Created by the Center for Spirituality & Healing and Charlson Meadows.

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Watch this video from May 2009 to hear Archelle Georgiou, MD discuss the use of integrative therapies as a complement (not substitute) to conventional cancer treatment.

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Are you ready to make some changes in your life? Use this tool to create your health goals and follow-up plan.

CSH Senior Fellow Archelle Georgiou, MD, started a blog. Read her take on health.

When you get a new prescription medication, be sure to ask your provider all about it. Use this question list as a starting point.

Attitudes Quick Tip

Your attitudes and self-esteem influence your emotions. You can choose to change your attitudes.

Body Weight Quick Tip

Studies show that diet alone is not as effective in achieving a healthy body weight as diet combined with exercise. Even relatively small weight loss can make a difference in health. Losing just ten pounds reduces blood pressure, improves glucose tolerance, and improves blood lipids!
Learn about botanical medicines, such as garlic, echinacea, ginkgo, and ginseng.
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The healthcare system doesn't have to be complicated. Use these checklists and tips to help you stay organized and take charge of your health.

For people with diabetes and those at risk of developing it, integrative therapies offer additional options to help manage blood sugar, optimize function, and minimize complications.

Contact Us

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Stories? We'd love to hear from you! Email us at

Center for Spirituality & Healing
University of Minnesota
Mayo Memorial Building C592
420 Delaware St. S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Ph.: 612-624-9459
Fax: 612-626-5280

Charlson Meadows
1601 Highway 7
Excelsior, MN 55331

Cooking Quick Tip

Cook foods in as little water and for as short a period of time as possible to preserve all water soluble vitamins (Bs and C). As we eat more and more processed foods, we eat less of the phytochemicals and nutrients our bodies need.  

Create and track your personal goals. Get valuable tips and inspiration. Improve your overall health and well-being.

When someone works creatively under the guidance of a qualified therapist, they can become more expressive and communicative. Learn more about music, art, and dance therapy.

Watch as Archelle Georgiou, MD, learns about the Mediterranean diet straight from the locals of Greek island Ikaria.

Take the Diet & Nutrition Assessment to identify your strengths and areas of improvement, which will help you create a goal.

Americans are bombarded with information about "healthy eating," but we suffer from higher rates of obesity and chronic disease than ever before.

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Take the Emotions Assessment to help identify your strengths, areas of improvement, and first steps needed to achieve your goals.

Exercise Quick Tip

You don't need to get fancy, expensive equipment to improve your fitness. Walking is an example way to get physical activity that is available to almost everyone. Many house and garden chores can help build strength as well.

Psychologists in the new field of eco-therapy believe that spending time outdoors is important for our health and can be especially beneficial for those with depression, anxiety, or stress.

See these tips for choosing the best provider for you.

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Learn how to make good food choices that will lead to better overall health - how to shop and cook, what to include, and what to avoid.

Good vs. Bad Fats

All the publicity around low-fat diets in our culture leads many of us to assume that eating any fat is bad, but our bodies require some fat to be healthy.

The emerging scientific consensus is that eating the right kind of fats is important to health and the prevention of disease.

So enjoy beneficial fats. Get the majority of your fats from plants and fish, and minimize saturated animal fats.

Consider all aspects of your health for you and the baby.

It's tough to navigate the healthcare system. It's hard to find a compatible provider. Insurance is confusing. But when it comes to your health, you're your own best advocate.

While there is no alternative treatment that will cure cancer, there are several therapies that can help alleviate some of the symptoms of cancer and the side-effects of conventional treatment.

Paul Schultz is a tribal elder and traditional healer in the White Earth band of the Ojibwe tribe in Minnesota. He raises questions about the individualization of healthcare. Watch his interview.

Shauna L. Shapiro, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University. Her research focuses on mindfulness meditation. Watch her interview.

A Professor of Medicine at University of California, Berkeley, Folkman has had a long-standing interest in how people cope with stress. Watch this interview with her.


Wayne Jonas, M.D., is the President and CEO of the Samueli Institute, whose mission is to transform healthcare through the scientific exploration of healing. Watch this interview with him.

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Born in 1975, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is among a new generation of Tibetan Buddhist masters. He has extensive training in the meditative and philosophical traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Watch his interview.

Read/watch interviews with visiting experts.

Take the Life Purpose & Spirituality Assessment to help identify your strengths, areas of improvement, and first steps needed to achieve your goals.
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Use this form to keep track of the medications you take. And remember to bring it to your doctor appointments.

Research shows that the Mediterranean diet can improve health and longevity. Learn more about the diet.

These therapies and practices enhance the mind's positive impact on the body.

Muscle Strengthening Quick Tip

For strength training, you can use common grocery items, such as bags of rice, vegetable or soup cans, or bottled water instead of weights. You can also use your own body weight in push-ups, squats, sit-ups, and other exercises.

I am 26 years old and a first-generation Hmong-American. Growing up, we never really called my family's use of herbal remedies "Traditional Hmong Medicine," although that's what it technically was. For us, it was just a way of life!

Who are the experts who write and review this website? 

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Take the Physical Activity & Fitness Assessment to help identify your strengths, areas of improvement, and first steps needed to achieve your goals.

If you have received a cancer diagnosis, it is important to ask your doctor the following questions.

Quick Tip - Self-Care and Prevention

Seventy percent of diseases are preventable. There are more than 980,000 deaths a year from preventable disease.

Quick Tip: Strategies to Avoid Overeating

Pay attention to what, when, and why you eat. Keeping a food diary helps people lose weight. Discern between hunger and thirst-you might think you are hungry when you are really thirsty. Try to avoid eating standing up, watching TV, or driving. Eat slowly and chew. You will get more "food experience" from fewer calories. Eat smaller, more frequent meals (every three to four hours). Skipping meals or waiting too long before eating causes excessive hunger and may lead to eating larger portions at the next meal. Americans tend to use visual cues to tell them when they are full, such as when the plate or bowl is empty. So use smaller plates. Be aware of what a serving is: one serving (three ounces) of meat, poultry, or fish is about the size of a deck of playing cards. A one-cup serving of potatoes, rice, or pasta looks like a tennis ball. One serving of fruits or vegetables is about the size of a small fist. A one-ounce serving of cheese is about the size of your thumb.
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Take the Relationships & Family Assessment to help identify your strengths, areas of improvement, and first steps needed to achieve your goals.

Relaxation Quick Tip

Set aside at least 20 minutes a day for any activity you find relaxing - listening to music, reading, playing computer games or just soaking in a warm bath.


Find websites, articles, and more to help you learn more about taking charge of your health.

Read Mary Jo's blog entry about her recent travels and findings about self-care in healthcare reform in England.

Take the Self-Care & Prevention Assessment to help identify your strengths, areas of improvement, and first steps needed to achieve your goals.

Have you clicked on Navigate the Healthcare System and read some of the content? We want to know what you think. Take this five-minute survey and share your opinion.

Take the Stress Mastery Assessment to help identify your strengths, areas of improvement, and first steps needed to achieve your goals.

Stretching Quick Tip

Incorporate flexibility exercises into your overall fitness program that stretch all the major muscle groups. You should do these a minimum of two to three days per week. To improve balance, work on your core strength, in addition to balance training, such as toe walking, or standing on one foot.  
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Get the most from your healthcare. Take charge!

Read the reflections of Mary Jo Kreitzer, director of the Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota.

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A growing number of psychologists believe that depression, anxiety, and stress can be due, in part, to our alienation from nature. Read Mary Jo's blog about it.

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Want to learn more about navigating the healthcare system? Check out these online and print resources.

When you think of a healing environment, what comes to mind? Healthcare organizations are paying attention to research that shows the benefits of a healing environment.

Meditation is a self-directed practice for relaxing the body and calming the mind. Learn more about its benefits.

Bridge over water

TCM focuses on cultivating harmony, seeing ourselves and our world as a whole, and considering everything in context.

Learn the important things to look for.

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