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Embracing Positivity in Uncertain Times: Strategies for a Resilient Mindset

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Life’s journey often takes unexpected turns, and during uncertain times, finding a path illuminated with practical strategies and healing positivity becomes vital. In this guide, we’ll explore practical strategies and delve into the healing touch of positivity, caring for others, the art of letting go, reading, and diverse meditation practices. 

Embrace Gratitude: In the heart of uncertainty, gratitude becomes a healing ritual. Take a moment to appreciate the simple joys and blessings around you each day. By grounding yourself in gratitude, you invite healing energies that soothe the spirit and remind you of the beauty and good things of life. 

Mindfulness and Meditation: Mindfulness and meditation offer a sanctuary for the soul during uncertain times. Embrace these practices as acts of self-love and self-care. Allow the gentle rhythm of your breath to wash away worries, bringing healing to the mind and balance to your being. 

Yoga as a Gateway to Meditation: 

Yoga is a meditation practice that amplifies relaxation effects. Consider incorporating the following elements: 

  • Yogic Movement: Sign up for a yoga class or practice. Flow through a series of yoga poses to release physical tension, allowing the body to settle into a state of ease and readiness for meditation. 
  • Asanas (Yoga Poses): Engage in stretches and asanas to release residual tension and create a comfortable space for meditation. 
  • Breath-Centered Movement: Coordinate movement with breath to cultivate a sense of flow and presence. This synchronicity prepares the mind for the stillness of meditation, making the transition smoother and more profound. 

By incorporating yoga into your meditation routine, you not only prepare the body for stillness but also amplify the benefits of relaxation and mental clarity, creating a holistic approach to your healing journey. 

Nourish Connections: Our connections with others are threads that weave the fabric of our lives. Reach out to loved ones and share your vulnerabilities. In doing so, you lighten your burdens and contribute to a collective healing energy that strengthens the bonds of unity and love. 

Mindful Consumption of News: Amidst the noise of uncertainty, curate a mindful approach to news consumption. Choose sources that uplift and inform rather than overwhelm. By managing your exposure, you safeguard your inner peace and allow healing energies to flow through a mind unburdened by constant negative input. 

Set Compassionate Goals: In the healing light of positivity, set goals infused with compassion. Break down tasks into manageable steps and celebrate every small victory. By nurturing a compassionate approach to your journey, you invest healing into the process, making each step a testament to your strength. 

Immerse in Soulful Hobbies: Engage in activities that resonate with the depths of your soul. Whether it’s the strokes of a paintbrush, the melody of a musical instrument, or the grounding embrace of nature, these soulful hobbies become vessels of healing, allowing you to reconnect with joy and creative vitality. 

  • Mindful Reading: Immerse yourself in books that inspire positivity and growth. Allow the words to transport you to a world of wisdom and comfort, providing an escape and a source of healing. 

Learn as an Act of Self-Discovery and Healing: See uncertain times as opportunities for self-discovery and growth. Embrace the healing power of learning new skills or exploring uncharted territories. Each lesson becomes a stepping stone on your path to healing, unveiling the depths of your resilience and potential.  

Positive Affirmations: Craft positive affirmations as seeds of healing wisdom that you plant in the fertile soil of your consciousness. Let these affirmations bloom into a garden of self-love and empowerment, nurturing a healing mindset that guides you through the uncertainties with grace. 

Present-Moment Healing: In the healing sanctuary of the present moment, release the worries of an uncertain future. Allow mindfulness to anchor you in the now, where and allow healing energies flow freely. By focusing on the beauty of today, you create a space for gratitude, joy, and the gentle art of healing. 

Acts of Kindness: Extend a healing touch to the world through acts of kindness. Volunteer, lend a helping hand, or share a kind word. By contributing to the well-being of others, you not only sow seeds of healing in their lives but also reap the abundant harvest of joy and purpose. 

Daily Routines: Establish daily routines as sacred rituals of healing stability. In the rhythmic dance of your day, find solace and comfort. These rituals become anchors in the sea of uncertainty, providing a healing embrace that restores balance and order in your life. 

Seek Professional Support: In the depths of uncertainty, seeking professional support is a courageous act of self-love. Therapists and counselors become guides on your healing journey, offering insights, coping strategies, and a compassionate presence that lights the way through the shadows. 

The Art of Letting Go: Learning to let go is a profound act of healing. Release the burdens that weigh heavy on your heart. Letting go does not mean giving up; it means allowing healing energies to flow freely. Embrace the liberation of surrendering to life’s natural ebb and flow. 

The healing journey is not just about reaching a destination but learning to dance with the rhythm of life, finding joy in the unfolding moments, and discovering the beauty within the process. May your path be illuminated by the healing light of positivity, guiding you to a place of peace, profound well-being, and enduring joy for the journey ahead. 

Cultivating Gratitude: A Holistic Approach to Giving Thanks

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As the leaves turn and the air grows crisp, this season invites us to slow down and reflect on the abundance in our lives. At Maryland University of Integrative Health, we recognize this time as more than a holiday—it’s a powerful reminder to embody the gratitude we teach and practice in our holistic health approach year-round. 

Scientific studies have consistently highlighted the profound impact gratitude has on our well-being. It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function, and facilitate more restful sleep. In our courses and community engagements at MUIH, we explore these benefits, embracing gratitude as a key component of holistic wellness. 

Despite its importance, expressing thanks can be a challenge in today’s world, where busyness and stress can overshadow moments of appreciation. MUIH provides a sanctuary for rediscovery of this essential practice, integrating it into our mindfulness and wellness programs. We offer a guiding hand back to a state of thankfulness amidst the noise of daily life. 

Integrating Gratitude 

Integrating gratitude into modern life can take many forms, especially when viewed through the lens of integrative health. Here are some additional ways to give thanks that align with holistic well-being: 

  1. Gratitude in Movement:

Yoga and Tai Chi: Engage in yoga or Tai Chi classes that focus on thankfulness for the body’s movement and health. Ending sessions with a gratitude meditation can affirm the body’s strength and resilience. 

Nature Walks: Organize guided walks in nature, inviting participants to express silent gratitude for the environment, or share what they are thankful for with walking partners. 

  1. Holistic Nutrition:

Cooking Classes: Offer classes on preparing wholesome, plant-based meals with a focus on seasonal and local produce. Encourage participants to give thanks for the abundance of the earth and the farmers who cultivate it. 

Mindful Eating Workshops: Host workshops on the practice of mindful eating, teaching the art of savoring food slowly and with gratitude, which can enhance digestion and satisfaction with meals. 

  1. Mind-Body Connections:

Meditative Arts: Practice arts like painting or pottery with an emphasis on gratitude for creativity and self-expression.

Breathing Exercises: Conduct breathwork sessions that include moments of pausing to give thanks for the breath and the life it represents.

  1. Gratitude Through Service:

Community Clinics: Offer free or donation-based clinics for services such as acupuncture or massage, allowing practitioners to give back to the community and patients to receive care with gratitude. 

Health Education: Provide health education sessions in underserved communities, giving thanks for wellness by empowering others with knowledge. 

  1. Social Gratitude:

Gratitude Circles: Facilitate group meetings where participants can share stories of gratitude, focusing on the positive impacts of others in their lives. 

Appreciation Campaigns: Start a campaign encouraging the MUIH community to send notes or small tokens of appreciation to people who have made a difference in their lives. 

  1. Environmental Gratitude:

Sustainability Initiatives: Engage in environmental stewardship programs that express gratitude for our planet by taking action to protect it, such as tree-planting events or community clean-ups. 

Herbal Gardening: Teach about the cultivation of medicinal herbs, fostering appreciation for the healing power of plants and the personal connection to the earth when we grow our own herbs. 

  1. Reflective Practices:

Gratitude Retreats: Offer retreats focusing on self-reflection and recognition of life’s blessings, including sessions on writing, silence, and sharing. 

Vision Boards: Host workshops for creating vision boards that highlight past experiences and future hopes with a theme of thankfulness for both. 

  1. Digital Gratitude:

Gratitude Apps: Encourage the use of apps designed to promote gratitude, where users can log daily thanks or engage in gratitude challenges with a supportive online community. 

Social Media Challenges: Create online challenges that prompt followers to post about different aspects of their life they are grateful for, with the aim of fostering a positive and supportive online environment. 

Incorporating these practices can help to cultivate a culture of gratitude that extends beyond the individual to the wider community and environment. As we approach the holiday season, let us carry the essence of Thanksgiving with us. Integrating gratitude into our daily routine can lead to a richer, more fulfilling experience in life.  

If the values of gratitude and holistic health resonate with you, we welcome you to explore further. Visit muih.edu to learn more about our programs, sign up for our newsletter, or participate in our next event. Let us journey together in wellness, during Thanksgiving and beyond. 

Nurturing Your Well-Being: The Power of Self-Care and Boundaries During the Holidays

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The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. It’s a time when we gather with loved ones, exchange gifts, and reflect on the year gone by. However, amid the festive chaos and social obligations, it’s essential not to forget the most important person in your life: yourself. This blog article will explore the significance of self-care and boundaries during the holidays, offering insights and practical tips to help you maintain your well-being while enjoying the season to its fullest. And watch our faculty discuss the important of making time for yourself during the holidays!

Understanding Self-Care

Self-care is the practice of taking deliberate actions to preserve and improve your physical, mental, and emotional health. During the holidays, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, neglecting our own needs. However, this can lead to stress, burnout, and a diminished ability to fully appreciate the season.

1. Prioritize “Me Time”:

Carve out time for yourself amidst the holiday chaos. It could be a few minutes of meditation, reading a book, or simply going for a walk. This personal time helps recharge your batteries, making you more present and engaged with others.

2. Maintain a Healthy Routine:

Don’t abandon your regular self-care routines. Whether it’s exercise, a balanced diet, or getting enough sleep, sticking to your healthy habits will help you feel your best throughout the holidays.

Setting and Enforcing Boundaries

Boundaries are essential limits that define how we want to be treated and how we allow others to affect us. During the holidays, it’s crucial to establish and maintain healthy boundaries to protect your well-being and maintain your peace of mind.

1. Communicate Your Needs:

Open and honest communication is the key to setting boundaries. Let your loved ones know what you need to maintain your well-being during the holiday season. Whether it’s quiet time, space, or specific arrangements, make your needs clear.

2. Learn to Say No:

The holiday season often brings a flurry of invitations and obligations. It’s okay to decline some of them if they don’t align with your well-being priorities. Saying no doesn’t make you a Grinch; it allows you to maintain balance and sanity.

3. Identify Triggers:

Recognize what triggers stress, anxiety, or negative emotions during the holidays. Once you’re aware of these triggers, you can take steps to either avoid them or respond in a healthier way.

Practical Self-Care and Boundary Setting Tips

Now, let’s delve into some practical strategies to help you implement self-care and boundaries effectively during the holidays.

1. Schedule Self-Care Time:

Just as you schedule holiday events, plan specific moments for self-care. Block out time for relaxation and activities that bring you joy.

2. Delegate and Share Responsibilities:

Don’t feel like you have to do it all. Delegate tasks and responsibilities to other family members or friends, and consider sharing the holiday preparations to reduce your stress.

3. Focus on What Truly Matters:

Remember the essence of the season: spending quality time with loved ones. Prioritize connections and experiences over materialistic pursuits.

4. Create a Self-Care Toolkit:

Assemble a self-care toolkit filled with activities or practices that bring you comfort and relaxation. It can include your favorite books, movies, self-care products, and a list of supportive friends and family members to call.

As the holiday season approaches, it’s crucial to embrace the power of self-care and boundaries. These practices will not only help you enjoy the season to its fullest but also protect your physical and emotional well-being. Remember that taking care of yourself doesn’t mean being selfish; it means being responsible for your happiness and overall health. So, this holiday season, make a commitment to nurture yourself alongside the festivities, and you’ll find that you can savor the joy of the season even more.

Ritual and Remembrance: The Power of Autumn Celebrations in Modern Life

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Autumn has long held a fascination for those who value reflection and nostalgia. The vibrant colors of changing leaves, the cooler temperatures that beckon us indoors, and the traditions that come with fall all contribute to a season rife with meaning. Among these traditions are two potent celebrations that shine a light on the importance of ritual and remembrance: Halloween and Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). 

Halloween
Originating from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, Halloween marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. The Celts believed that on this night, the boundary between the living and the dead blurred, allowing spirits to return to the earth. Rituals, including the donning of costumes, were employed to ward off any malevolent spirits.  

In modern times, Halloween has morphed into a celebration filled with costumes, candies, and frightful delights. But beneath the commercial façade lies a subtle, yet significant, nod to the past and the unknown. The practice of dressing up, carving pumpkins, and even telling ghost stories retains a semblance of our collective history and the human desire to connect with and remember our ancestors. 

Día de los Muertos
While Halloween dances with the unknown, Día de los Muertos embraces it. Originating in Mexico but celebrated across Latin America, this festival is a colorful and joyous tribute to the deceased. Altars, or “ofrendas,” adorned with marigold flowers, candles, photographs, and favorite foods of the departed are set up in homes and cemeteries. The intention isn’t to mourn but to celebrate life and the belief that death isn’t an end, but a continuation of the journey.  

The Role of Integrative Health 
 In our fast-paced world, the need for meaningful rituals and moments of remembrance has never been greater. As mental health challenges rise and societal pressures increase, many are turning to integrative health approaches and health and wellness coaching to find balance.  

Integrative health, which combines conventional medicine with alternative therapies, often emphasizes the importance of holistic well-being. Practices such as meditation, yoga, and traditional herbal remedies can be seen as rituals in themselves, tools that connect individuals to ancient wisdom and provide grounding in the present. 

Health and Wellness Coaching, on the other hand, guides individuals in creating personalized strategies for healthier lifestyles. Through this process, many rediscover the power of daily rituals—whether it’s a morning walk, journaling, or a mindful eating practice. These rituals, while modern, serve the age-old human need for consistency, reflection, and connection. 

Bridging Past and Present Through Ritual and Reflection
As autumn unfolds and we engage in festivities like Halloween and Día de los Muertos, let’s remember that at their core, these celebrations emphasize the beauty of life, the mystery of death, and the importance of memory. Just as we turn to integrative health and wellness coaching to address modern challenges, we can also draw inspiration from age-old traditions to find grounding, purpose, and connection in today’s world. In embracing both, we bridge the gap between past and present, ensuring that the rituals and memories that have shaped us continue to guide and enrich our lives. 

The Natural Wonders of MUIH: The Western Herbal Dispensary

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The quest for holistic health and wellness has led many to explore alternative and natural remedies. The Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has long been a pioneering institution in the field of integrative health, and one of its standout resources is the Western Herbal Dispensary. This herbal haven is a treasure trove of botanical wisdom, offering a range of benefits that cater to the diverse needs of its community. In this article, we’ll delve into the advantages of the Western Herbal Dispensary and why it’s a vital resource for those seeking a more holistic approach to health.

Access to a Wealth of Knowledge

MUIH’s Western Herbal Dispensary is staffed by highly trained herbalists and practitioners who possess a wealth of knowledge about the medicinal properties of plants. This expertise ensures that visitors receive tailored recommendations and guidance on selecting the most suitable herbal remedies for their specific health concerns. Whether you’re a seasoned herbal enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of natural healing, the dispensary offers a valuable educational experience.

Customized Herbal Formulations

One of the standout benefits of the Western Herbal Dispensary is the ability to access personalized herbal formulations. The staff at the dispensary takes into account individual health goals and specific requirements, crafting bespoke remedies that target unique health challenges. This tailored approach goes a long way in enhancing the effectiveness of herbal treatments.

High-Quality, Ethically Sourced Herbs

MUIH places a strong emphasis on sourcing herbs of the highest quality, emphasizing ethical and sustainable practices. This commitment to sourcing premium ingredients ensures that the herbal remedies created at the Western Herbal Dispensary are both potent and environmentally responsible. By choosing these products, visitors can feel confident in their healing journey while also supporting sustainable practices.

Complementary Healthcare Solutions

The Western Herbal Dispensary doesn’t operate in isolation. It’s an integral part of MUIH’s broader approach to integrative healthcare. This means that visitors can access a variety of complementary therapies and services that align with their herbal treatments. Whether it’s acupuncture, nutrition counseling, or yoga therapy, MUIH offers a holistic approach to well-being.

A Community of Support

The Western Herbal Dispensary at MUIH isn’t just a place to pick up herbal remedies; it’s a community that fosters support, learning, and growth. Visitors can connect with like-minded individuals who share an interest in natural health, forming a network that can provide emotional support and camaraderie on their wellness journey.

Empowerment Through Knowledge

MUIH’s commitment to education extends beyond the classroom. The Western Herbal Dispensary empowers visitors to take control of their health by providing them with knowledge about the herbs and remedies they use. This educational aspect is invaluable for those who wish to understand the healing properties of plants and incorporate them into their daily lives.

Enhancing Overall Wellness

The Western Herbal Dispensary is more than just a resource for addressing health issues; it’s a hub for enhancing overall wellness. The remedies available here can be used for preventive health, helping individuals maintain their well-being and vitality. This proactive approach to health is at the heart of MUIH’s philosophy.

The Western Herbal Dispensary at MUIH stands as a beacon of natural healing and integrative health. Its benefits extend far beyond the dispensing of herbal remedies, offering visitors a holistic approach to well-being, empowering them with knowledge, and connecting them with a supportive community. It is a unique and valuable resource of the Herbal Medicine academic programs, which provides the tools and space for students to get hands-on experience creating, formulating, and compounding herbal preparations. The dispensary is also a source of high-quality, custom-compounded formulations produced for clients of the MUIH Natural Care Center and clients of MUIH alumni. Whether you’re seeking a personalized herbal remedy, education on botanical healing, or a network of like-minded individuals, the Western Herbal Dispensary has something to offer. It is, without a doubt, a valuable resource for those embarking on a journey toward holistic health and wellness.

CGMP Compliance and Herbal Products: A Guide to Regulatory Requirements

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Written by Faculty member, John Courie, M.S.

Over the last few years, the herbal products industry has seen remarkable expansion, further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with market forecasts approaching 360 billion USD by 2032. Alongside this growth, there’s been a heightened emphasis on regulatory adherence and quality assurance from not only governing bodies but also major retailers and increasingly savvy consumers. Central to the regulatory framework for this industry are Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs). This article aims to unpack how these practices apply to herbal products while shedding light on key elements such as label claims and disease structure function claims.

Herbs are Dietary Supplements

Before exploring the intricacies of cGMPs, it’s vital to establish that herbs fall under the category of dietary supplements in the U.S., as per the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. Notably, DSHEA grants the FDA the authority to regulate these products for safety but doesn’t require pre-market approval for efficacy. This framework, detailed in 21 CFR 111, defines the regulatory landscape for herbal supplements. Similar regulatory structures exist in Europe and other jurisdictions, ensuring a global focus on quality and safety for these products.

Supplements are Food Based on DSHEA

DSHEA classifies dietary supplements as a subset of foods. This classification impacts not only how these products are regulated but also how they are produced and marketed. Unlike pharmaceuticals, which are subject to a stringent set of rules even before they hit the market, dietary supplements do not require pre-market approval. However, they still need to adhere to specific guidelines for safety and manufacturing processes, which is where cGMPs come into play.

Understanding Label Claims

One of the first steps in achieving cGMP compliance is getting the labeling right. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act has laid down clear guidelines on what a product label can and cannot claim as well as elements that must be standardized such as a
nutrition facts panel so that consumers can easily understand the contents of the supplement. Broadly, these claims fall into three categories: health claims, nutrient content claims, and structure/function claim (which are explained below). Importantly, any structure/function claims must include an FDA disclaimer and all content claims—such as stating “contents: 10mg of caffeine” as opposed to simply “contents: green tea”—need to be substantiated during manufacturing to be compliant. There are many techniques for designing labels and verifying the composition of an herbal product, our Masters program in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture explores the techniques used for this in the modern dietary supplement industry in great detail.

Disease Structure Function Claims

While dietary supplements, including herbal products, cannot make explicit disease claims, they can make structure/function claims. These claims describe how a product may affect the structures or functions of the body but must be accompanied by a
disclaimer that the FDA has not evaluated the claim. These nuanced differences in label claims can have a substantial impact on how the product is received by consumers and regulated by authorities. So for example, let’s say you are making a chamomile,
valerian, skullcap tincture to sell on etsy from your harvest over the summer. On your store page if you say “Helps promote a sense of relaxation for better sleep.” it’s a generalized statement that doesn’t claim to treat a specific condition or disease. But if you wrote in the product description “Effective in treating insomnia.” This claim directly states that the product can treat a specific medical condition, and it is now functioning as a drug rather than a dietary supplement, subjecting it to a different and much more stringent set of regulatory requirements. The key difference is that structure/function claims are more general and focus on well-being, whereas disease claims directly address a medical condition and are subject to much stricter regulatory oversight. Writing effective structure function claims and building the evidence for the claims you want to make about your products is a central element of our program at MUIH.

Navigating cGMPs for Herbal Products

cGMPs are designed to ensure that products are produced to specific quality standards. For herbal supplements, cGMPs cover everything from the quality of the raw materials to the final packaging of the product. A good shorthand for what the cGMPs cover is

“People, Premises, Processes, Products, Procedures”

Compliance is assessed through documentation and inspections, and failure to meet these standards can result in a variety of enforcement actions, ranging from warning letters to product seizures.

Ensuring Quality through Documentation

One of the cornerstones of cGMP compliance is robust documentation. Manufacturers are required to document various processes including ingredient verification, quality control, and even employee training. This ensures traceability and accountability, which are critical for both regulatory compliance and consumer trust. Increasingly, the consumer marketplace is asking for this documentation in the form of seed to sale or soil to sale programs or programs where you can look up the facts about the specific batch of a supplement you have by entering a serial number on the manufacturer’s website or scanning a barcode on the bottle.

Navigating the complex landscape of cGMP compliance for herbal products can be challenging but is crucial for market success and consumer safety. Understanding the regulatory environment, including how herbal products are classified and labeled, can
provide a solid foundation for meeting these compliance requirements. By staying informed and adhering to cGMP standards, herbal product manufacturers can not only ensure the quality and safety of their products but also gain a competitive edge in this
rapidly evolving market. If you are interested in learning more please consider our Herbal Products Design and Manufacturing program at MUIH

Herbal Product Design and Manufacture at MUIH

MUIH’s one-of-a-kind herbal medicine programs recognize the power of the natural world and plant medicines in promoting health and wellness. Through the integration of time-honored uses with contemporary science and research, graduates support the growing consumer use of herbal medicine in community health and wellness, clinical care, research, manufacturing, and retail settings.

Maryland University of Integrative Health offers the only M.S. Herbal Product Design and Manufacture degree in the U.S. Graduates of this program are prepared with the skills and knowledge in herbal medicine and scientific practice and research needed to contribute to the growing field of herbal supplement development and manufacturing. Students develop expertise combining the abilities of medicinal plant researcher and herbalist with that of a medicine maker.

Unlocking Holistic Wellness: The Vitality of Pursuing a Graduate Program in Integrative Health

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In today’s fast-paced world, health and wellness have taken center stage in our lives. We’ve come to realize that true well-being is not just about the absence of disease but a harmonious balance of physical, mental, and emotional health. This realization has given rise to the field of integrative health, a holistic approach that blends conventional and complementary medicine to enhance overall wellness. Pursuing a graduate program in integrative health can open doors to a world of knowledge and opportunities, with a focus on essential areas like nutrition, herbal medicine, health and wellness coaching, and herbal medicine product design. In this article, we’ll explore the profound importance of this field of study.

Nutrition: The Foundation of Holistic Health

Nutrition is the cornerstone of integrative health. It is one of the most influential determinants of health and wellness, as well as the prevention and treatment of disease. What we eat directly impacts our physical well-being, energy levels, and overall vitality. A graduate program in integrative health delves deep into the science of nutrition, helping students understand the power of food as medicine. MUIH’s programs are grounded in a holistic philosophy that integrates the physiological, socio-cultural, and evidence-informed roles of food in our lives. Graduates support the faster than the average job growth rate projected for nutrition professionals in the U.S.

Understanding the intricacies of nutrition equips graduates with the knowledge to educate others on making informed dietary choices, thereby contributing to the prevention and management of chronic diseases. In a world rife with nutritional misinformation, becoming an expert in this field is a powerful way to promote holistic wellness.

Herbal Medicine: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science

Herbal medicine has been used for centuries in various cultures to treat a wide range of health issues. In integrative health graduate programs, students gain a comprehensive understanding of herbal medicine, from its historical roots to its modern-day applications. They learn to identify, cultivate, and prepare medicinal plants while studying the science behind their therapeutic properties.

Graduates with expertise in herbal medicine can offer alternative and complementary treatments to conventional healthcare, often with fewer side effects. This knowledge can be particularly valuable in today’s world, where many people seek natural alternatives to synthetic medications. MUIH’s one-of-a-kind herbal medicine programs recognize the power of the natural world and plant medicines in promoting health and wellness. Through the integration of time-honored uses with contemporary science and research, graduates support the growing consumer use of herbal medicine in community health and wellness, clinical care, research, manufacturing, and retail settings.

Health and Wellness Coaching: Guiding Personal Transformation

Health and wellness coaching is an integral part of integrative health programs. Graduates are trained to provide guidance and support to individuals on their wellness journeys. They help clients set and achieve health goals, navigate lifestyle changes, and overcome obstacles. The power of coaching lies in its ability to empower individuals to take charge of their health.

A graduate program in integrative health equips students with the skills and knowledge to be effective wellness coaches. This role plays a vital role in bridging the gap between knowledge and action, helping people make lasting, positive changes in their lives. It is an evidence-based approach and set of skills that empowers individuals to tap into their own inner source of motivation to restore and preserve health and well-being. Graduates from MUIH are prepared for credentialing by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC).

Herbal Medicine Product Design: Innovating Holistic Solutions

In the ever-evolving field of integrative health, there is a growing demand for herbal medicine products that are safe, effective, and convenient. Graduates with expertise in herbal medicine product design can play a pivotal role in developing innovative solutions that meet these criteria. MUIH offers the only M.S. Herbal Product Design and Manufacture degree in the U.S. Graduates of this program are prepared with the skills and knowledge in herbal medicine and scientific practice and research needed to contribute to the growing field of herbal supplement development and manufacturing. Students develop expertise combining the abilities of medicinal plant researcher and herbalist with that of a medicine maker.

By combining their knowledge of herbal medicine with product design principles, graduates can create herbal remedies, supplements, and wellness products that cater to specific health needs. These products have the potential to make holistic health practices more accessible to a broader audience.

Joining a Program at Maryland University of Integrative Health

The pursuit of a graduate program in integrative health is a noble and timely endeavor. It equips individuals with the knowledge and skills to address the holistic well-being of individuals and communities. Through a deep understanding of nutrition, herbal medicine, health and wellness coaching, and herbal medicine product design, graduates of these programs can make meaningful contributions to the world of healthcare. Apply now for Spring 2024 programs and get started on your future career in integrative health.

As our society increasingly recognizes the importance of holistic wellness, the demand for qualified professionals in integrative health continues to grow. Those who embark on this educational journey not only empower themselves with a wealth of knowledge but also become advocates for a healthier, more balanced world. Ultimately, the importance of applying for a graduate program in integrative health lies in its potential to transform lives, one holistic approach at a time.

Embrace Wellness at MUIH’s Natural Care Center

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This month, we are thrilled to shine the spotlight on a hidden gem in the world of holistic health – the Natural Care Center (NCC) at Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH). The center is a beacon of transformative healing that integrates traditional wisdom and modern science to promote optimal health and wellness.

A Confluence of Traditional and Modern Healing Techniques

The Natural Care Center provides a unique array of services combining age-old practices and cutting-edge methodologies. From acupuncture, Chinese herbs, yoga therapy, nutrition, Clinical Herbal Medicine, the NCC is your one-stop-shop for holistic health services. Our professionals specializing in these disciplines create a haven for those seeking to harmonize mind, body, and spirit.

Clinical Herbal Medicine: Nature’s Healing Bounty

We’re excited to announce the return of Clinical Herbal Medicine services to the NCC. This service, based on the learning outcomes of MUIH’s Clinical Herbal Medicine program, brings the healing power of plants to you. Clinical Herbal Medicine is a holistic practice that integrates the traditions of Western Herbalism with the latest scientific research on plant-based medicines. This service provides individualized support to clients, fostering resilience, and promoting overall health and wellness.

Telehealth: Wellness at Your Fingertips

In an era where convenience is paramount, we are excited to offer telehealth services for all our disciplines. Whether you’re seeking advice on nutrition, or herbal medicine, our services are just a click away. Telehealth ensures you receive timely care without compromising on the quality of service, all from the comfort of your home.

In-Person Appointments: A Personalized Experience

For those who prefer an in-person touch, the NCC offers appointments for Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Yoga Therapy, and Nutrition. Our practitioners are committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment where your wellness is the priority. Experience the therapeutic power of acupuncture, discover the healing properties of Chinese herbs, immerse yourself in the transformative practice of yoga therapy, all at our center.

Special Offers and Discounts

New to the NCC? We extend a warm welcome to our first-time visitors with an exclusive offer. New patients can receive a $25 discount on their first appointment. It’s our way of saying thank you for choosing the NCC as your holistic health partner.

Supporting our Heroes

In acknowledgment of their service and sacrifice, we offer special discounts for US Veterans. We believe in the power of holistic health practices in supporting the well-being of our brave servicemen and servicewomen, and this is our small way of giving back.

Harness the Power of Seasonal Transition

As we transition into a new season, there’s no better time to check in for your health and wellness. Seasonal changes can impact your body in various ways, making it essential to adapt and realign. Whether it’s adjusting your diet, incorporating new meditation routines, or simply managing the changes in your environment, our experts are here to guide you on this journey.

MUIH’s Natural Care Center is not just a healthcare provider but a partner in your wellness journey. Our holistic approach, coupled with the convenience of telehealth and our special discounts, make NCC an irresistible choice for those seeking a balanced, healthier life.

Make an appointment today and step into the world of holistic wellness with us. Your journey to optimal health and well-being awaits you at the Natural Care Center.

Women’s Health Week: Prioritizing Your Well-Being

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As we embrace the spirit of empowerment and celebrate the strength and resilience of women, National Women’s Health Week takes center stage. This annual observance, held from May 12th to May 18th, reminds women of all ages to prioritize their health and well-being. It is a time to reflect, educate, and inspire as we journey toward nurturing a healthier and happier life.

At Maryland University of Integrative Health, we embrace this opportunity to inspire and empower women, fostering a generation of strong individuals leading fulfilling lives. Our expert faculty, Dr. Suzie Carmack, Department Chair of Yoga Therapy, and Ayurveda, shares five actionable steps women can take to optimize their physical, mental, and emotional well-being:

  1. Prioritize Your Time with the 2/10/5/7 Rule: To effectively manage your day, adopt the 2/10/5/7 rule. Allocate at least 2 hours daily for “me time,” including personal exercise, spiritual reflection, and self-development. Limit work-related efforts, including emails, to a maximum of 10 hours per day. Dedicate at least 5 hours each day to quality time with family, friends, and hobbies. Lastly, ensure you have a minimum of 7 hours of sleep or restorative downtime.
  2. Practice Self-Compassion for Well-being: Avoid self-criticism and stress by cultivating self-compassion. Embrace mindfulness, kindness, and common humanity to support your wellness journey. By being gentle with ourselves, we can better manage stress and maintain overall well-being.
  3. Take Genius Breaks: Discover the power of micro-breaks throughout your day. In her best-selling book, “Genius Breaks,” Dr. Carmack encourages combining movement, mindfulness, and meaning into short breaks. Just a couple of minutes can reset your mindset, recharge your body, and release stress.
  4. Embrace Seasonal, Unprocessed Foods: Connect with the feminine energy of mother nature by including seasonal, unprocessed foods in your healthy diet. This approach enhances your relationship with nature and supports overall well-being.
  5. Schedule Ongoing Medical Appointments: Ensure you don’t miss essential medical appointments by dedicating time to schedule all your ongoing check-ups, annual exams, and specialty appointments. Taking this proactive step demonstrates your commitment to your health and helps maintain a comprehensive care routine.

As we celebrate National Women’s Health Week, let us remember the importance of prioritizing our well-being. By following these actionable steps and embracing empowerment, we can nurture a healthier, happier life. Join us in celebrating women’s health and take charge of your wellness journey today.

Capitalizing on the Cannabis Boom: Innovations for Health & Wellness by Dr. Bhodi Tims

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cannabis market

Capitalizing on the Cannabis Market Boom: Innovations for Health & Wellness by Dr. Bhodi Tims

The cannabis industry is experiencing unprecedented growth, with experts projecting $18 billion in legal US sales by 2030. This expansion presents a multitude of opportunities for entrepreneurs and health practitioners alike. Let’s explore the factors driving the industry’s growth, the future of cannabis, and how Maryland University of Integrative Health’s Cannabis Science program can prepare you for a successful career in this evolving landscape. 

Why is the cannabis market growing?

The impressive growth of the cannabis market is due to a variety of factors. One important aspect to consider is the difference between medical-only and combined medical and recreational cannabis markets. In many states, both distribution channels are available, and it’s clear that recreational cannabis will be the main driving force in the near future. However, as the market continues to develop and federal regulations allow for cannabis distribution across state lines, this change will open doors for businesses and practitioners who want to tap into the increasing demand for natural, plant-based solutions. 

One aspect contributing to the growth of the cannabis industry is the connection between the unique sensory experiences and the psychoactive and therapeutic properties of cannabis. As more research unfolds, new possibilities for innovation will arise, allowing businesses to create advanced products and therapies that cater to various consumer needs and preferences. 

Cannabis as a wellness product

The cannabis industry is also becoming more consumer-driven, which is helping it grow. As people become more selective and focused on their health, they’ll look for products that not only offer enjoyment and relaxation but also support their overall well-being. This change will boost the demand for health and wellness products, opening opportunities for businesses and practitioners to create innovative solutions that meet these evolving consumer needs. 

Practitioners who focus on clinical applications will greatly benefit from the increasing evidence supporting cannabis’s therapeutic uses. Cutting-edge research is expected to reveal connections between the endocannabinoid system and other bodily functions like immune, hormonal, and inflammatory responses. These discoveries will lead to the development of cannabis-based therapies that can enhance the effectiveness of herbal treatments targeting specific physiological processes. 

As the industry continues to mature, product standardization will become more critical. This involves understanding the link between distinct sensory signatures and the composition of active compounds in cannabis. Additionally, THC levels are predicted to decrease, and more complex combinations of active compounds will be utilized in clinical settings, further broadening the potential uses of cannabis-based treatments. 

The future of the cannabis industry

The growth of the cannabis industry will undoubtedly impact public perception and acceptance of cannabis use. As more consumers and clinicians explore cannabis without fear of legal ramifications, usage will increase. The long-term market growth will depend on increasing consumer trust with quality assurance practices and strong scientific support of the therapeutic impacts of cannabis.

MUIH is uniquely positioned to prepare graduates for this changing landscape. While access to the recreational and medical cannabis arena will remain controlled by states, the indirect jobs associated with the field are wide open. Services that every business requires, such as trained practitioners who can guide patients in finding appropriate products, will be in high demand. Additionally, the CBD-dominant product marketplace will continue to mature, and the ability to combine cannabis-based products with herbal medicines will be sought after. MUIH’s Herbal Medicine programs offer the tools, certifications and long-term guidance to give graduates in this field the best chance for success.   

For those considering a career in this field, it is essential to get involved now and become comfortable consuming scientific information. By doing so, you can contribute to the continued maturation of a young and exciting field, positioning yourself for success in the booming cannabis industry.  

Sources: 

  • New Frontier Data: U.S. Cannabis Report 2023 
  • Grand View Research: Cannabis Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report 2022-2028 
  • JAMA Network: Medical Cannabis Research 
  • Nature Reviews Drug Discovery: Emerging strategies for exploiting cannabinoid receptor agonists as medicines

Yoga Therapy & Ayurveda: Ancient Pathways to Health & Well-Being

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By Amy Riolo, MUIH Brand Ambassador 

I recently had the chance to interview Dr. Suzie Carmack, Assistant Professor and Department Chair of Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda at Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH), for our Wellness Wednesday podcast series. Dr. Carmack has 30 years of teaching experience in higher education as a multi-disciplinary scholar and 20 years of concurrent experience as a yoga therapist, yoga teacher trainer, leadership coach, and consultant. As a best-selling author, Dr. Carmack is world-renowned for promoting yoga, mindfulness, and self-compassion to advance public health.  

MUIH and its graduates are pioneering the new field of yoga therapy through one-of-a-kind programs. Yoga Therapy is one of the nation’s leading and fastest growing natural therapies used by millions of Americans to address chronic and acute conditions and to promote a lifetime of health and wellness. Yoga therapists use advanced mind-body approaches to support this growth. 

Ayurveda (“science of life”) is one of the oldest systems of self-care in the world. It focuses on an individual’s relationship with their body, mind, spirit, and the natural world. Ayurveda blends well with other integrative health fields and modern medicine, both philosophically and practically, owing to its inclusivity of multiple perspectives.  

Click here to watch our entire interview or enjoy four short clips outlined below that highlight ways to incorporate yogic practices into your life and insight into the fields of yoga therapy and ayurveda.

  1. WOW Arms Yoga Practice


This simple technique helps you to relax and refocus anytime, anywhere.

  1. Embrace the Synergy


Understand more about the fields of yoga therapy and ayurveda and the connection between the two disciplines.

  1. Avoid Burnout


If you’re a caregiver, personally or professionally, you’re at increased risk for burnout. This video shares helpful suggestions.

  1. Team Up


Be a trailblazer and ask your healthcare providers to team up with Yoga Therapists to help you on your wellness journey.

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) is a leading academic institution focused on the study and practice of integrative health and wellness and one of the few universities in the U.S. dedicated solely to such practices. Deeply rooted in a holistic philosophy, its integrative health and wellness model is grounded in whole-person, relationship-centered, evidence-informed care.  

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Ayurvedic Wellness Practices, Master of Science in Yoga Therapy, and Post-Master’s Certificate in Therapeutic Yoga Practices are just three of the more than 20 progressive graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines offered on-campus and online. Each program has been designed to maximize quality education within the shortest time with qualified, experienced, and dedicated faculty at the center of students’ learning experience. Enrollment for Fall 2023 has begun. Click here for our complete academic programs guide.  

If you live in the area, consider visiting the on-campus Natural Care Center or partner healthcare organizations for compassionate and affordable healthcare from student interns and professional practitioners, delivering clinical treatments and consultations throughout each year. For more information about MUIH, please visit www.muih.edu 

Tags: Choosing a Yoga Therapy Program, Best Yoga Therapy Practices, What is Ayurveda, How to Use Ayurveda, Best Yoga Therapy Programs, Top Ayurveda Schools, Ayurveda Programs, Graduate Schools, Online Graduate Degrees 

Learning Outcomes: The Framework for Quality, Rigor, and Success

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Written by Deneb Falabella, Associate Provost for Assessment and Accreditation and Christina Sax, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs 

An important indicator of the integrity and quality of academic programs is that they are built on a defined set of learning outcomes. Learning outcomes state what students will be able to do after completing their courses and degree. They serve as the foundation for the curriculum, as the framework for consistent teaching and learning, and as a guide for assessing student learning. At MUIH, the learning outcomes are the same regardless of the online or in-person delivery format and which faculty are teaching the courses. MUIH is transparent in communicating the learning outcomes to students, faculty, and the public through its website, Academic Catalog, and course syllabi.  

MUIH’s learning outcomes are determined through an inclusive process involving the expertise of faculty and professionals in the field. This process ensures quality and rigor in learning outcomes, the curriculum, and teaching and learning. The academic department curriculum committees and faculty first develop learning outcomes with an eye to the critical and current knowledge and skills needed in the workplace in their field. These are then considered by the University Curriculum Committee, which is composed of representatives from all program areas as well as individuals with academic and assessment expertise. This committee provides feedback about the draft learning outcomes and endorses the final outcomes once they have achieved a set of educational quality standards. Finally, the learning outcomes are reviewed and approved by the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.  

Together, these features are an indicator that MUIH adheres to high academic standards and that its programs are academically rigorous. This helps ensure the credibility and value of your degree in a competitive job market. 

MUIH has three layers of learning outcomes. These three types of learning outcomes are connected to one another and have increasing levels of specificity and detail. 

  • University Learning Outcomes (ULOs) 
  • Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) 
  • Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

University Learning Outcomes (ULOs) 

MUIH’s ULOs are written with the broadest scope and apply to all degree programs. They directly connect the curriculum to the university’s mission and vision, and its approach to integrative health. They articulate the common characteristics and essential learning outcomes that underlie all MUIH programs. While cross-cutting learning outcomes are common at the undergraduate level, MUIH is unique in having them at the graduate level. The ULOs identify and define elements that all students will know and be able to demonstrate by the end of their program. They lay the framework for all curriculum, how students will demonstrate their learning, and how learning will be assessed. They also connect the curriculum to the skills and attributes sought by employers after students’ graduation. MUIH has eleven ULOs: 

Business/Practice Management: Graduates apply best principles and practices in business management to sustain their livelihood while providing in-demand quality services to patients and clients.  

Cultural Responsiveness: Graduates demonstrate knowledge, skills, and attitudes to respectfully collaborate with individuals and groups of diverse and intersectional lived experiences, backgrounds, and identities. 

Discernment: Graduates analyze information from a variety of perspectives to make a reasoned judgment based on evidence and reflection. 

Ethics: Graduates apply ethical principles and standards in alignment with the guidelines of their profession to make decisions and take actions. 

Healing Presence: Graduates demonstrate professional qualities, relationship skills, and professional behaviors that support the innate wholeness of individuals and their capacity to heal themselves.  

Inter-professionalism: Graduates collaborate with individuals of other professions to address health and healthcare needs and maintain a climate of mutual respect and shared values. 

Relationship-Centeredness: Graduates demonstrate awareness of self, individuals, and the community to develop shared goals, identify opportunities and barriers, and facilitate meaningful change. 

Research Literacy: Graduates access, evaluate, and apply the best available evidence to answer questions and inform decisions. 

Resilience: Graduates utilize personal assets, external resources, and positive coping strategies to adapt and thrive in changing environments. 

Scientific Principles: Graduates use knowledge of scientific concepts as part of analysis and decision-making in health and health care. 

Skillfulness: Graduates demonstrate proficiency in their field of study, integrating the knowledge and theories of their discipline into sound practice. 

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) 

PLOs provide more specificity than ULOs regarding what students will achieve within each degree program uniquely, based on the knowledge and skills needed in the workplace for the particular field. PLOs are published on each program webpage and in the Academic Catalog. The PLOs for all programs are also provided HERE. 

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) 

CLOs are nested within the PLOs and ULOs and represent the most specific and granular statement of learning goals. A scaffolding of CLOs across multiple courses supports the achievement of the PLOs and ULOs. In each of these courses, students are asked to learn to demonstrate their increasing level of knowledge and skill related to a PLO, and these multiple touchpoints provide opportunities to reinforce learning.   

For example, a program’s Discernment PLO and ULO are achieved through a series of discernment-related CLOs in multiple courses. Students are asked to learn to demonstrate an introductory level of discernment in early courses, a further developing level of discernment in midpoint courses, and a mastery level of discernment in later courses. CLOs are published in the course syllabi within the Canvas learning management system.