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Institute for Holistic Health Studies

Institute for Holistic Health Studies


The Institute for Holistic Health Studies (IHHS) is housed within WCSU’s Department of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences (HPX)



During the summer of 2020 the Institute for Holistic Health Studies (IHHS), along with the Health Promotion & Exercise Sciences Department (HPX), moved from Berkshire Hall to  brand new space in White Hall.  The IHHS, has not only a new location, but a new name, for our holistic practices center, the IHHS Center for Wellbeing, located in room 114 in White Hall.  As before, we have a large gathering space, cozy yet comfortable, for small groups for meditation, stress management, or just to stop and catch your breath.  Two treatment rooms for private reiki sessions are available, and of course we always have the kettle on for herbal tea.  Unfortunately, at this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Center for Wellbeing is temporarily closed.


In these complicated Covid -19 times, with all the disruptions, difficulties, and disturbances in life, we seek familiar structure, routine and stability.  Holistic self care is more important than ever.   Although the IHHS is unable to present programs and events in person on campus, we are committed to  continue offering educational opportunities supporting the health and well being of the body, mind, and spirit.  With social distancing, compassion and respect for one another, we will offer our program and events virtually.


STRESSBUSTERS  2020  IS HERE! Please click the image for details.


Fall 2020 programs

Reiki,  Breathwork,  Meditation, and  Spiritual Guidance  with Professor   Marcia Kendall

Reiki provides a means for balancing the energy in the body. When energy is blocked and cannot flow freely, the result can be discomfort, pain or a feeling that things “just are not right”. Reiki is often done in person but is equally effective from a distance or offered virtually.

Breathwork and meditation are long standing modalities to promote relaxation and rest. Slowing the breath and meditating can help tone the vagus nerve, essential in arresting and reversing the stress response in us. Professor Kendall has a wealth of experience as a reiki master and healer utilizing many modalities and techniques.

Professor Kendall offers these sessions  to the WCSU community and alumni virtually on Tuesdays from 12-3 pm. To schedule an appointment, contact her at kendallm@wcsu.edu


Guided Meditations with  Dr. Robyn Housemann

Dr. Housemann, co chair of the  Health Promotion and Exercise Science Department  and coordinator of the holistic and integrative health option in the bachelor of science in health promotion studies at WCSU, is a reiki master and teacher and holistic practitioner with decades of experience in the healing arts. 


Dr. Housemann offers virtual  guided meditations on Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm.  For information and to reserve a space, contact her at housemannr@wcsu.edu


Mudra Meditations with Jesse Rovero

Jesse Rovero has been leading these seated meditations with the IHHS for the past six years. . No prior experience with meditation is necessary.  In this meditation class, learn simple ways to use your thoughts and words to create a successful meditation practice .  The mudras are simple finger and hand positions that enhance the meditative state and simply by placing your fingers and hands in different positions, you can create different effects in your body.  The purpose of this meditation is to create a state of mindfulness/thoughtless awareness.  Benefits and gifts of meditation include inner clarity, improved focus, stress reduction, inner peace, relaxation, and improved physical health.

Jesse Rovero is a meditation enthusiast/teacher, and offers these classes because he wishes to share his love of meditation and its benefits to others. To attend a mudra meditation class follow the directions below:

To attend, please click this LINK and follow the directions.


Nov 2, 2020 07:30 PM

Nov 3, 2020 07:30 PM

Nov 4, 2020 07:30 PM

Nov 5, 2020 07:30 PM

Nov 9, 2020 07:30 PM

Nov 10, 2020 07:30 PM

Nov 11, 2020 07:30 PM

Nov 12, 2020 07:30 PM

Nov 16, 2020 07:30 PM

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Nov 18, 2020 07:30 PM

Nov 19, 2020 07:30 PM

Nov 23, 2020 07:30 PM

Nov 24, 2020 07:30 PM

Nov 25, 2020 07:30 PM

Nov 30, 2020 07:30 PM

Featured Past Events


Held on December 6, this event, designed to help students, faculty, and staff manage the “end of semester” stress, was co sponsored by the Center for Compassion, Creativity, and Innovation at WCSU. STRESSBUSTERS! featured a variety of practitioners offering tips and techniques for self care and tools to ease and relieve stress. Learn more …






November 13 at 7:30 pm: Aly Cohen MD will present  “Are Environmental Exposures a danger to YOUR mental health?”

Dr. Aly Cohen discussed evidence-based data on everyday chemicals and EMF exposure and how they contribute to mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD. She will discuss dietary approaches to reduce toxicity, clean drinking water, beneficial supplements,indoor air quality, sleep hygiene, stress management, and use safe use of cellular technology. Dr. Cohen provided practical tips and resources to enable and empower students, faculty, and the public on effective ways to limit environmental exposures in order to reduce mental health risks, better manage current conditions, and improve overall well-being!

Click here for a PDF copy of the event flyer

Click here to learn more about the event, Dr. Cohen, or to sponsor IHHS


         Aly Cohen - November 2019

On November 5th, 2018, Saundra Cindy Blum, a certified Hypnotherapist, Past Life Regression Therapist , Reiki practitioner, and international lecturer, shared stories from her book, Footsteps through the Sands of Time—Past Life Dramas, Present Life Lessons.





For a listing of all past events, go to https://www.wcsu.edu/ihhs/past-events/

Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backward

Listen to Dr. Seaward’s podcast

On October 18th in the Ives Concert Hall, Dr. Brian Luke Seaward spoke about stress management. Dr. Seaward or “Luke”, as he likes to be called, is a bestselling author, motivational speaker, award winning film director, holistic stress management expert, workshop facilitator, and teacher. He has authored more than twelve books, including the classic best sellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, The Art of Calm and Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward. His acclaimed documentary, Earth Songs, has appeared at several film festivals nationwide as well as many PBS affiliate stations across the country in 2013–2014.

Event Info



Pictured with Bernie are, (left to right) Christel Autuori, Director of the Institute for Holistic Health Studies, Patricia Ivry, Former Dean of the School for Professional Studies, and Robyn Housemann, co chair of the Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences Department.

Presentation Dr. Bernie Siegel

Bernie, as he likes to be called, spoke on “The Art of Healing” to an audience of over 250 people in Ives concert hall on Tuesday October 18, 2016. Bernie, a nationally acclaimed physician and surgeon, author, speaker, and educator, and author of over 30 books, is a well known and widely respected leader in the field of integrative health and healing. Bernie shared personal stories, experiences, and anecdotes to illustrate the many dimensions of healing. “Life is a miracle, and we need to not fear trying to achieve our potential and reveal the remarkable creation we and all living things are, and that our Creator has build into us the ability to induce self-healing.” Bernie generously signed books and CDs following his presentation.






Special thanks to our event sponsors: