Nurse brings unique practice to Frederick
Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006
‘‘Medicine can only do so much for a person,” said Matas, who is a psychiatric nurse. ‘‘You have to work on yourself.”
According to Matas, mindfulness is the ability to welcome and embrace good and bad thoughts and to recognize one’s thought processes. Through mindfulness, she believes people can recognize and change their behaviors to lead healthier lives.
‘‘I think our culture seems to ignore aggressive experiences. This mindfulness is just a radical way of welcoming those experiences in our lives and there’s always wisdom in that,” Matas said.
The 44-year-old Frederick resident has combined her psychiatric nursing background with mindfulness to create her own business, MindfulUs. Matas hopes to work with adult patients suffering from anxiety, depression and chronic pain.
Molding her medical experience in helping patients deal with depression, anxiety and stress with her certified mindfulness training sets her apart from other places that offer it in Frederick, Matas said.
For Heather Whittington, a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner in Frederick, Matas’ experience as a nurse will bring more credibility and awareness to the practice of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction.
As a psychiatric nurse at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington D.C., Matas said she wanted to have her own practice since she loves being a nurse and enjoys the personal contact with patients.
In a series of eight-week sessions for 90 minutes a week, Matas hopes to teach small groups and individual adults mindfulness as a way for them to cope and use the practice outside of their weekly sessions. It is the discovery and exploration with her patients and the exchange of learning that draws her to the practice, she said.
Whittington also practices mindfulness in her yoga therapy practice and said there is a growing demand for these services in Frederick. At the Center for Mind, Body Therapies on Bentz Street, Whittington has taken the many holistic therapy businesses that seem to cluster along West Patrick Street as a sign of demand for these types of services.
‘‘I think Frederick is becoming more open to this kind of stuff or else we wouldn’t have this,” Whittington said. Frederick’s geographic location in a ‘‘high-stress region” and close proximity to larger cities had led many people to seek alternative and holistic medicine, she said. MindfulUs will open doors to people who suffer from mental health problems and would dispel the popular view that holistic treatments are luxuries, Whittington said.
Matas received her training through a professional seminar taught by a team of experts in the specialty at the Omega Institute, a holistic healing and learning center in Rhinebeck, N.Y. More than a year has passed since Matas signed her lease on her office space, and things have fallen into place at the right time, she said.
‘‘I thought it was a leap of faith because this is what I wanted to do,” she said.
MindfulUs is located at 311 W. Patrick St., Frederick. For more information, contact Armely Matas at Armelyc@aol.com.