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Hospitals Tripling Adoption of Mind-Body Practices

10 Oct

Hello again.
I was struck recently by an article by Kevin O’Reilly in the mainstream paper, American Medical News, that talked about how patient and community demand for integrative therapies (also called complementary and alternative therapies or CAM, although that term is losing ground) has resulted in a tripling of the number of hospitals adopting these practices since 2000.  The popularity of massage, guided imagery, meditation and Healing Touch/Reiki were specifically mentioned as growing at record speed.
The piece states that 42% of the 714 hospitals surveyed said they provided these therapies, and executives listed patient demand as the top criterion in choosing which to offer.  In 2000, just 14% of hospitals said they provided these services.  You can read the whole piece here.

We’re almost done with our guided imagery protocol at Fort Sill.  The experimental group of Soldiers in the RESET phase, after having come back from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, recently ended its 8 weeks of listening to a minimum of 20 minutes of guided imagery a day, 5 days a week.  We’re now winding down on collecting this batch of surveys from both the experimental arm and the controls.  There will be one more collection, 30 days post.  

Each time it gets harder to scoop up these troops, because they get reassigned, lose their username ID cards or just fade away through natural attrition.  Luckily for this research, we started out with a large number, and, most importantly, the leadership at Fort Sill, from Commanding General Halverson on down, has been hugely supportive and engaged. This means that those surveys do get filled out, one way or the other.  We’re very grateful for the strong and steady support we’ve gotten at this post.  Awesome indeed!  

We very much want to see if it makes a difference with the push to try this coming from the command side, as opposed to from the health or mental health professionals.  Of course, the million dollar question is, Can you order soldiers to listen to guided imagery and get effective results?  We’ll soon see.  These troops weren’t dealing with combat stress so much as re-entry stress, another interesting twist.  Whatever the results, we hope they’ll be enlightening and useful to all our Service Members.  To be continued.

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I’ll be keynoting a terrific annual Susan G Komen event in Cleveland on Saturday for The Gathering Place.  For more details, check our calendar.

This also means we get to feature our Pink Ribbon Wellness Kit, where a portion of the proceeds goes to cancer research.  The kit our team chose for this year’s Shop for the Cure is designed to help restore peace and calm to people dealing with breast cancer as well as the rest of us.  It combines Sharon Salzberg’s The Force of Kindness book and CD set, containing guided meditations that will change your life with love and compassion; plus our new Guided Imagery Mix to provide quick access to a relaxed, healing mind state.  We also tossed in our ever-popular Stress Less Aromatherapy Inhalation Beads, to provide the fullest sensory experience for soothing your jangliest nerve. The kit comes packaged in a white bag with a pink ribbon bow, so it makes a terrific gift for your stress-crazed friend or beloved.  Normally priced at $41, the Pink Ribbon kit is discounted at $29.95 – a nice savings of $11 – plus you get to help out a really good cause.

Okay, that’s it for now.  Take care and be well.


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