Kevin McGovern, founder and chairman of The Water Initiative, partnered recently with the Global Stress Initiative (GSI) to host an evening in his penthouse home in honor of the good works of the David Lynch Foundation to bring stress-reducing meditation to at-risk populations, including inner-city youth and veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Bob Roth, executive director of DLF, Robert Cancro, M.D., medical director of GSI, and Lorraine Cancro, MSW, executive director of GSI, spoke on the critical importance of stress-reduction in McGovern's fabulously stress-free environment high above Central Park.
Kevin explained how TM had given him focus and peace of mind while developing The Water Initiative:
"I find bringing customized and innovative solutions globally to those in need of clean drinking water is spiritually rewarding. Working with TM -- particularly for needy children and with the wonderful people working on the David Lynch Foundation -- is also spiritually rewarding and an excellent complement to our work."
Robert Cancro, M.D., chairman emeritus of N.Y.U. Langone's Department of Psychiatry, told the crowd:
"Post-traumatic stress and other stress disorders are on the rise and can precipitate alcoholism, substance abuse, depression, depending on a person's genetic predisposition. I recommend TM because it helps combat stress. Research has shown that TM can increase attention, clarity, focus and decrease anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Given there are no side effects this technique is well worth considering since it improves a person's quality of life."
Bob Roth, executive director of the David Lynch Foundation, expressed appreciation that Kevin McGovern would host the evening gathering:
"Kevin is an incredibly successful business leader, a true visionary, and a practical man with a huge heart. The David Lynch Foundation is very grateful for his time, attention and support."
Lorraine Cancro, MSW, founder and director of Global Stress Initiative, states:
"GSI is promoting alternative techniques to help in the alleviation of stress disorders. One of our programs goals is to spread awareness of TM and its efficacy as an alternative technique for the alleviation of stress and in some cases supplement to psychopharmacologic treatment for Post-traumatic stress (PTSD) which not only impacts military members, their families but civilian survivors of trauma from man-made and natural disasters. TM is making a huge difference in people's recovery from stress disorders."
Dr. Bob Cancro explained that life has never been more stressful. All of the devices, computers, cellphones, play books, etc. have given us many more forms of communication to monitor in our day-to-day lives, and as much as it may have sped up communication it has also made life more stressful since there is more one on one with devices than there is with people.
"Mental illness has long been stigmatized so this deters people from pursuing treatment. TM offers a way to relieve the pressure and stress of the day and may help prevent the manifestation of disorders of which one may be genetically predisposed." He said, "It gives a person a tool to decompress which is even more needed in our fast paced, information driven world that increases our stress levels."
GSI scientific advisor Norman Marcus, M.D., both a pain medicine specialist and director of the anesthesiology division of Muscle Pain Research at NYU Langone Medical Center and whose book End Back Pain Forever has just been released, told me:
"Another disabling condition in returning veterans is chronic low back pain (CLBP). If a soldier in active duty develops disabling back pain there is only a small chance that they will ever return to active duty. In multiple studies, approximately 50 percent of patients with CLBP were also found to have PTSD. Meditative practice is effective for CLBP and PTSD and is a safe and inexpensive method to help disabled vets. Hats off the David Lynch Foundation and Global Stress Initiative!"
Another highlight of the evening was the launch of brilliant musician Lisa Nemzo's stirring song called "Arlington" which was launched recently (video). The song was composed by the artist in an effort to raise awareness of the losses veterans and their families endure from loss of lives, limbs, dignity and mental health. Several listeners at this David Lynch event were moved to tears. Lorraine Cancro, MSW stated:
"Music is a universal language and through such a song GSI hopes to open up people to the suffering of so many and encourage them to enlist in helping the military population."
The performer, Lisa, stated:
"As a nation, we must support our veterans and their families who suffer from stress disorders since they put their lives on the line for America. Even if you do not agree with the war, they performed their duty for all of us. We owe them our allegiance, support and care."
Proceeds from Arlington are being used to help military members and their families through the good works of the David Lynch Foundation's Operation Warrior Wellness, Global Stress Initiative, and the Arlington Project.
Another GSI scientific advisor, Ralph De Palo, Ph.D., explained to me that:
"From a narrative perspective, to appropriately treat post-traumatic stress mental health professionals must integrate and incorporate lenses from a biological, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual aspect of care for the individual and his or her family. Not one of the aforementioned lenses should be left out of one's scope of practice. This then leads to an empathic, tailored and holistic approach for the healing and recovery process."
The evening at the home of Kevin McGovern's was truly inspirational. Many came together in support of those who suffer from PTSD and other stress disorders, which are on the rise. The David Lynch Foundation and the Global Stress Initiative are leaders in advocacy and intervention for those who are impacted by stress disorders. DLF represents the Eastern traditions of meditation and mind/body approach. GSI represents the Western traditions of the more traditional psychopharmacologic and talk therapies direction.
East meets West with their partnership and helps bring a simple yet powerful alternative technique as an addition to the treatment of stress disorders as an addition to traditional treatment of stress disorders. TM has been around for thousands of years and is being introduced into Western culture in an effort to supplement psychopharmacological treatments and in some cases avoid the need for medication altogether. This collaboration is groundbreaking and will have a beneficial impact on millions of people around the world.
See Stories by Jim Luce on:
The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org) is the umbrella organization under which The International University Center Haiti (Uni Haiti) and Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW) are organized. If supporting young global leadership is important to you, subscribe to J. Luce Foundation updates here.
Follow Jim Luce on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jimluce