Donna Karan and Urban Zen Foundation merge yoga and medicine

News — By on September 8, 2009 at 9:28 am

She first showed up on Seventh Avenue in New York as an intern for Anne Klein. From there, she was promoted to associate designer and eventually left to start her own fashion house.

Today, Donna Karen merges fashion trends with medical innovations.

As the driving force behind a yearlong experiment, dubbed the Urban Zen project, Karan is committed to combining Eastern and Western healing methods at Beth Israel Medical Center.

The foundation is based on Karan’s “Seven Easy Pieces” philosophy and made possible by Donna Karan foundation, donating $850,000 to the hospital to fund the initatives.

But Karan asked for one thing in return – That yoga, meditation and aromatherapy be involved. In addition to traditional cancer treatments of chemotherapy and radiation, Karan hopes to prove the two go hand-in-hand, treating the disease while also caring for the patient.

As reported by the New York Times, Dr. David Shulkin, chief executive of Beth Israel, beleives in giving patients traditional medicine without excluding them from their ancient values and beliefs. While Beth Israel is among a handful of hospitals nationwide with fully-operational integrative medicine departments, the goal of the project to prove yoga works in a medical setting.

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