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Oct 31, 2014

Mind as Medicine Workshop in the City

A mind as medicine workshop will be held on Saturday at the Center for Yoga and Healing Arts. “Mind as Medicine” is a concept developed by Health Education, Doctor Mark Pirtle that characterizes all chronic illnesses as being stress-related. His theory is that the mind and the body are the best pharmacy and claims that illnesses are caused by an unconscious mechanism, attentional fixation.  So on Saturday starting at ten a.m., Doctor Pirtle and Yoga Instructor Michelle Williams are putting together the workshop that will foster mindfulness as a remedy for all illnesses. The one-day workshop will teach participants about the mind, its connection with the body and how meditation and mindfulness can be practiced and used as medicine. News Five spoke with Williams and Doctor Pirtle today.


Dr. Mark Pirtle, Independent Health Educator

Mark Pirtle

“People when they develop chronic conditions, what I call stress-related illness. And when I say stress-related illness, think about seventy percent of the reason why people go to the doctor. So conditions related to depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, eating disorders, chronic pains…all types of addictions, trauma, autoimmune diseases…so many things. All these things are caused by stress and the cause of stress is not what happens outside of us, but what happens inside of us in what I call attention fixation. Let me explain what attentional fixation is. Attention is your consciousness focused on one thing. It is like a flashlight of consciousness. When a person gets fixated, all of their consciousness gets focused through the beam of their attention. Have you heard the expression blind rage? So it is just like that. The person is blindly raging, is fixated and they are not aware of anything else. So in this unbalanced state of consciousness, what happens is that pure consciousness attention creates emotion in us and we will pay attention to things we crave and things that we hate. And in the emotion, we create biochemical: cortisol, adrenalin, all kinds of chemicals that if in too high of concentration and lasts too long, we make ourselves sick. So mind as medicine is understanding that attentional fixation causes these conditions and so the remedy is to un-fixate yourself and that is where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness is a very balance state of consciousness; your attention is consciously placed and you open up your awareness.”


Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams, Yoga Instructor

“His technique is very simple but it is—I don’t want to use the strongest word, miraculous—but really from the first session I recognized something that would work for me—that wasn’t too technical but was simply enough for me to understand and to practice daily, in everyday life, while you are driving. When I left the treatment center and I went back into my life, I found that I could use all the tools that I had learnt from the treatment center; one of which was Doctor Pirtle’s technique as well as yoga and Raki and breath work. So I basically trained myself, I become a Raki master and I practice breath work and yoga; went and got my training in India for yoga and I opened up a center in Belize. With the primary goal to just share with people what had helped me. I mean that was my intention from the first day I opened my doors. Just to share a little bit of what I learnt.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Mind as Medicine Workshop in the City”

  1. gabby says:

    Who’s the girl in the picture?

  2. Beeshua Jehbus says:


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