- by Mount Saint Mary College
Mount Saint Mary College

Keynote speaker Alana Bencivengo, a pediatric physical therapist, will discuss the benefits of the MNRI method. 


Mount Saint Mary College will present “Alternative Approaches to Physical and Mental Health” on Wednesday, March 29 at 7 p.m. on campus.

The event, sponsored by the college's Center on Aging and Disability Policy (CADP) and Center for Adolescent Research and Development (CARD) will take place in the Fluet Family Auditorium in Hudson Hall. It’s free and open to the public.

The talk will focus on Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI), a method that its creators say can help bring increased mental peace and physical health.

According to the keynote speaker of the event, pediatric physical therapist Alana Bencivengo, MNRI works with primary reflexes, which are pre-programmed patterns stored in our brain that function as our blueprint for development as humans. However, if these reflexes become disordered, one’s body could move into a protected state such as chronic fear, anxiety, and stress. This emotional protection translates into physical changes as well.

From childhood, Bencivengo noticed difficulties that others didn’t. She said that the first step on her journey towards healing was MNRI, improving the workings of her brain, emotions, and body, and kicking off a transformational journey that she is still on.

Three other speakers will also share their expertise at the event.

Dr. Cathy Rehfus-Wilsek, associate professor of Healthcare Management and Business Graduate Program Coordinator at the Mount, is a passionate medical doctor and healthcare professional who has dedicated her career to improving healthcare service, access, and delivery to underserved communities worldwide. She has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare administration and clinical medicine.

Kathryn Sajdak, LCSW-R came to the field of psychotherapy after a rather lengthy career as an educator. Subsequently, her social work training taught her to view people from a strength-based perspective, rather than to focus initially on pathology. These two disciplines, education and social work, opened the door for Sajdak to adopt a new approach to helping people. 

Lisa Nathan is proud to be involved with ProActive Caring, helping to develop mindfulness resources for the intellectual or developmental disability community. She has a strong passion for teaching, and is an advocate for Alzheimer’s funding and children in need of services.

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