News from the UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness
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Jan. 23, 2021 Optimize Your Well-Being
FREE Virtual Symposium

Visit to learn more and to register.
Email with questions.

A virtual community event focused on integrative health and cancer survivorship. Hosted jointly by The UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness and the UC Cancer Center Survivorship and Supportive Services Program. View recorded presentations from the Oct. 17 event. >>

Building Wellness in 2021

Dr. Mladen Golubic, New Center Medical Director
The UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness will be joined in January by our incoming Medical Director, Dr Mladen Golubic. Dr. Golubic comes to us from the Cleveland Clinic, as a scientist and physician, with a wealth of experience and knowledge in lifestyle and integrative medicine approaches to care. He most recently served as the Medical Director of the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.   With his arrival, we will be reinvigorating integrative physician consults and providing new lifestyle medicine consults.

Multidisciplinary Wellness Clinic Opens Jan. 2021
The UC Cancer Center is developing a multidisciplinary wellness clinic for cancer patients and survivors at the Barrett Cancer Center.  A joint effort between the Cancer Survivorship and Supportive Services Program and UC Health Integrative Medicine, this new clinic is slated to open in January 2021. According to Dr. Syed Ahmad, the Co-Director of the UC Cancer Center, “ there was a natural synergy between these two programs and the creation of this clinic will put us on par with the top cancer centers in the country.” The clinic will support wellness and improve outcomes for patients during and after cancer treatment. Providers will assess and treat multiple symptoms including, but not limited to:
  • Cancer-Related Fatigue
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Pain (Non-narcotic modalities)
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Confusion or Chemobrain
  • Depression, stress and anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Optimization of Health
Learn more about Survivorship Services
Per Dr. Melissa Erickson (pictured above, left) medical director of the survivorship program, “having all of these services available at the same time and in the same location, not only makes things logistically easier for patients, it also allows for improved, coordinated care by our multi-disciplinary team, leading to improved outcomes for our cancer patients.”

Forest Therapy

Cathy Crain
UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness Advisory Council
Community Outreach Chair
“Simply being present in the natural world with all our senses fully alive – can have a remarkably healing effect.  It can also awaken in us our latent but profound connection with all living things.”   M. Amos Clifford (founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs)
You won’t need your hiking boots, just a heart open to connect with the natural world.  There are no expectations, only what the individual takes from the experience.  Forest therapy is a research-based framework that consists of gentle walks with a certified forest therapy guide. Guides invite participants to interact with the world around them via slow, silent walks to observe motion we would normally miss in our ever fast-paced world; a world in which we often fail to allow ourselves to be in the present moment and place. Connection to the natural world can bring us to a place of calm, or help us deal with trauma.
Read more about the benefits of forest therapy >>
We know anecdotally that walking outside among trees, flowers and wildlife can make humans feel better.  In the 1970s researchers in Japan began investigating the effects of walking in a forest on those that suffered chronic diseases, particularly chronic stress and high blood pressure.  They found that certain trees and plants emit aerosols that inhibit the growth of harmful fungi and bacteria. Researchers showed that aerosols were not only advantageous to plant health, but that they also increased the number and activity of the white blood cells in humans, boosting immune responses. With these findings, researchers and health care practicioners in Japan created Forest Bathing, or Shinrin-yoku.  M. Amos Clifford studied these practices and developed a certification program in the U.S. for forest therapy guides. 
Look for more information in Summer 2021 for forest therapy opportunities with the UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness.

The Forest is the Therapy.  The Guide Only Opens the Door. 

Cathy Crain
UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness Advisory Council, Community Outreach Chair

Boosting Immunity:
Functional Medicine Tips


Stress reduction: Chronic stress can negatively alter immune system responses, making you more likely to get sick. Identify your personal stress reduction strategies and practice them regularly.

Sleep: Sleep has a big influence on immune function, so it is essential to get plenty of sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene and maintain consistent sleep hours—turn off screens, ensure the room is cool, quiet, and dark, and set a reminder to help yourself go to bed on time.

Exercise: Moderate, regular physical activity helps to boost immune system function by raising levels of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies, increasing circulation, and decreasing stress hormones. Establish and follow an exercise program to not only help prevent respiratory infections but also to improve cognitive and physical resilience.

Nutritious foods/diet: Research indicates that brightly colored vegetables and fruits boost immunity better than most supplements. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables—aim for 10 servings per day. Include fermented vegetables or other probiotic-containing foods.


New Study Shows Similarities in
Brain’s Craving Responses
to Social Isolation & Hunger

People who are forced to be isolated crave social interactions in a way that is similar to how a hungry person craves food, according to the findings from a new study. Chronic social isolation and loneliness are known to be associated with diminished physical and mental health.

Forty healthy young adults who have frequent, regular social interactions underwent 10 hours of social isolation one day and 10 hours of fasting another day. After isolation, the participants reported decreased happiness and increased social craving, loneliness, discomfort, and dislike of isolation. After fasting, participants reported decreased happiness and increased food craving, hunger, discomfort, and dislike of fasting.


UC Answers:
How Can Mindfulness Help Us Cope?

Sian Cotton, PhD, is director of the UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness, Turner Farm Foundation Chair, and a professor in the UC Department of Family and Community Medicine. She offers tips on how to cope during the pandemic and offers advice on  mindfulness techniques that might help you respond to challenges in a typical day.



A Brief Meditation
For Difficult Moments

A study in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences found that, “Mindful people can better cope with difficult thoughts and emotions without becoming overwhelmed or shutting down (emotionally).”

Mindful individuals do this by pausing, observing, and using self-compassion. When life is difficult, we tend to be overly critical and hard on ourselves, but actually, it's compassion, not criticism, that facilitates greater resiliency.

I experienced this brief meditation at the 2016 Mindfulness and Well-being at work conference hosted by the Greater Good Science Center.

When you find yourself in a difficult situation, pause, take a few deep breaths and repeat to yourself:

May I be kind to myself.
May I find peace and healing.
I am doing the best that I can at this moment.
May I accept and find ease with things just as they are.

In good health,
Meriden McGraw, MPH
Director, Workplace Mindfulness, CIHW

UC Integrative Health and Wellness Courses Open to Community

UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness College of Medicine courses now open to health care practicioners and anyone interested in integrative health and wellness.
  • MEDS 2087 – Fundamentals of Integrative Health (John Sacco/Lauri Nandyal) - Spring/Fall 2021
  • MEDS 2088 – Science and Practice of Mind Body Medicine (Cotton/Barbara Walker) - Spring/Fall 2021
  • MEDS 2089 – Self-care and Mental Well-being (Meriden McGraw) - Spring/Fall 2021
  • MEDS 3070 – Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Compassionate Care (Meera Murthi) - Fall 2021
  • MEDS 4037 – Functional Medicine and Gut Health (Lauri Nandyal) - Fall 2021
Visit the Registrar's Office to learn more about how to enroll.  For additional registration questions, please email

Access the Basic Data Form to to register as a 'nonmatriculating student' to sign up for stand-alone classes

Please share the good word and reach out to Kelly Lyle at with any questions.

Help Suppor the Center's Mission

As I reflect on this past year, I am incredibly grateful for how our community has come together to fight COVID-19. The Center for Integrative Health and Wellness has:
  • Redirected our massage therapists to support UC Health clinical staff at UC Medical Center.
  • Provided mindfulness and resiliency training to front-line healthcare workers, UC faculty and staff, educators and staff in a Cincinnati Public Elementary School, and ArtsWave members.
  • Engaged hundreds with a free virtual symposium Optimize Your Well Being: Prevent. Health. Thrive focused on integrative medicine and cancer survivorship.
Our Friends of the Center, donors, and Advisory Council have shown unwavering confidence in our mission to improve the health of our local and global community with integrative medicine clinical practices, education and research. Integrative medicine’s focus on maintaining wellness is essential, now more than ever, as we work to maintain our daily lives amidst the stress, chaos and uncertainty.
We hope you will join us to care for our community and provide balance during this time. To give the gift of wellness, community education, clinical care, and access to services for under-resourced patients, please consider making a gift today to the  Integrative Health and Wellness Development Fund. You can help us continue to serve healthcare workers and educators with our mindfulness and resiliency virtual training. Your gift can be directed to support this or another program of your choice.
Please contact Dolores Dodson Asst. Director of Development, UCCOM & UC Health at or (317)-709-6647 or Dr. Sian Cotton, Director of the Center for Integrative Health and Wellness, at

Best wishes for health and balance. A happy and safe holiday season to all.
~Sian Cotton, PhD
Impact of your generosity >>


UC Health has joined more than 100 of the nation’s top hospital and health systems to come together with a unified message and an urgent plea for all Americans: mask up, because wearing a face mask is our best chance at slowing the surging COVID-19 pandemic now.
UC Health is encouraging everyone to visit for more information.
Upcoming Virtual Events

Every Monday at 8:30 AM
Free Virtual Mindfulness Sessions
with Dr. Barbara Walker
Learn More & Register >>

Jan. 5, 9:00 AM - Virtual Mindfulness Meditation For Optimal Health (For Cancer)-Session 1. Learn More & Register >>

Jan. 5, 11:30 AM -
Virtual Tai Chi for Parkinson’s and Neurological Disorders. Learn More & Register >>

Jan. 7, 10:30 AM - Virtual Yoga for Cancer. Learn More & Register >>

Jan. 8, 11:00 AM - Virtual Yoga for MS - Mat. Learn More & Register >>

Jan. 8, 12:30 PM - Virtual Yoga for MS - Chair. Learn More & Register >>

Jan. 12, 9:00 AM -
Virtual Mindfulness Meditation For Optimal Health (For Cancer) Session 2. Learn More & Register >>

Jan. 23, 9:30 AM-1:30 PM - Optimize Your Well-Being: Prevent.Heal.Thrive

A free virtual symposium focused on integrative health and wellness and cancer survivorship.
Learn More & Register >>

FEB 2-MAR 23, 2021 Virtual Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 8-Week Training with Dr. Meera Murthi. Groups meet weekly on Tuesday evenings. Discounted rates available. Please email for more information. Register Online >>
Spiced Nuts with Turmeric and Garam Masala

  • 3 cups mixed unsalted raw nuts (equal parts cashews walnuts, almonds, etc.)
  • 3 tablespoons avocado or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon chickpea flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine nuts and oil in large mixing bowl, toss until evenly coated.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and toss well.
  4. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, smooth into even layer.
  5. Bake until the nuts are fragrant and lightly toasted. Cook time varies 15-30 minutes. Toss/turn nuts after 15 minutes, assess how fast they are cooking.
  6. Serve warm, or cool completely and save in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
When you buy nuts raw and roast them yourself, they taste fresher, retain more nutrients, and are better for your brain. We roast these nuts with the anti-inflammatory spices turmeric and garam masala. If you don't have garam masala, use a combination of any of these that you have: cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, black pepper, cumin, and nutmeg. Mix together ½ teaspoon of each and measure out 2 teaspoons total for the recipe.

More Brain Health Kitchen Recipes >>
New Mental Well-Being
and Self-Care Course for Undergrads

Beginning with the Spring 2021 semester (starting virtually January 2021), the UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness affiliated faculty will lead a mental well-being course for undergraduates in the MEDS program at the UC College of Medicine.

Course Description

This course introduces scientifically validated strategies shown to reduce stress and increase mental well-being to increase students’ capacity to overcome setbacks, challenges, and difficulties. The course will include exploration and discussion of the psychological science of self-care and mental well-being and include experiential learning of specific self-care strategies to bolster resiliency.

Learn more about the Integrative Health and Wellness curriculum offerings >>
Healthy UC Virtual Resources

UC Health Integrative Medicine Virtual Classes
  • Virtual Movement-Based Classes (Tai Chi for Parkinson's, Yoga for Cancer, Yoga for MS) return Jan. 2021 via Microsoft Teams. View schedule >>
  • Mindfulness Mondays with Dr. Barbara Walker - Every Monday at 8:30AM
UC Health COVID-19 Resources
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