Helene Langevin

Helene Langevin

A new monthly series hosted by the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine is bringing practitioners together from different disciplines to discuss how they treat patients using both alternative and traditional medical practices.

Since March, practitioners from across BWH, Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the greater Boston area have presented a different clinical case during the Osher Center’s Integrative Medicine Grand Rounds series, held in Bornstein Amphitheater. Presenters walk attendees through the roles that conventional and integrative medical modalities play in helping to treat a patient’s condition. Many cases demonstrate the role of mind-body medicine and how emotional, mental, social and spiritual factors can influence physical health.

The center is a collaboration between BWH and HMS that seeks to enhance human health, resilience and quality of life.

“We want practitioners across different disciplines to communicate, and that’s why we created a forum where these conversations can be held,” said Helene Langevin, MD, director of the Osher Center. “One of our goals is to really engage the audience in our discussions.”
The first grand rounds session featured a case involving a patient with severe back pain and sciatica—a pain that originates along the sciatic nerve, which extends from the back of the pelvis down the back of the thigh. The patient’s chiropractor, Matthew Kowalski, DC, of the Osher Center, and neurosurgeon John Chi, MD, MPH, of the BWH Department of Neurosurgery, spoke about how integrative therapies, including acupuncture, yoga-based massage and movement-based therapy, resulted in rapid improvement and full functional restoration for the patient after a month.

Another major goal of the series is to invite experts from integrative medicine centers around greater Boston to speak and educate their colleagues and others about their patient cases.

Last month, practitioners from the Crohn’s and Colitis Center at BWH and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at MGH spoke about a male patient suffering from Crohn’s disease and how he relied on mind-body medicine to manage his condition.

Together, Langevin and Darshan Mehta, MD, MPH, medical director at the Benson-Henry Institute at MGH and associate director of education at the Osher Center, organized the series as a way to raise awareness of how integrative medicine in clinical care is helping patients get better.

Mehta said it has been wonderful to see people from various departments and specialties attend the sessions and think critically about the benefits of mind-body medicine.

“There are very few settings in which you can hear providers from conventional medicine as well as complementary and alternative medicine talk to each other about patient cases,” Mehta said.

Donald Levy, MD, medical director of the Osher Clinical Center, located at 850 Boylston St. in Chestnut Hill, said he’s pleased with how the sessions have been going so far. He believes using multidisciplinary approaches to treat patients is the future of medicine.

“Good medicine requires cooperation,” he said. “Having a health care team come together from different areas and talk through a patient’s case with one another is the healthiest kind of medicine.”

To learn more about the Osher Center’s Integrative Medicine Grand Rounds and see an upcoming schedule, visit oshercenter.org.