What is Urban Zen?
Urban Zen Foundation was born when the fashion designer, Donna Karan, listened to the Dalai Lama speaking about preserving the historical and cultural richness of his homeland. It sparked a fire within her that compelled her to share both the wisdom and compassion she had felt listening to him. She became determined to raise awareness and inspire change. When her late husband, Stephen Weiss, became ill with lung cancer they needed a way to deal with the illness in a complementary way that supported not only dealing with the disease itself, but him as an individual and themselves as a family. You can hear her describe the beginning here. When considering well-being, from a holistic perspective, she believes the patient must be treated, not just the disease. Empowering children with education, in academics, self-esteem and compassion is also a large focus. She created Urban Zen Center for people and organizations of like-mind to collaborate together to create change.
Urban Zen is based on the following three initiatives:
- #1 preservation of culture
- #2 wellbeing
- #3 patient advocacy (as well as empowering children)
The Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program is the application of the well-being initiative of Urban Zen. This program integrates some of what we consider the eastern healing techniques such as yoga and acupuncture, with more holistic focus on nutrition and the use of aromatherapy, and the medicinal use of essential oils while combining that with western medicine to focus on the whole patient, rather than just his disease. The UZIT program is focused on integrating multiple therapies into patient care. The objective of the program is to train and provide integrative therapists in hospitals, outpatient care centers, support groups and private practices which will transform healthcare to include these healing techniques together WITH western medicine.
It was launched in 2009 and is a 500 hour advanced program focused on integrating multiple therapies together and instead of treating a patient’s DISEASE…. they treat the actual PATIENT. Where western medicine holds to focusing on treating disease, it does not address the emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and those who care for them, both his loved ones and his nurses.
April 15th, 2009, Beth Israel Medical Center….the ribbon cutting ceremony when the program was launched.
Urban Zen Integrative Therapists use multiple modalities (including yoga, Reiki, therapeutic use of essential oils (using Young Living essential oils), nutrition and contemplative care) to address the symptoms of PANIC—Pain, Anxiety, Nausea, Insomnia, Constipation and Exhaustion—that accompany disease or injury. Following are some of the key people involved in Urban Zen and their experiences.
Donna says, “Urban Zen stands for finding the calm in chaos.” Here she is talking about her experience and why she wanted aromatherapy as a part of Urban Zen.
Here, Woodson Merrel, MD, the Director of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center, describes how Aromatherapy, particularly using Young Living essential oils, is part of Beth Israel.
Dr. Jaime Naughright, Director of Urban Zen Integrative Therapists, talks about Young Living’s support and influence at Beth Israel.
Shana is Urban Zen’s Yoga Coordinator, and she describes the changes made at Beth Israel and how Young Living has helped. One thing she states, “The unintended consequence is that it makes everybody a little more calm….and it CLEANS the environment.”
Coleen Saidman Yee, a yogi and co-director of Urban Zen Integrative Therapists, talks about her use of the oils. “I am COMPLETELY addicted to the oils!”
Rodney Yee, co-director also talks about use of Young Living essential oils.
Aurora Ocampo, a clinical nurse specialist for integrative medicine, talks about the alternative techniques she uses, including aromatherapy, yoga and Reiki to enhance patient care. She quotes a patient saying, “this is putting caring back into health care.”
Jill Pettijohn, a raw food chef and instructor for the Urban Zen Foundation, describes how she uses essential oils. She says, “I always smile when I think of the oils and the way they make me feel.”
Sonja Nutall, Creative Director of Urban Zen, talks about her own experience with Young Living Essential oils. “They’ve changed my life, I just want to smell their smells constantly.”
3 John 2 “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may PROSPER and be in GOOD HEALTH, just as your SOUL PROSPERS.”
- http://yogahome.net/urban-zen-restorative/ (This is a chapter local to me in Cincinnati, OH)
- http://www.yogaonhigh.com/classes/specialty-classes/urban-zen (This is a chapter local to me in Columbus, OH.)