Can Practicing Tai Chi Improve HIV and Breast Cancer Treatments?

Early in her career, Jo Robins, an advanced practice nurse in primary care, treated a series of patients who were obviously unwell but did not meet a specific diagnosis. Traditional medicine wasn’t helping their chronic pain, and she didn’t know what to do.

“I had been taught to diagnose and treat,” Robins said. “When I found out that the majority of the people that I was interacting with didn’t fit the way I had been taught, I got very interested in what was then called alternative medicine.”

That’s when Dr. Robins’ journey with Tai Chi and meditation research began.

Over the past twenty years, she has worked with people in treatment for HIV and breast cancer as well as families in underserved communities using mindfulness and meditation as a form of free and accessible healthcare.

“What I realized was that everybody has the capacity to become more mindful, and it doesn’t cost anything to do that,” Robins said.

Watch the video of Dr. Robin’s presentation at the November COBE Connect lunch to learn more about the evolution of her research at VCU and her contributions to the COBE Contemplative Science research core.