How hard can it be to get MediYoga into the US?
By Kathrine Krake
That was what pioneering and ambitious MediYoga Therapist Helen Miller Lynch was thinking when she moved from Sweden to California in 2015. She soon learned that the road is both bumpy and uphill, but her goal is visible.
Hospitals in the U.S. are generally private, so money is a prime focus. Healthcare professionals can work up to 60 hours per week. No one knows anything about MediYoga. Those are the difficulties. So how do you approach that when you’re used to the Scandinavian healthcare system?
Helen Miller Lynch is a Diagnostic Radiology Nurse with a specialty in cardiovascular intervention. As part of the established healthcare system in Sweden, she shared MediYoga with her patients to help them in their recovery. But to generate interest in MediYoga within the U.S., she has to find a different strategy beyond just educating healthcare personnel to become MediYoga Instructors.
She needs to approach the public relations people at the hospitals and answer questions such as, “What is your product? How would it be beneficial for us? What about funding?”
“I have to involve lots of people in order to get in. It requires networking with CEOs, obtaining funding, project planning, evaluation, and building the credibility of MediYoga as a trusted brand. Many are skeptical, and large hospitals have limited time, so in a very short meeting I have to make MediYoga a personal experience for each one of them by being very specific,” she explained.
As Educational Director for MediYoga USA, Helen Miller Lynch has educated 15 MediYoga Instructors in the U.S. Some of them work closely with Helen toward the goal of implementing MediYoga in both physical and mental healthcare services within the United States. Together they have taken on the daunting challenge of slowly changing a nation’s paradigm in healthcare.
Community support and grant funding
Little by little, MediYoga services are spreading. Helen applies for grants to fund classes which include those being taught by other MediYoga instructors she has trained. Her first grant gave her a start in working with heart patients in a small mountain community three hours south of Yosemite where she lives. They conducted a small study on the effects of MediYoga, and the healthcare providers saw the beneficial results.
“I have a very supportive community here in the mountains who want to help. Executives mention my name to potential connections; they want MediYoga to succeed, as do the physiotherapists and the newspapers. They tell me, ‘You’ve picked the hardest place to start’ since it is a rural community unfamiliar with new healthcare services,” Helen said.
With another grant, Helen gained access to hospitals and has worked for the last four years with cancer patients at the AIS Cancer Center in Bakersfield. And yet another grant from Kern Behavioral Health & Recovery Services made it possible this spring to offer 108 community-based MediYoga classes focusing on stress, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. The first of two 12-week programs has finished with some amazing results.
“In only 12 weeks, both stress, anxiety, depression, and sleep problems were reduced. Right now I’m working on an article about those results,” Helen commented.
When in Rome
Helen Miller Lynch is a tall and strong woman with a powerful yet soothing voice, and with confident, focused eyes. As such, her constitution already gives her the strength to move forward in the American Way.
“Americans are pioneers and want to make things happen. They put themselves up front; they are persistent and can be very forceful. In Scandinavia we’re used to ‘Janteloven’ – don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. We know the public rules and trust that what people say is what they mean. We know that healthcare is run by government money. Here it’s totally different,” explained Helen.
To get through to the right people, Helen has had to learn to be both forceful and put herself up front while maintaining a humble approach.
Staying centered and focused
“I believe in uplifting others,” Helen added. “Here I have to uplift myself. Even though your constitution lets you be forceful and forward-going, you need energy from another source to knock on doors and break down walls. My daily MediYoga practice is essential for me to keep up.”
“You need a clear vision of the goal that you’re working toward,” she said. “To get there you need to tap into the energy from a source – the universe. All is connected. To stay centred, Nabhi Kriya is my best friend by working on strengthening personal power, and I tune into my chakras with mantra. Everything comes into one.”
Helen has been quoted as saying, “I stand straight with my head held up high so people can see that I am for real, am reliable, can deliver, and am always there.” And with a big smile on her face, says, “May the force be with me; Namaste!”
ABOUT HELEN MILLER LYNCH:
As Educational Director of MediYoga USA, she educates MediYoga Instructors in Central California, conducts research on MediYoga, and holds Stress & Burnout courses and retreats. She is a Diagnostic Radiology Nurse specialized in cardiovascular intervention, and has a long history of experience in heart disease and patient care in several countries.