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Heart/Blood Pressure (65)

02 Jun

Researchers from the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia, evaluated the effectiveness of internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (iCBT) on depressive symptom severity and adherence to medical advice (including lifestyle interventions) in adults with mild to moderate depression and high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.

This was a randomized, double-blind, 12 week attention-controlled trial comparing an iCBT program (E-couch) with an internet-delivered attention control health information package (HealthWatch, n = 282).

The primary outcome measured was depression symptom level on the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) (trial registration: ACTRN12610000085077).

Out of 562 subjects, there were 487 completers (88%) who lasted to the final assessment.

12 Aug

Gulf Medical University in Ajman, United Arab Emirates, and Medical College Trivandrum in Kerala, India, assessed the efficacy of yoga in managing dyslipidemia in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Patients (n=100) were randomly assigned to either a yoga group or a control group.  The yoga subjects practiced one hr/day for three months, while receiving oral hypoglycemic medication.

The controls received medication only (treatment as usual).

Lipid profiles of both groups were compared at the start and at the end of the three months.

17 Jun

In a feasibility study at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, investigators looked at whether Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) could decrease blood pressure in low-income, urban, African-American older adults, and whether such an intervention would be acceptable to and feasible with minority, low income, older adults when provided at home. 

The study was launched because (1) hypertension affects a large proportion of urban African-American older adults; and (2) many older adults don’t have access to medications and/or don’t take them when they do have them.

Participants were at least 62 years old and residents of a low-income senior residence. All were African-American, mostly female. Twenty participants were randomized to the mindfulness-based intervention or a social support control group, both of which were 8 weeks duration.
Blood pressure was measured with the Omron automatic blood pressure machine at baseline and at the end of the 8-week intervention.

03 Jun

Investigators from the University of Michigan School of Nursing in Ann Arbor examined the effects of using our Healthful Sleep guided imagery on post-cardiac surgery sleep disturbances (problems with sleep quality, time taken to fall asleep and total sleep time) and systemic inflammatory response, as measured by stress hormones and inflammatory markers, including cortisol and C-reactive proteins.  These post-surgical difficulties are exacerbated when a patient is put on a bypass machine, and are predictors of post-op morbidity and mortality.

Of the 52 patients who provided informed consent, 27 were randomly assigned to the guided imagery group and 25 to usual care only during the ICU and step-down phases of post-op recovery.  Of these, 5 in each group were lost to follow-up.

22 Apr


Dear Belleruth,

I am having a persistent problem with hypertension - high systolic numbers.  What would you recommend insofar as an appropriate CD or imagery technique, or perhaps meditation?  Your help will be a blessing and very much appreciated.  I have a multitude of other problems, but this one could kill me if I don't get it under control.  Again, thanks much.


10 Sep

Researchers from the Institute of Neurological Sciences, South Glasgow University in Scotland, UK, investigated whether Reiki has any impact on indices of autonomic nervous system function – heart rate, blood pressure, baroreflex response, cardiac vagal tone and breath rate.

Forty-five subjects were assigned at random into three treatment conditions: no treatment (rest only); Reiki treatment by an experienced Reiki practitioner; and placebo treatment by a person with no knowledge of Reiki but who mimicked the Reiki treatment.

23 Jul

Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia launched a small feasibility study to assess the impact of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music on six outpatients in cardiac rehabilitation, as part of their treatment plan to effectively marshall physical, psychological, and vocational strategies to restore and sustain optimal health.
Starting 6 to 15 weeks after cardiothoracic surgery, 6 study participants were recruited for 6 weekly music therapy (BMGIM) sessions.  Qualitative analysis of the patient narrative within a semiotic framework demonstrated that patients used music therapy to spontaneously explore their recovery process.

25 Jun

Researchers from the Department of Surgery at Columbia University in New York examined whether guided imagery could reduce depression and therefore post-op cardiac events and even deaths (associated with depression) in patients who’d undergone coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

Traci Stein and her team hypothesized that this low cost and easy-to-implement technique could reduce post-op distress in CABG patients.  Fifty-six patients were randomized into 3 groups: guided imagery, music therapy, and standard care control.
Patients in the imagery and music groups listened to Health Journeys audiotapes preoperatively and intraoperatively.  All patients completed psychological, complementary medicine therapies use, and other assessments preoperatively and at 1 week and 6 months postoperatively.

25 Jun

After being taken by surprise by a pretty typical, distressing, lurching, crazy emotional roller coaster ride following his heart transplant surgery, a man wonders if there is something he can do to alleviate or cushion his symptoms.  Here’s his comment and question:

I am wondering what you might suggest for patients undergoing heart transplants. I spent seven months in a hospital and can tell you the emotions and abandonment are unreal and I want to be able to suggest something other patients can do without help from others which will provide the benefit of mental imagery and not require the assistance of others. A cd player can be put on by a patient, everything else is a gift as there is always someone higher priority and everyone is busy with their own lives. Perhaps you can suggest something for me as well to manage what to do with all the emotional turmoil after surviving all the physical.


16 Jan


Do you have a CD, cassette or download that would help my 85 year old father-in-law, who's got a tracheotomy following a heart attack & weeks of sedation?

He's not depressed, per se, but he is frustrated with the trach & is interested in guided imagery/self-hypnosis.  He's a retired psychologist & musician - a great guy.
A mental vacation with imagery of strengthening and regaining his health - hopefully without reference to breathing through his nose or mouth - would be great.
Thanks,  Theresa