WMU News

Leelanau Holistic Institute is unique educational experience

May 25, 2000

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- A unique educational experience will be available starting July 30 for people from across the country who are interested in holistic health care.

Called the Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute and offered by Western Michigan University, it will allow participants to immerse themselves in intensive week-long residential classes while living in a community of like-minded classmates and enjoying Michigan's beautiful natural surroundings.

The institute will take place at the scenic Leelanau School, a private 50-acre boarding school in Glen Arbor, Mich. The facility is located in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on the coast of Lake Michigan and is 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 apply them toward WMU's popular 18-credit-hour graduate certificate program in holistic health care, which also is offered in a weekend format at the University's main campus in Kalamazoo, Mich., and at its regional centers in Grand Rapids, Lansing, St. Joseph, and Battle Creek, Mich.

The certificate program, one of the nation's first 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.

Mary Swartz, director of WMU's regional site office in Traverse City, explains that the Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute allows students to complete the course work for the University's certificate program over three summers and to complete the required internship at their home location.

"We offered the weekend version of the program locally from 1995, when WMU first opened its Traverse City office, until last year, when we introduced the week-long summer institute," Swartz says. "This unique format was so well received that we're now offering our holistic courses exclusively through the institute."

This year's institute program will be offered in two sessions of three classes each, with students allowed to take one class per session. The courses will be taught by experienced members of WMU's holistic health care program faculty.

Courses to be offered during the first session, which runs from July 30 through Aug. 6, are Introduction to Holistic Health, Holistic Health and Spirituality, and Holism and the Environment. Courses to be offered during the second session, which runs from Aug. 6 through 12, are Holistic Methods II, Health and Humor, and Holistic Approaches to Healing Through Visual Art.

Both sessions will feature small, highly experiential nontraditional classes designed to give students an opportunity to sample a holistic lifestyle while on campus. A variety of complementary and alternative approaches, techniques and resources will be presented, including meditation, yoga, massage, time for reflection, group discussion, beach activities and guest presentations.

The Leelanau Holistic Summer Institute is appropriate for health care professionals, social workers, nurses, therapists, physicians, ministers, and occupational and physical therapists. Individuals interested in incorporating holistic approaches into their personal, family, and work life 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 Mary Swartz by mail at Western Michigan University, NMC University Center, 2200 Dendrinos Drive Suite 200-S, Traverse City, MI 49684; by phone at (231) 922-1788; by fax at (231) 922-1789; or by email at <mary.swartz@wmich.edu>. Those interested also may visit the Web site at <www.wmich.edu/holistichealth>.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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