inVIVO Planetary Health is an international, collaborative network for planetary health. Its president is Nova Institute Scholar Susan Prescott, and Alan Logan is an inVIVO director. We are thrilled that, in its 10th year, inVIVO became an initiative of the Nova Institute for Health.
inVIVO is a diverse, forward-looking community providing evidence, advocacy, and inspiration to align the interests and vitality of people, places, and planet. Its mission is to transform personal and planetary health through awareness, attitudes and actions, and a deeper understanding of how all systems are interconnected and interdependent.
One of inVIVO’s top priorities is Project Earthrise. Project Earthrise’s goal is to create a diverse program for transformative change that seeks to address our many interconnected challenges from the root causes, by giving greater focus to the underlying value systems that created them in the first place. This recognizes that many problems of the Anthropocene ultimately stem from human attitudes to each other and to our environment—and that addressing this is vital for the health of people, places, and planet.
In an era of so many interconnected challenges, there could not be a more important time for new narratives and ambitious, integrative approaches.
The meeting will bring together a tremendous network of like-minded people from diverse fields whose interests span from planetary/population/ environmental health to microbial ecology/ systems biology and the deep biological mechanisms—all aiming to work in a more integrated systems framework as we seek to improve personal, environmental, economic and societal health alike.
Chris D’Adamo, Ph.d., senior program advisor, The Institute for Integrative Health, presents at the December 2020 InVivo Conference on the long tradition of food as medicine, and a required course in culinary medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Susan Prescott, Ph.D. professor at the University of Western Australia School of Medicine, and president of inVIVO Planetary Health, discusses the connections between the material realm and the great mysteries of the spiritual realm at the December 2020 InVivo Project Earthrise conference.
InVIVO co-founding president, Susan L. Prescott, MD, PhD, Alan C. Logan, and Institute co-founders Susan Berman and Brian Berman, MD, publish paper in Challenges titled Project Earthrise: Inspiring Creativity, Kindness and Imagination in Planetary Health.”
Healing is facilitated through safety, persistence, and trust.
Resources support us as we heal. They include reframing, responsibility, and positivity. “Making connections enabled participants to acquire and refine resources and skills that were essential in their healing journey. People also brought their own personal strengths to the journey.”
“Connection to others was an essential part of all the healing journeys.” Humans are social creatures, and even the most introverted of us need close relationships. Friends and family add meaning and value to life and help support us, in good times and bad.
When we experience relational trauma, relationships can feel scary, but reestablishing safety and trust in relationships is where the healing happens. (To be clear, we do not mean reestablishing safety and trust with abusers, but rather finding other healing relationships.)
“When safety and trust had been established, people were able to connect with helpers. The nature of the behaviours of helpers that fostered healing ranged from small acts of kindness to unconditional love.”
Healing probably means different things to different people, but one definition that emerged from the study is: “The re-establishment of a sense of integrity and wholeness.”
Healing was an emergent property that resulted from each individuals’ complex healing journey, a result of bridged connections between resources and relationships. “…they gradually found relief from suffering and began to exhibit emergent characteristics: a sense of hope, self-acceptance, and a desire to help others—the immediate precursors to healing.”
In varying degrees, “they were able to transcend their suffering and in some sense to flourish.”
Suffering is the ongoing pain from wounding.
There is debate about whether or not one actually needs to experience suffering on the path to healing.
Wounding happens when we experience physical or emotional harm. It can stem from chronic illness or by physical or psychological trauma for which we do not have the tools to cope, or a combination of those factors.
“The degree and quality of suffering experienced by each individual is framed by contextual factors that include personal characteristics, timing of their initial or ongoing wounding in the developmental life cycle and prior and current relationships.”
Characteristics: How predisposed someone may be to wounding/how many tools and resources someone may have to deal with trauma/illness.
Lifestages: Developmental timing plays an important role in the impact of trauma — young children often do not have the same resources as older adults.
Relationships: Relationships can provide solace and support for those suffering, while lack of healthy relationships can prolong suffering.