Integrative (mind-body) practices, such as meditation, yoga, qigong are contemporary disciplines with ancient roots. For centuries these practices have aimed to promote wellbeing and support healthy longevity across cultures and environments that sometimes challenged such goals. This talk will explore a) the potential benefits of integrative practices for modern practitioners and societies, b) the need for interdisciplinary teams to understand how these practices create change, and c) some current challenges to interdisciplinary research in this area.
Dr. Matthew F. Komelski is an instructor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Human Development. He has been involved in integrative (mind-body) practices since childhood and has made them a topic of his scholarship throughout his educational and academic career, including formal and independent studies on meditation, Taiji, and qigong at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Kansai and Konan Universities in Japan. After completing B.A.s in philosophy, religion, and history, from Radford University and an M.A. in Asian Studies from University of Hawaii, he changed his major academic focus from cultural and ethnographic studies to developmental science when he entered Virginia Tech’s PhD program in Human Development. In May of 2010 he earned his Doctoral Degree in Human Development along with a Certificate in Gerontology. Through his research he seeks to document the complexity of integrative practice regimens, their mechanisms of effect, and the effect of differential practice regimens on general and specific health outcomes. Through his outreach efforts he seeks to open dialogs and create understanding between practitioners, scientists, and the general public about integrative approaches to health and wellbeing.