Dr. Steffany Moonaz serves as founding Chair of the MUIH Research Department. She has over 20 years of research experience in integrative health, including yoga, nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture, and more, with a focus on arthritis and chronic pain. She mentors emerging researchers within and beyond MUIH.
Dr. Steffany Moonaz is a yoga therapist and researcher living between Doylestown, PA and Baltimore, MD. She currently serves as Director of Clinical and Academic Research at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. Dr. Moonaz became curious about importance of mind-body activities at a young age, and has always had a passion and a curiosity about the healing power of mindful movement. She completed undergraduate work in biology and dance at Oberlin College, earned a MFA from University of Maryland as well as a CMA from the Laban Institute and spent eight years at Johns Hopkins University, helping to develop and evaluate a yoga program for individuals with the chronic diseases of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, which became the basis for her PhD in public health.
Along with recent and ongoing research collaborations at the National Institutes of Health, Einstein, Sinai and Montefiore Hospitals in New York, and University of Maryland, Dr. Moonaz is working to bring yoga to people with arthritis in communities around the country, as well as educating yoga teachers and yoga therapists about the unique needs of this population. She also serves on the Executive Committee and Board of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH), which recently merged with Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM).
Dr. Moonaz currently leads Yoga for Arthritis teacher training programs nationwide and serves as a mentor for several emerging researchers who are working to study the effects of yoga for various health conditions. Her work has been covered by Time, HuffPost, the Baltimore Sun, and U.S. News and World Report. She has been invited to speak at Emory University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins Palliative Care, and the Smithsonian. Her Arthritis-Friendly Yoga DVD, produced by the Arthritis Foundation, has been their best-selling product since its release in 2013. Her book, Yoga Therapy for Arthritis: A whole-person approach to movement and lifestyle, was published by Singing Dragon Publishers December of 2018.
Selected Publications & Presentations
Moonaz S, Whitehead AM, Lawrence L, Natividad D, Kindred D, Nielsen, A, Teets R. Yoga Therapy Dyads: A novel approach to chronic pain management in underserved populations. International Journal of Yoga Therapy. 2020 Dec 13:S1550-8307(20)30410-9.
Marchand B, Moonaz S. On the Alignment of Yoga Therapy and Palliative Care. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2020 Sep;26(9):774-775.
Moonaz S, Sullivan M, Nault D, Bright-Dumm I, Bradley R. Characteristics of Clients Seeking Yoga Therapy in a University-Based Student Clinic. International Journal of Yoga Therapy. 2020 Aug 17.
Nielsen A, Teets R, Moonaz S, Anderson BJ, Walter E, Milanes M, Meissner P, Mah DM, McKee MD, Kligler B. Group Acupuncture Therapy with Yoga Therapy for chronic neck, low back and OA pain in safety net setting for an underserved population (GAPYOGA): Design and Rationale for a Feasibility Pilot. Global Advances in Health and Medicine. 2020 Oct 18;9:2164956120964716
Middleton KR, Moonaz SH, Hasnic SA, Magaña ML, Tataw-Ayuketah G, Farmera N, Wallen GR. Yoga for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): Clinician experiences and qualitative perspectives from students and yoga instructors living with SLE. Comp Ther Med. 2018 Dec; 41:111-117
Sullivan MB, Erb M, Schmalzl L, Moonaz S, Noggle Taylor J, Porges SW. Yoga Therapy and Polyvagal Theory: The Convergence of Traditional Wisdom and Contemporary Neuroscience for Self-Regulation and Resilience. Front Hum Neurosci. 2018 Feb 27; 12:67.
RSCH601: Introduction to Research Literacy in Integrative Health
RSCH610: Introduction to Scientific Writing
RSCH821: Designing Research in Clinical Practice
Faculty Poster Award, Annual Research Symposium, Maryland University of Integrative Health, Laurel, MD, 2020
Excellence in Faculty Research and Scholarship, Maryland University of Integrative Health, Laurel, MD, 2016
Research Abstract Award, Symposium on Yoga Research, International Association of Yoga Therapists, Stockbridge, MA, 2013
Distinguished Research Award, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2008, 2009, 2010
Delta Omega Honor Society Induction, Johns Hopkins University, 2010
Assn. of Rheumatology Health Professionals Graduate Student Award, 2007
Health Professional Graduate Student Research Preceptorship, American College of Rheumatology, 2007
National Arthritis Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Award, Atlanta, GA, 2006
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellowship National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2006
American College of Rheumatology Graduate/Medical Student Achievement Award, 2004
Dr. Moonaz lives in her childhood hometown with her husband, two fabulous kids, and an adorable mutt named Luna. She spends many weekend and part of the summer in Baltimore, MD near Patterson Park. She identifies as short, female, Jewish, vegan, bisexual, and an ever-evolving advocate for inclusion. As a former modern dancer, she frequently holds impromptu living room dance parties and has occasionally been seen dancing down the aisles of the grocery store. Her dharma, or path, is to help alleviate suffering through the mind-body connection, which she tries to do in her own life as well as through her research and teaching. Dr. Moonaz is incredibly grateful to be serving in her role at MUIH.
DISCLAIMER: The content of this faculty profile page was created, authored, and published by the identified faculty member. Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) makes absolutely no guarantee as to the currency, accuracy, or quality of information published. The views and opinions expressed on this page or any links made available are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of MUIH. The content of this profile page has not been reviewed or approved by Maryland University of Integrative Health.