This past month, the Marion Institute’s Biomed Program launched its first ever 21-Day ‘Renew You’ Challenge, under the medical direction of Dr. Dickson Thom, DDS, ND. For 21 consecutive days, 400-plus participants received emails offering inspiration and information on the science and practice of self-care according to the biological medicine tradition. To encourage habit formation, emails offered points for reflection and suggested next steps that have been shown to lead to improved health outcomes and well-being over time. In addition to the daily emails and educational resources provided, participants were also invited to optional live virtual events each Friday, giving them an opportunity to interact more deeply with the subject matter of the day, as well as ask questions of the featured expert. Those featured included Dr. Thom and Julie Thom of Fitomize speaking about the importance of movement; Karen Schwalbe of the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) discussing local food and nutrition; a guided meditation for inquiry from Julie Paquette of The Mindful Collaborative; and a special Crown Chakra meditation offered by Maureen Burford of Creative Lives. The final live event took place a week after the Challenge ended and it was conducted as a full hour Q&A session between participants and Dr. Thom himself.
The Marion Institute initiated the Challenge in the spirit of renewal and in recognition of the fact that in the last year health has overwhelmed public awareness and discourse, often engendering feelings of hopelessness and despair. While many of the realities we face today may leave us feeling uninspired or continually overwhelmed, when we peel back the curtain on the complexities and incredible fortitude of the human body, as we did last month, we find hope. The body is inclined to health, to healing, to regeneration and new beginnings. When we adopt lifestyle habits that mitigate impediments and, going beyond, promote the body’s life-giving capacities, we can radically transform our experience of health and well-being – not just at the individual level, but emanating out to families and communities. Engaging in discussion about the power of the human body and our collective understanding of health offers an optimistic counter narrative to the ones we are most likely to hear today; and it’s powerful. The overwhelmingly positive response we received from participants validates the power of collective learning and the will to create change from the ground up.
With respect to the Challenge and the many events we have in the works for the months ahead – both virtual and in-person, the goal of the Marion Institute is to foster a community of learning and support when it comes to health and wellness. When we have purpose, rooted in deep understanding, science shows we are likely to behave differently. With health, it is no different. When we understand the human body, our environment, and the many systems within which we reside and the consequences of our actions on these, we engender the capacity to choose wisely. And the community dimension is important, too, as it offers the potential for sea-change. When we are ‘in it together’ we are more likely to stay ‘in it’. And as our habits change, we continue to shape the narrative around health to one of empowerment and optimism.
Next month, we will continue the learning conversation with our monthly BioBites program. We will be joined by Dr. Dickson Thom as we learn more about the principles of biological medicine and the unique assessments and therapies available in support of improved health. Please join us for this free, virtual event on March 2nd at noon EST. Click here to sign up now.
Katie Mannix, BioMed Program Coordinator
PS: During the Challenge, we also created a NEW FACEBOOK GROUP dedicated to BioMed and our BioMed community. Please sign up if you’d like to be connected with others who are seeking information on how to live better with BioMed! Click here to sign up, or search for Marion Institute BioMed Community.