NEW YORK — “We’re not saying ‘no’ to traditional medicine,” Donna Karan said of holistic practices at a dinner Tuesday night at the Metropolitan Pavilion to benefit the Continuum Center for Health and Healing at Beth Israel Medical Center. “It’s inclusive, not exclusive; ‘and’ not ‘or.'”
“No one system is correct,” added Richard Gere. “It’s about what you can get from both.”
Other guests included André Balazs; Gere’s wife, Carey Lowell; Christy Turlington and husband Ed Burns; singer Sarah McLachlan; rock ‘n’ roll doyenne Ann Dexter-Jones, and Viacom honcho Tom Freston, whose wife, Kathy (a “meditation counselor”), was being honored for her work at the center.
“She’s taught me the greater balance in life,” Freston said. “Good sleep and not all work and not all play. But I’m not doing this right.”
So his wife chimed in: “It’s about being quiet. Watching what you eat, being balanced and organic. There’s so much today that our parents and the generations before didn’t have to worry about; toxic chemicals and longer work weeks. It takes more to live a healthy life.”
Turlington and Karan were milling nearby, discussing the merits of yoga and raw foods. Burns was standing against a column looking a little bit bored.
“We’ve taken a very holistic approach with our daughter, Grace, but I still take what’s needed to fight the common cold,” he confessed.
Then Balazs made his way toward the exit. But even his departure maintained the evening’s holistic message. “I’m working on my throat,” he admitted. “I have polyps and I’m trying without steroids or surgery to get back to normal. I’m working with a voice coach on my breathing and speaking technique.”
Is it working? “Yes,” Balazs said. “The key is not staying out late at loud events like these.”