WMU News

Deadline to register for holistic institute extended

July 7, 1999

GLEN ARBOR, Mich. -- Western Michigan University has extended the registration deadline for its new Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute, giving more Michigan residents a chance to study some of the nontraditional healing therapies that are steadily gaining acceptance in modern medicine. Health care professionals, students and the general public now have until July 18 to enroll in the institute, which will start July 25 at the Leelanau School in Glen Arbor, Mich.

Those taking classes at the institute may do so for personal enrichment or in preparation for completing WMU's innovative Graduate Certificate Program in Holistic Health Care. The program's courses are appropriate for health care professionals, social workers, nurses, therapists, physicians, and occupational and physical therapists as well as students enrolled in health care-related degree programs and individuals interested in incorporating holistic approaches into their personal, family and work life.

Started in 1983, the 18-credit-hour certificate program is one of only a few of its kind in the country. 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. This approach embraces a variety of increasingly popular alternative healing therapies.

In fact, Americans are spending record amounts on alternative remedies, and more health plans are covering these alternatives, particularly chiropractic medicine and acupuncture. MSNBC recently reported that more than six times as many insurance plans cover alternative remedies today compared to four years ago, while eight states now mandate that insurers cover at least acupuncture treatment. Additionally, some insurers already offer coverage on such alternatives as massage, acupressure and vitamin therapy.

The Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute will be offered in two sessions, with students allowed to take one class per session. The first session runs from July 25 through 30 and features Holistic Therapies and Introduction to Holistic Health. The second session runs from Aug. 1 through 6 and features Holistic Methods I and Introduction to Holism and Expressive Art. Related classes also may be taken on WMU's main campus in Kalamazoo or through most of its five regional centers.

More information about holism is available from Dr. Thomas R. Holmes and Dr. Molly B. Vass. Both are associate professors of community health services at WMU and will be teaching classes at the institute. Holmes directs the holistic health care certificate program. His number is (616) 387-3389. Vass is a former director of the certificate program. Her number is (616) 387-2803.

More information about the Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute is available from Mary Swartz, WMU's regional site director in Traverse City, Mich. Swartz can be reached by phone at (616) 922-1788, by fax at (616) 922-1789 or by e-mail at <mary.swartz@wmich.edu>. More information also is available on the World Wide Web at <www.wmich.edu/holistichealth>.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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