: an approach to health and healing that encompasses the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental dimensions of a person's life.

"The Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute allows students to complete the course work for the University's certificate program over two to three summers and then to complete the required internship at their home locations," explains Mary Swartz, director of WMU's campus in Traverse City.

The Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute is appropriate for health care professionals, social workers, nurses, therapists, physicians, ministers and occupational and physical therapists. Those
interested in incorporating holistic approaches into their personal, family and work lives, and students enrolled in health care-related degree programs also may find it valuable.

Space is limited, so immediate registration is encouraged. For a brochure and application, contact Swartz by mail at: Western Michigan University, NMC University Center, 2200 Dendrinos Drive, Suite 200-S, Traverse City, MI 49684; call (231) 995-1788; fax (231) 995-1789; or e-mail <mary.swartz@wmich.edu>. People also may visit the Web site <www.wmich.edu/holistichealth>.

"Seeds of Awakening" is available through amazon.com.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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