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15 Sep

Researchers from New York Medical College, Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medical College evaluated the impact of the Breath-Body-Mind Workshop (BBMW) (breathing, movement, and meditation) on psychological and physical symptoms, as well as inflammatory biomarkers in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Twenty-nine IBD patients from the Jill Roberts IBD Center were randomized to BBMW or an educational seminar.  Measures were taken at baseline and weeks 6 and 26, using the Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Brief Symptom Inventory 18, IBD Questionnaire, Perceived Disability Scale, Perceived Stress Questionnaire, Digestive Disease Acceptance Questionnaire, Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire. In addition, C-reactive protein, fecal calprotectin and other physiological measures were obtained as well.

13 Sep

Sometimes a complicated question deserves a complicated answer. And sometimes what a person appears to be asking is just the tip of the iceberg and not what she’s really concerned about.

And finally, sometimes, it actually helps to be an experienced therapist to know the difference. This wonderful question comes from a therapist herself, who is bravely moving forward with her life, in spite of a lot of trauma, pain and injury.  Read on!

12 Sep

Hello again.

Here’s a serious question for you: how are you managing the impact of this unusually ugly, mean-spirited election cycle? How do you deal with all the poison?

Yes, I know – we thought the rhetoric two years ago set the bar for “gratuitously nasty”, and we said the same thing two years before that. 

Little did we know that this year, we’d set a new standard for down and dirty, and it’s hard to say how much farther down we can slide before hitting rock bottom. Rock bottom seems to be a moving target, but we just may have arrived. 

Have you noticed how few bumper stickers and lawn signs are up, promoting a candidate? Surely that’s because people are afraid to get rear-ended on the road, or find rocks sailing through their windows at home. Fury has been unleashed and primitive impulses set loose.

Let’s face it. We aren’t so pretty anymore. 

09 Sep

We found this heartening story posted by WBH on Amazon, under our Ease Pain guided meditation audio recording.  Here it is, verbatim, in honor of National Pain Awareness Month: We especially love her inspiring, motivating, personal pep talk qu0te that she throws in at the end. 

08 Sep

Researchers from Duke University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina conducted a study where 151 outpatients with coronary heart disease were randomized to 12 weeks of either Comprehensive Cardiac Rehab (CR) alone or Comprehensive Cardiac Rehab combined with Stress Management Training (CR+SMT).

Biomarkers for stress and coronary heart disease were collected before and after treatment. A matched sample of eligible patients who did not receive CR made up the no-treatment comparison group.

All participants were followed up for up to 5.3 years (median of 3.2 years) for adverse clinical events, i.e., heart attacks.

06 Sep

A woman wonders whether we have guided imagery for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a challenging condition that she’s been dealing with for decades. She also asks for her eighteen-year-old son, who also suffers from OCD, anxiety, fears & phobias, etc.

Question:

Do you have a CD for OCD?

I suffer from it, as does my 18 year old son. Over the years, I have gotten relief through medication and CBT. [Ed. Note: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy], but I am always looking for additional tools. 

My son has had a more difficult time than I. He was less successful with CBT. I am especially interested in finding something for him. 

Thank you for whatever feedback you have for us.

Penny

05 Sep

Hello again.  Well, it looks like September is Pain Awareness Month, among other things. A lot of afflictions belong to September, but we decided to highlight pain here.  

That’s because there are an insane number of people suffering with chronic pain. Here in the United States, it’s primarily from arthritis, back pain and headaches. Not sure about anywhere else, but it’s probably similar.

02 Sep

Corolla le Blanc tells how guided imagery helped with her chronic, worsening migraine headache condition, which she’d suffered since adolescence. 

For most of her life, she had inadequate health insurance and couldn’t afford the pricey meds on offer, so she resorted to guided imagery, not realizing that, at the very least, good, relaxing guided meditations will release muscle tension in the head and neck; and loosen the tightness in constricted blood vessels. So this was actually not a bad idea at all…

Here’s how she tells it in her own words...

01 Sep

Researchers from Geneva University in Switzerland investigated whether self-hypnosis for pain management is as effective with hospitalized older adults as it is known to be with younger populations. 

They compared the impact of hypnosis with massage with 53 hositalized older adults (mean age 80.6 yrs, 14 men, 39 women) suffering from chronic pain for 3 months or more. Twenty-six were randomized to the hypnosis group, and 27 to the massage group.

30 Aug

Depending where you live, kids are gearing up to go back to school or already are in classes. No matter which case, we continue to get queries about what works best for anxious middle schoolers, distressed over the start of the school year and the thought of entering a larger, more complex and intimidating system. This "Ask Health Journeys" post should be a great resource for families with kids in this situation.

29 Aug

I’m excited to be going back to my old stompin’ grounds of McLean, Virginia, to offer a workshop for the Center for Pastoral Counseling of Virginia on the power of guided imagery to heal heartbreak and trauma, and to create the conditions for forgiveness. 

I was invited to speak by Rev. Becki Porter-Harmon, a wonderful colleague I met in the early 70’s, at a newly founded shelter for teens called Alternative House, where she was hard at work building the program and I was a mental health consultant from the Woodburn Center for Community Mental Health in its earliest days. And here we are now, forty years later, working together again! Wow.

This three-hour workshop is especially geared for pastors, therapists, counselors, health professionals and coaches, but also anyone with an itch to learn more about the power of guided imagery to catalyze deep healing, growth, learning and change, even under the most challenging conditions.

26 Aug

Hi, Belleruth.

This summer, I sat once more for the bar exam. I have always been a terrible test taker and for me, passing the bar is the ultimate, terrifying test. 

There I was, facing the Boogey Man after several failed attempts, complete with racing pulse, intense sweats and nausea.  I always knew the material, but I would get so inundated with stress and fear, I couldn’t access it.

Only this time, with the help of a very wise therapist, I figured out that in my past tries, I had never given myself the tools I needed to succeed.