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Dr. Martha Herbert

Martha Herbert, PhD, MD, is a pediatric neurologist, neuroscientist and writer with a long standing interest in complex systems approaches to the whole body and brain and to biology. She has specialized in neurodevelopmental disorders and is centrally focused on brain plasticity and regeneration of full brain-body function, grounded in taking a whole-body approach to the brain, and in incorporating a sophisticated approach to using aware movement as part of this whole body-brain approach. Martha received her PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz in the History of Consciousness studying evolution as a learning process in biology and culture, and then her MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She trained in pediatrics at Cornell University Medical School-New York Hospital in Manhattan, and in neurology and child neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital; she remains on the neurology faculty of Harvard Medical School, and as a neuroscientist does whole-body developmental brain research in her Transcend Research Program at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging in Charlestown. In addition to her neurological practice and research, she is a certified practitioner of the Anat Baniel Method (an evolution of the Feldenkrais Method, is certified in cranial osteopathy by the Osteopathic Cranial Academy, has extensively studied Ericksonian hypnosis, was trained in shiatsu and has broad experience over decades with many further bodywork and other health modalities.

Martha's office at The Lydian Center houses her clinical practice Higher Synthesis Health, as well as her private foundation Higher Synthesis Foundation (devoted to documenting successful systems approaches to complex health and environmental problems) and her consulting/speaking entity Higher Synthesis Works "Higher Synthesis" means pulling together solutions that integrate the best from all the pieces of the problem, and creating a new integration that makes more sense and is more comprehensive, elegant and effective.

Martha is author of the Harvard Health Publications/Random House book The Autism Revolution: Whole Body Strategies for Making Life All it Can Be, whose whole-body-brain framework is applicable much more broadly than autism. She has partnered with Dr June Kong to start a whole-body East-Meets-West Body Brain Resilience Center downstairs from the Lydian Center, which has started with services for people with autism and their family members, and is on track for expanding to include neurodevelopmental disorders, brain function restoration/protection and preparation for pregnancy and childbirth. This clinic is equipped with sophisticated measurement equipment (such as child and sensory friendly EEG and regulatory thermometry) to use for diagnosis, troubleshooting and tracking change over time and is available to people under the care of other practitioners.

Martha feels that the medical ("health care") system has entered a state of conceptual and economic crisis, whose outcome depends to a real degree on the extent to which transformational healers can build approaches that are more inclusive and sensitive, offer more real help and work better than the present system -- and let the world know they are doing this through careful documentation and measurement. We can do so much better! To this end she is co-Chair of the Medical Advisory Board of the film Documenting Hope, which will track the path to recovery of 14 chronically ill children with 7 diagnoses, using documentary film and deep-dive data collection.

See Dr. Herbert's personal website, her publications list, and her blogs.