Transformative Environments for Presence in PRAXIS: Building for the Future, Remembering the Past

Dr. Henry J. Moller, Toronto, Canada

March 12 5pm-7pm

It is conveniently forgotten by many that modern biomedical approaches to healthcare, while often helpful, have largely emerged over the past 200 years. This is but a moment in time, not only within the history of our planet, but also within the history of our species.

As progress continues to be made in understanding and treating medical and psychiatric conditions, the role of spirituality in healing is all too often neglected. Moreover, we find ourselves at a key point of history with respect to multiple aspects of humanity.

Toronto is one of the most ethnically, racially and linguistically diverse cities in the world, congruent with visionary Canadian media scholar Marshall McLuhan, who in the 1960s prophesized a connected multicultural “global village” where the “medium is the massage”, and technology allowed a melting of barriers posed by Space and Time.

Aside from culture-bound constraints, it is the phenomenon of Leisure, or perceived freedom that is one of the chief limiting factors to Wellbeing noted in the present. This reality is not readily addressed in biomedical approaches, and challenges us to look to both to the past and future to inform our present.

Historical models of healing that have sustained individuals, communities and populations, though surprisingly similar in essence throughout the world, are not readily addressed within conventional biomedical or econometric healthcare schemas. It may be worth re-examining some of these wisdoms, as enlightened clinicians and researchers navigate towards sustainable future-oriented models that allow for the creation of transformative health journeys respectful of our innate human nature.

“Presence” is a psychological construct in which an individual feels a sense of “Being” in a particular environment, whether they are geospatially in this location or not. This involves complex synergies between patient, healer, environment and praxis. This presentation will highlight these synergies, with special attention to Human-Environment interactions and humanized development of transformative Wellbeing Environments.

Dr. Henry Moller. BSc (Hons) MD, MSc, MPP, FRCP (C)

Diplomate, American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine

Medical director of Rosedale Wellness Centre and PRAXIS Holistic Health, Toronto, Canada

Faculty, University of Toronto


-Knowledge Media Design

-Music and Health Research Collaboratory

Born and raised in Southwestern Germany to a father who was a Protestant Lutheran minister, and a mother who was a haematologist/oncologist, after moving to Canada, Dr. Henry Moller became drawn to a career in medicine incorporating both biomedical and cultural/spiritual approaches.

After completing his undergraduate specialization in Psychology and Human Biology, then studying Medicine at University of Toronto, Dr. Moller completed residency training in7 psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at McMaster University, followed by an internship in Regulatory Medicine with Health Canada and a fellowship in Sleep Medicine & Neuropsychiatry at University Health Network, Toronto where he researched consciousness and simulator-based immersive environments to measure human performance and neurophysiology.

Further research conducted through University of Toronto School of Public Policy and Governance explored policy design space design in the public realm for health promotion. This was followed by additional qualification in Integrative Holistic Medicine focusing on natural healthcare therapies, both historical and future-oriented. Beyond his medical practice, Dr. Moller is undertaking a PhD at the University of Waterloo, Canada Faculty of Applied Sciences, Dept of Recreation and Leisure Studies, with a deepened focus on novel holistic wellbeing approaches. Recent health design work has focused on development of experiential immersive multimodal wellness environments, minimally invasive therapeutics, cultural aspects of wellbeing and inclusive data capture which has earned the role of Industry Sponsor with the Digital Futures Initiative of OCAD University Toronto.

A leading Canadian and international expert in medical use of cannabis, Dr. Moller also has extensive clinical, research and policy experience with application of marijuana in medical conditions, with a specialized interest in non-pharmaceutical augmentation strategies for marijuana in health and wellness contexts. Research funding has included Canadian Institute of Health Research, World Health Organization and City of Toronto, and various industry collaborations. He has published over 75 articles, book chapters and other original works, and has presented worldwide.

Selected References:

Moller, HJ., Bal, H. Sudan, K., Potwarka, L. (2014) Recreating leisure: How immersive environments promote wellbeing. In: G. Riva, , J. Waterworth, D. Murray (Eds.). Interacting with Presence. (pp 102-122). DeGruyter, Open Access. Available on-line: www.presence-research.org

Moller, H. J., Bal, H.  (2013) Technology-enhanced multimodal meditation: Clinical results from an observational case series. Proc. 10th International Conference on Virtual Rehabilitation, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 26–29 Aug. 2013,  ISBN 978-1-77136-119-4

Moller H.J.  (2010): “Complete Streets”: Promoting health through active transportation.  Research Report for City of Toronto Transportation Services, Public Realm Division, Toronto, ON.

Moller, H.J., Barbera, J, (2006) : “Media Presence, Dreaming and Consciousness” Chapter 5, pp 97-123. In: Riva G, Anguera MT, Wiederhold BK, Mantovani F (Eds.), From Communication to Presence: the integration of cognition, emotions and culture towards the ultimate communicative experience. IOS Press, Amsterdam,

Available on line: http://www.neurovr.org/emerging/book7/9_5_Moeller.pdf

Call 505 720 4115 or email thebirkmayerinstitute @ gmail.com