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The Catalyst

MUSC Employee Wellness - Alternative Medicine

by Susan Johnson, Ph.D.,
Office of Health Promotion director

Whether you call it alternative, complementary or integrative, there is a group of healing resources that is considered “outside” the mainstream Western, or conventional, medicine for specific conditions or overall well–being.  Many modalities fall within this realm including reiki, herbology, homeopathy, chiropractic, nutritional counseling, yoga, acupressure, massage treatment, reflexology and meditative exercises.

While there is much debate about the efficacy of these approaches with varying amounts of research conducted, some of these practices appear to hold promise in pain management and side effects from cancer treatments as well as other benefits according to the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Several hospitals are now combining these tools into their offerings acknowledging the mind–body–spirit connection to treat the whole patient.

Throughout June, MUSC Employee Wellness will be sponsoring a series of Lunch and Learns to explore complementary and alternative medicine and therapies under the heading of Holistic Wellness. (See Event listings below).

These sessions are an opportunity to explore these disciplines with local practitioners and see how they may fit into your own health and wellness practice. Additionally, the June Mindful Challenge will invite participants to try an alternative diet by going meat–free at least one day a week (meat–free Monday).

Wellness Events

  • TrySports MUSC VIP Night 7 to 9 p.m., June 18, 1708 Towne Centre Way, Mount Pleasant. Customers can enjoy a 20 percent discount off their entire purchase; Events scheduled: 7 to 7:15 p.m., Lindsey Clark, an MUSC certified athletic trainer, leads a clinic on injury prevention for the recreational athlete; 7:15 to 7:20 p.m., 5 Steps to the Perfect Fit
  • June Mindful Challenge — Try an alternative diet at lease one day a week: Meat–free Monday. Take the survey at
  • A link to the final survey will be sent at end of the month to survey participants.
  • MUSC Holistic Wellness Month Lunch and Learn Series — Bring lunch and interact with local or MUSC practitioners specializing in complementary health and wellness disciplines. Email to register.
    *Mindful Meditation: Have you noticed how the mind seems to never quiet down; how it jumps from one thing to another? J. Ramita Bonadonna, Ph.D., R.N., of MUSC leads this session. 12:15  to 12:45p.m., Wednesday, June 18, Room 109, Colbert Library
    *Acupuncture & Elements of Chinese Medicine: Join an informative discussion about the use of food, essential oils and acupuncture to keep the body healthy during the heat of summer. Lisa Abernathy and Lauren Becker of Blue Heron Acupuncture and Apothecary explore the Five Elements and how they are used in this traditional treatment. Event is from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m., Wednesday, June 25, Room 115, Colbert Library. Email to register.
  • Fit Family Challenge — MUSC has partnered with Coca–Cola, Lowcountry Parent magazine, DHEC, S.C. Hospital Association and CVS in an 8–week program in which S.C. residents are challenged to get out and get active. Register at Families earn points for a chance to win prizes during the challenge period, May 15 to July 10.
  • MUSC Quits! — an eight–week tobacco cessation program to help MUSC students and employees quit smoking — free of charge from May 27 to July 18. 7:45 to 8:45 a.m., Tuesdays or 7:45 to 8:45p.m., Thursdays. Register at
  • Employee Fitness Series — 4:15 to 4:45 p.m., June 18; Pilates: a total body non–impact workout that stretches, strengthens and lengthens the entire body with emphasis on core muscles. Participants should check in at the Wellness Center membership desk for directions to the free class and receive a free one-day pass to the Wellness Center. Register at
  • Worksite screening — The next worksite screening will be held June 20, Room 125, Gazes Building Auditorium. Screening is valued at about $350, is available to employees of the State Health Plan (including the MUSC Health Plan) for only  $15 (covered spouses also can participate for $15). Employees and spouses without this insurance can participate for $42. To register, go to
  • Chair massages: Free massages are offered to employees on midday Wednesdays. Look for broadcast messages for locations and times.
  • Farmers Markets: Fresh fruits and vegetables are available from local farmers from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Harborview Office Tower lobby; from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., ART; and from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., MUSC Horseshoe

For information about employee wellness or the MUSC Urban Farm, email or Suzan B. Whelan, in the Office of Health Promotion at MUSC or like us on Facebook.


June 13, 2014



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