Many people are turning to alternative, integrative therapies to combat depression and stress-related illness. In order to help healthcare professionals understand these choices, the International Wellness Conference is being held Jan. 17-22, 2002, at the Moody Gardens Hotel/Spa, at Galveston Island, TX.

The Conference of Healthcare Professionals, one of four conferences that makes up the International Wellness Conference, is accredited and sponsored by the University of Texas. This conference is intended to help healthcare professionals explore topics such as: women's health, optimum aging, self care, herbal medicine, nutritional medicine, mind-body connectivity and spirituality. These topics will cover popular practices such as yoga, tai chi, walking, meditation, ayurvedic diet, holistic healing, herbal remedies and nutritional treatments and supplements.

As more patients are hearing and reading about some of these different approaches to treating their own conditions, doctors find that it is time to gain a better understanding of the positive and perhaps not so positive effects of some of these therapies and lifestyles. An understanding of these alternative treatments is necessary to a successful medical treatment of a patient who embraces these practices. Up to 14 CME hours are available.

This conference will coincide with conferences for the public, spa and fitness professionals and massage therapists. These conferences will provide other learning experiences, such as workshops, seminars, exhibits, culinary events, demonstrations, experiential events, music and dance.

``It's a unique opportunity to learn, participate, and explore life changing and enhancing techniques and therapies with the purpose of learning how to live our lives better,'' notes conference president Bob Kibler.

Over 60 presentations are scheduled, with keynote presentations by:

Deepak Chopra, M.D., Director of Educational Programs, CEO & founder of the Chopra Center

Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., psychologist, author and co-founder & former Director of the Mind-Body Clinical Programs at Harvard Medical School Hospitals

Naomi Rachel Remen, M.D., associate clinical professor, Family & Community Medicine, UCSF; co-founder & medical director, Commonweal Cancer Help Program; founder & director, Institute for the Study of Health & Illness

Christiane Northrup, M.D. -- Assistant Clinical Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Vermont College of Medicine at Maine Medical Center; author, editor, television & radio host & personality

Other authorities in wellness and alternative therapies. (For a complete list, visit the conference site.

There will also be approximately 200 exhibition booths. Potential exhibitors can contact the conference organizers regarding available space.