Barry Bittman, MD
Barry Bittman, MD is a neurologist, author, international speaker, award-winning producer/director and inventor. As CEO and Medical Director of the Mind-Body Wellness Center
, a comprehensive, interdisciplinary outpatient medical facility in Meadville, PA., Dr. Bittman has pioneered a new paradigm for treating the “whole person.” His interdisciplinary strategy integrates the power of mind, body and spirit with conventional medical care.
Dr. Bittman has developed similar programs for individuals facing the challenges of asthma, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes and hypertension. He has written several medical articles on topics ranging from clinical neuropharmacology and pain management to music, laughter, and spirituality. His medical perspectives, emphasizing a mind-body approach have been presented in his book, Reprogramming Pain, written for transforming pain and suffering into health and success. His book, Maze of Life
, co-authored with Anthony DeFail, is a soul-searching parable about restoring hope, meaning and purpose amidst life’s challenges.
Based upon his commitment for shaping the future of cancer care in traditional medicine, Dr. Bittman recently served as a board member of the American Cancer Society for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is also CEO of ECaP, Exceptional Cancer Patients, an organization founded by Bernie Siegel, MD in 1978 dedicated to providing retreats, training for health professionals, resources and information for individuals facing the challenges of cancer and other chronic illnesses.
Dr. Bittman has been awarded three patents for his invention, Mindscope®, introduced in 1992 as the world’s first clinical tool linking the nervous system to a multimedia environment. A customized Mindscope application was also used in the training program of U.S. National Figure Skating Champion, Tonia Kwiatkowski.
Dr. Bittman’s “whole person” approach has been featured in numerous leading publications throughout the world, including USA Today, Business Week, Time, Prevention, Discover, O (Oprah Magazine), the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, Scientific American, Men’s Fitness, Health magazine, Spirituality & Health, New Age Journal, Self magazine and others. His perspectives have also been shared in a host of interviews including CNN Headline News.
In 1995, Dr. Bittman began TouchStar Productions, a company dedicated to providing evidence-based resources to help individuals harness their inner healing potential as a complementary approach to traditional healthcare. With an emphasis on Psychoneuro-immunology, the medical discipline that studies the interaction between emotions, nervous system, endocrine system and immune system function, TouchStar’s releases feature multimedia journeys through nature with introductions by world-renowned authors. Affirmations for Getting Well Again won the coveted first place awards in the Wellness and Cinematography categories from among 632 entries at the 1997 American Medical Association’s International Health and Medical Film Festival. Excerpts from TouchStar’s programs have appeared on numerous television shows throughout the world including Home and Family, Lifetime Television’s New Attitudes and CBS This Morning.
As the host of the first nationally-syndicated integrative medicine weekly Public Radio program, Mind-Body Matters
, Dr. Bittman interviewed 115 of the world’s leading visionaries. His program featured cutting-edge in-depth perspectives that scientifically substantiate the integration of complementary approaches into conventional healthcare. Dr. Bittman’s more than 250 articles on a host of integrative medical topics have been published in his newspaper column, Mind Over Matter
Based on his conviction that Recreational Music-making is an effective therapeutic strategy in conventional medical care, Dr. Bittman led a team of researchers who investigated the biological effects of the HealthRHYTHMS
group drumming protocol he co-developed. This foundational study (Alternative Therapies, Jan.2001) correlated group drumming with increased activity of Natural Killer cells, specialized white blood cells that seek out and destroy cancer cells and virally-infected cells.
His subsequent research (Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, November 2003) demonstrated substantial reductions in burnout and mood disturbances in long-term care workers, as well as significant cost savings using a Recreational Music-making protocol. In a recent investigation of a similar protocol (International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, July 2004), Dr. Bittman and colleagues demonstrated significant burnout and mood disturbance reductions in first year nursing students. His long-term care continuum research published in Provider (November 2004) documents the multifaceted impact of Recreational Music-making across the aging spectrum.
Dr. Bittman's latest research demonstrated for the first time that playing a musical instrument reverses multiple elements of the human stress response on the genomic level (Medical Science Monitor Feb. 2005). His team included researchers from Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Applied Biosystems, the developer of the original technology that led to the successful mapping of the human genome announced in June, 2000. Dr. Bittman subsequently introduced and coined the term, individualized genomic stress induction signatures, which uniquely describes biological diversity in action. Dr. Bittman has been recently appointed CEO and President of the Yamaha Music & Wellness Institute.