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Belleruth Naparstek

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.

Researchers from Harvard and McGill Universities performed a systematic review of studies investigating the impact of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on stress and anxiety in healthy, nonclinical adults.

A total of 29 studies (n=2668) were included. Effect-size estimates suggested that MBSR is moderately effective in pre-post analyses (n=26; Hedge's g=.55; 95% CI [.44, .66], p<.00001) and in between-group analyses (n=18; Hedge's g=.53; 95% CI [.41, .64], p<.00001).

Outcomes were maintained at an average of 19 weeks of follow-up and the results suggest large effects on stress, moderate effects on anxiety, depression, distress, and quality of life, and small effects on burnout.

Dear Belleruth,

Two questions: Do you use binaural beats in your background music?

And, aside from your sleeping aid recordings, can a person multi-task while listening to, say, the weight loss recordings and still gain benefit? Or, does the listening require total immersion while playing the recordings?

Thanks....

Penny

I was stunned and saddened to learn that the sweet-natured, kind-hearted and very brilliant health writer and cancer guide, Henry Dreher, died last week.

I so liked knowing he was out there in the world somewhere, even when I couldn't always find him. (I think sometimes he had to hide from all of us, because his oversized generosity and world class empathy would bury him under way too much work and care.)

He helped my husband, my brother and countless friends and clients, not to mention all the people who asked for help on this blog, to sort through all the confusing options of cancer treatment and care. I got scores of thank you's from so many of you for recommending him.

Friday, 23 October 2015 00:00

Why Domestic Violence Victims Don’t Leave

This rivetingTed X Talk video is Leslie Morgan Steiner telling her story of how and why it took some time for her to leave her abuser.

It has a very happy ending.

Nearly 3 million people have watched it. I have no doubt it's educated a lot of people and saved many lives. Check it out. And pass it along to someone who needs to watch it.

Click here to see the video

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Dear Br,

I volunteer at a battered women's shelter. I have been doing this work for nearly 4 years, ever since my daughter escaped a violent marriage and found refuge here.

Last month, a board member donated 3 of your Domestic Violence Recovery Packs to the house. What would you suggest is the most effective way to use them with the women here?

Thanks in advance.

Rosemary P.

In this pre-test/ post-test pilot study, researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King's College in London, UK, compared the short term impact of a brief mindfulness training (n=19) to guided imagery relaxation (n=18) with patients suffering from acute depression.

Participants were introduced to either mindfulness or guided imagery/relaxation in a single session, and practiced daily over one week.

As I mentioned last week, the most dangerous time for the abused partner is once she (or he) actually hits the road. That's when the offender has nothing to lose. Over 70% of the murders that happen in these relationships, happen then.

That's why it's imperative that this exit be carefully planned, highly tactical and very secret. So that's the general thrust here: be sneaky, crafty and wily – your life may depend on it.
So, this list may look totally paranoid to you – but it's not paranoia when your partner thinks they own you and feels that they have the right to retrieve you.... or worse, destroy you for committing the outrageous act of leaving them.

We read this and smiled. This is not the first time we've been told that guided imagery replaced Ambien, Lunesta and other sleep medication. Not only are there no (bad) side effects; it's a heck of a lot less expensive! Read on, good reader!

I'm a newly converted guided imagery fan. This is a sincere and happy thank you.

I'm one of those people who have a terrible time shutting my mind off at night. As a result, I've taken sleeping pills for years – to the point of getting dependent on them. I didn't like the feeling of being so reliant on pills, and I was even less crazy about the morning "hangover" that I got from them.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 00:00

Trauma Survivors: Always Try Before You Buy!

We got this excellent question from a trauma survivor, who understood the critical importance of the voice tone, timbre, pacing and music quality on a guided imagery CD. She understood her vulnerability to the wrong voice, and she wanted to find a way to hear a sample first.

Here is her question:

Belleruth,

I have just finished your book on healing post-trauma stress, "Invisible Heroes", and I am interested in obtaining some of your cds.

But first, I need to know what your voice sounds like. This is critical to me, because I am very sensitive to sound. I need an extremely soothing voice with soft music in the background.

Is there a place where I could just hear your voice before purchasing?

Thank you.

PS - Your book has helped me so much, but I believe the audio cds would help me more.

Researchers from Saint Clare Health Systems in Dover, New Jersey investigated the effectiveness of the "M" Technique of structured touch (M), compared with guided imagery and usual care, for the reduction of pain and anxiety in patients undergoing elective total knee or hip replacement surgery.

"M" is a registered method of structured touch using a set sequence and number of strokes, and a consistent level of pressure on hands and feet,