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In this episode of Cloud 9 Online’s MediMindful Moment Podcast, co-hosts Judith Dreyer, Jeff Nelder, and Henry Edinger interview Dr. Eric R. Secor, ND, PhD, LAc, Chief of Integrative Medicine at Hartford Hospital. Dr. Secor shares his knowledge and expertise in integrative medicine and explains the complexity of stress and the benefits of mindfulness. Dr. Secor, a key player within our medical system, on the medical front lines throughout COVID-19’s arrival and impact on our medical system, shares his experiences about how mindfulness played and continues to play a role in his practice and approach to his patients and their medical care.

Join us for an engaging conversation experience.  

Episode Highlights:

  • Eric Secor shares his background and his career in the industry of medicine. (1:12)
  • Eric Secor mentions that only a few medical programs had Nutrition Lifestyle as a key component of their program. (2:16)
  • Eric Secor shares that when he joined Hartford, he helped them oversee the transition of their old integrative medicine model into their current model, and look for novel ways to integrate therapies through applications and cloud-based applications. (4:26)
  • Judith mentions that she loves integrative and holistic medicine. (4:53)
  • Judith shares that mindfulness practices provide a refuge from those daily distractions that are fueled by everything going on today. (5:08)
  • Jeff mentions that this episode is dedicated to creating mindful moments together. (5:59)
  • Jeff proceeds with the four questions. (6:10)
  • What are Dr. Eric Secor’s thoughts about the need for more mindful moments? (8:15)
  • Eric Secor thinks that everybody’s set point is a little bit higher, therefore our threshold for managing stress, anxiety intention, will ebb and flow throughout our workweek and throughout our year. (9:12)
  • Eric Secor thinks that challenges are coming at us from multiple different angles and locations. In a general sense, the setpoints are higher, the stress is enhanced, and anxiety is enhanced. (10:35)
  • Eric Secor mentions that heightened stress response is significant to help us react and adapt in the short term. (12:00)
  • Eric Secor shares the fact that when we’re in a heightened sense of chronic stress, those chronic recurrent conditions can become more active and can become more potent over time, with chronic stress. (13:03)
  • What role does mindfulness play in Dr. Eric Secor’s work environment, with employees, and patients? (13:42)
  • Eric Secor shares that with COVID-19, their workforce has to be more vigilant about daily temperatures, logins, and all the patients that they see daily, have to be screened, questionnaires have to be done. (14:57)
  • Eric Secor shares that they have a new resiliency committee, as part of the new wellness initiative at Hartford healthcare, they were starting pre-COVID, and they had their first organizational meeting. (16:20)
  • Eric Secor mentions that they have deployed Cloud9’s MediMind Meditation App. (17:08)
  • Henry mentions that Dr. Eric Secor’s patients are lucky to have him at Hartford healthcare, and his thoughtfulness about patient needs. (19:13)
  • Eric Secor mentions that 30 years ago, the nurses at Hartford Healthcare began the program from a Reiki perspective which is fundamental meditative mindfulness, and adaptation. (21:27)
  • Eric Secor shares about their newly opened site located in Westport. (22:34)
  • Eric Secor thinks that there is a realization that they have to begin to look at the lifestyle wellness, mindfulness options, and provide them a rigorous and reproducible way to provide this to staff and patients. (24:08)
  • Eric Secor shares a story about his patient who came in with anxiety and palpitations. (25:17)
  • What does Dr. Eric Secor think about pain and mindfulness? (28:58)
  • Eric Secor mentions that pain management is the number one reference to their practice. (29:06)
  • Eric Secor shares that with chronic pain, there is a place for recognizing the lack of deep breathing that directly corresponds to elevated blood pressure. (33:01)
  • Eric Secor mentions that mindfulness lends itself as adjunct care to helping patients to breathe better, improve their circulation, and improve their body temperature. (34:16)

Key Quotes:

  • “When we think about the stress response and the relaxation response, that heightened sense of stress is really about the fight or flight response. So it’s nice to have a fight or flight response when we have an acute stressful situation that we have to react to…the caveat to that is that we want that response to go up and we want that response to go down in a proper time frame. When that response continues, it’s like we’re running away from that bear every single day. ” Eric Secor
  • “If we step back a minute and think about the work that we do, anyone that has a job that requires precision and requires extended attention to detail, in a sense, does need to practice mindfulness.” Eric Secor
  • “If you’re thinking from a large system perspective, if you’re not improving the health of your 30,000 employees, it’s very difficult to contain your costs and have people be highly effective in very stressful changing situations.” Eric Secor
  • “We all know and take for granted that when we breathe very shallowly, our brain gets the signal that we don’t have enough oxygen, and the brain likes oxygen because that’s what it needs to survive.” Eric Secor

Resources Mentioned:


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