American expert on the ‘Science of Healing’, Dr Esther Sternberg will discuss the link between stress and illness and the green environment and wellness, as part of the University of Newcastle’s ArtsHealth Symposium this week.
Dr Sternberg, whose pioneering research proved the link between the brain’s stress response and arthritis, developed arthritis herself during a period of extreme stress. Through her own healing journey, she turned her focus to mind and body wellness and our interrelationship with the environment. Dr Sternberg, a rheumatologist and medical researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States, has detailed her discoveries in several books, including her most recent, Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Wellbeing.
“Science has now accepted what the ancient cultures of China, India and Greece already knew, that stress and our emotions can make us sick. There is also a growing school of thought that our environment can help us heal,” Dr Sternberg said.
“There is a turning point in every illness where it moves from darkness to the light. But how do we get to that turning point and can the environment around us help us get there? Ultimately the answer is yes.”
Dr Esther Sternberg will speak about her research at a public lecture to be held at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music on Thursday 7 October at 7pm. On Friday 8 October Dr Sternberg will give the keynote address at the free ArtsHealth Symposium, to be held at the University Gallery, Callaghan Campus from 8.30am.
The University of Newcastle’s ArtsHealth Centre for Research and Practice brings together the research of academics and post-graduate students in the creative arts with those of academics in the social sciences, sciences, humanities, education, architecture and medicine. The centre focuses on studies that investigate and promote community health and public and community-based arts, and the development of culturally rich and sustainable social environments.
The ArtsHealth Symposium will also feature Dr Kym Rae from HMRI’s Mothers and Babies Research Centre, who will discuss her project Gomeroi gaayngall that investigates the health outcomes for Indigenous mothers and infants in Tamworth. Ella Dreyfus from the National Art School will display and discuss her interactive artwork Weight and Sea that confronts our obsession with body weight.
For more information about the ArtsHealth lecture or symposium please visit www.newcastle.edu.au/research-centre/artshealth/conference/
Interview and photo opportunity: Dr Sternberg is available for interview from October 6. Photographs of Dr Sternberg and speakers at the University’s ArtsHealth Symposium are available on October 8.