May 3-6, 2018 (Danbury, CT) It was a very different scene at Ann’s Place this last week thanks to funding from Susan H. Bowker (Redding), who passed away last year. For four days, facilitators from The Center for Mind-Body Medicine helped local and national cancer care professionals learn techniques to, not only care for their clients, but also to care for themselves. Participants spent time in large gathering sessions learning new skills and 16 hours in small groups practicing on themselves.
“Many participants realized they spend so much time listening to others, it was a huge relief to have their own concerns heard,” said Shannon Cobb, President, and CEO of Ann’s Place. “These are some of our most caring people in the community and it felt so good to see them laugh and de-stress.”
In the entrance lobby participants were greeted by a heartwarming picture of Susan H. Bowker laughing. A simple statement from the family welcomed them, “Susan had the unique gift of making anyone she came in contact with feel like they were the most important person in her world. This empowerment challenged them to become a better person not just to their loved ones, but to all they came in contact with as well. It is our thought and hope that this grant will follow this same path that our mother, Susan H. Bowker, has put into motion and will continue to expand and empower others.”
Over the four days, each participant was made to feel like they were truly important, just as Susan would have wanted. The Center for Mind-Body Medicine facilitators gave these caring professionals numerous techniques and information on things such as nutrition, meditation exercises, mind-body science, stress release, trauma and transformation, spiritual wellness, and creating genograms. Participants also had time to make lasting relationships with other professionals in their field.
"In this training we shared practical techniques for self-awareness, self-care, and group support with an extraordinary group of caregivers," said James S. Gordon, MD, Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, "We wanted to make sure that participants learned the science of mind-body medicine and had the opportunity to experience the benefits of meditation, guided imagery, biofeedback, and self-expression in words, drawings, and movement in supportive small groups. We hope as well to continue to work with the leadership of Ann's Place and many of those who serve their community."
Ann’s Place is a perfect setting for rejuvenation. Thanks to thousands of people from the local community, it was designed for both large and small groups to meet and help people through their cancer journey with counseling, support and wellness programs – all at no charge. The cozy home-like environment with outdoor garden paths and labyrinth is only made possible by over 900 volunteers who continue to maintain the facility through cleaning, gardening, facilitating, providing wellness programs and fundraising.
“This has opened up new possibilities for Ann’s Place and we will continue to seek ways to help keep our caregivers strong in our shared mission to serve those with cancer,” said Cobb.
Ann’s Place provides help and hope to those living with cancer and their loved ones. Their clinical social workers, facilitators and wellness experts provide a host of services aimed at improving quality of life during and after cancer. Ann’s Place relies on the generosity of donors to be able to continue providing these services free of charge. Find out more at www.annsplace.org or call 203-790-6568 to speak with a clinician about services.
The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) is a worldwide leader in making self-care, group support, and community-building central to all healthcare, the training of health professionals, and the education of children. CMBM has focused on providing innovative solutions to some of the world’s most intractable and complex psychological and physical problems. CMBM’s international faculty of 160 experts have trained over 5,000 health professionals, educators, and community leaders in our pioneering mind-body medicine model of self-care, self-awareness, and group support; they in turn integrate the model into their communities and use it with the populations they serve, allowing us to benefit millions of people. Learn more at www.cmbm.org.