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Our Story

La Maida Institute is committed to the creation of an integrative healing model for our modern times.

We live in a culture that overvalues individualism, leaving us pretending we are okay being alone. Constrained by narrow definitions of who we need to be by society and within our families, we learn early in life to compartmentalize our feelings in order to belong. What results is an alienation from our authentic selves.

Modernity’s rapid industrial and technological growth has encouraged this alienation, leading us further away from our attunement to the rhythms of nature. Bursts of challenging activity alongside generous amounts of time for sleep, rest, and play outdoors were the ordinary and essential elements of life for most of our human evolution. The naturally-occurring emotions intended to guide our health and safety are now viewed as unreliable forces. As mammals designed for communal living, humans wind up on endless searches for ways to feel connected and complete. This leads to mental and physical stress and imbalances in our lifestyle; all in an attempt to stay whole.

Could it be that the isolation and disconnection inherent to modern life is making us sick?

Conventional psychiatry and mental health care has focused on disease management based on reductive explanations for our symptoms. Lacking a positive, coherent model for health and well-being, an industry has formed that makes us lifelong consumers of medicines that suppress our feelings and psychotherapies that fail to inspire hopeful, regenerative stories of who we are. Often, narratives develop that focus on a preoccupation with failed parenting, imperfect behavioral control, or unsubstantiated theories of chemical imbalances.

and while we are only 4.3% of the world’s population, we consume more than

80%

OF OPIOID MEDICATIONS WORLDWIDE 2

In a culture that emphasizes individuality, offers fewer opportunities to spend time in nature, and is marked by a breakdown of the extended family and community, we have created cycles of dependency in order to avoid pain, and have lost the ability to transform hardship into opportunities for growth.

In response to this crisis, Hope Integrative Psychiatry was founded in 2010 and its model for healing is what eventually gave rise to La Maida Institute.

Fighting against the reductionism in the field, Dr. Omid Naim created Hope so that people could access a more self-reliant approach to heal from mental illness. Blending insights from the fields of interpersonal neurobiology, ecology and evolutionary psychology, with ancient practices like herbal medicine, meditation, and Yoga, he founded a complete integrative model of mental health that empowers people to transform their lives. With the support of a multi-modal offering that views depression and anxiety as natural expressions of unresolved trauma and disconnect, people uncover their own resilience and a deeper sense of purpose beyond their own suffering.

La Maida Institute serves as a platform for this contemplative exploration of self in a communal setting. It expands beyond Hope’s integrative clinic to also include classes, workshops, and an open-platform community gathering space to deeply explore communal-based programs for healing.

Our primary goal is to foster experiences and conversations that help each individual reexamine the nature of mental health and ask if modernity itself has itself created a society that is not well. In doing so, we want to ask if community can again come together and heal, as it did in pre-modern cultures, by taking action to solve problems as a group and making changes to how we live.

It is our belief that we are currently in the midst of a new paradigm shift, where science and spirit are speaking a more common language, and mental healthcare is able to restore that fundamental relationship between health, consciousness, and community. We see La Maida Institute as a lab to explore and dynamically refine the integrative practices that arise from this shift and promote their value at all dimensions of our neighborhood and community. Ideally, we may also serve as a model for community-based healthcare centers and broader societal change in our country’s debates about health.

At a practical level this addresses a crisis in our nation through showing that communal and spiritual care can have better outcomes. We have a unique opportunity to research and standardize these practices for a sustainable and replicable model for health. We invite partnerships with our surrounding community – elders and innovators in health, education, spirituality, ecology, music, movement, arts – to form an alliance and co-create a new model for living and for integrity with life. Together we’ll build a home for learning, a home for regenerative practices for the body and for the earth, and a home for securing the embodied wisdom of the human spirit.

We welcome you to join us.

Our Mission

La Maida Institute is pioneering a new, integrative way of defining health through leading a cultural shift from isolation and disconnection, to one which promotes wholeness and conscious connection as the foundation for the health of the individual, family, and community.

Part integrative clinic, part yoga and meditation studio, and part community gathering space, La Maida’s model is rooted in the integration of ancient modalities and modern science — where the human experience, communal support, and spiritual development are central to the healing process.

We are united around an open source mission to cultivate space for personal transformation and empowerment, in order to naturally recover from illness most efficiently and completely.

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