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17 Nov

Listen up, good people!

peter-levineOn Wednesday, November 19th, one of my all time favorite trauma experts – none other than the brilliant treatment innovator Peter Levine, creator of Somatic Experiencing - will be offering this week's free webinar for NICABM, as part of their new series, Rethinking Trauma: The Third Wave of Trauma Treatment.

Whenever I'm asked by a therapist which of the many new trauma therapies they should train in if they only have time for one, I answer that if they've got the time and money, Somatic Experiencing is the one. It's just such an elegantly effective protocol that makes the most sense, because it's body-based, just like trauma is, and because it's the least likely to create distress, activate symptoms or get clients stuck in ugly experiences of the past. (And by the way, it's superb for treating many conditions, not just PTS).

Again, it's free at the time of broadcast and you can sign up here.

10 Nov

The past two decades have seen an explosion of research linking simple stress reduction practices with improved outcomes for people with diabetes.

Guided imagery, hypnosis, mindfulness meditation, breath work, acupuncture, yoga, reiki, qigong, biofeedback, mindful walking – there's quite a list. All seem to improve blood chemistry and promote greater well being. And guided imagery is particularly user friendly, practical and effective for people managing the everyday challenges of diabetes.

The reasons are pretty obvious. Stress increases the flow of cortisol and other stress hormones in the bloodstream, and they in turn increase insulin resistance, the production of bad cholesterol, hypertension and a host of other unattractive health outcomes.

03 Nov

Well, it's that time of year again, when people start feeling blue, depressed, sapped of energy and filled with "what's the point of it all" ennui.

Therapists notice it right away, because the phone starts ringing off the hook – new clients looking for help, and people who terminated their therapy years ago, coming back for a tune-up.

And yes, it's connected with the difficult issues in their lives, but chances are, these issues were operating over the summer too, but just didn't hit them as hard as when the sun started getting stingier with its light.

20 Oct

Well, it's that time of year again – Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And once again we're offering our Pink Ribbon Survive & Thrive Pack, created for all those breast cancer survivors who want to maintain a wellness regimen once treatment is over.

What we found was that people can get pretty anxious when treatment ends, because, even though that's generally a good thing, there's still this feeling of "Well, at least I knew I was doing something – even if the chemo produced nasty side effects, and the radiation therapy was no day at the beach either...".

And this loss of having something to do can be felt especially strongly by people who used guided imagery during that time of treatment, to boost the action of their medical protocols or help with pain or nausea or fatigue, or just to allay anxiety or provide uplift and a sense of mastery. That imagery served a real need.

13 Oct

Well, this month we recognize Domestic Violence Awareness, and a good thing, too. Emotional and physical abuse is far more prevalent and ubiquitous than most of us believe. It's not just beefy, steroidal, misogynistic football players punching out their wives in elevators and then hauling off their unconscious bodies like a cheap sack of potatoes.

And no way is it limited to the underprivileged, or women, or the young, or the non-white, either.

If you want to do a quick breaking of stereotype, think old, wealthy, white guy in wheelchair, who's a little annoying because he's pretty deaf and quasi-paralyzed and hard to move around, who's receiving home health care from a private provider, and you'll have another profile of who gets screamed at, beaten, sadistically teased, over- controlled, pushed around, robbed, derided, mortified and terrified. The guy's kids either haven't a clue what's going on, don't care, or behave just as badly as the caregiver.

06 Oct

Well, so I feel like I turned my attention away for a minute, diapered a grandkid, made myself a cup of coffee.. and while I was gone, trauma treatment turned on its head and transformed – again!

I kid you not, this is the fastest growing psych field I know.

If you're a busy clinician or a concerned family member, there's no way you can keep up with these new discoveries. I mean, NO WAY.

This is very exciting and wonderful, but a tad daunting, I gotta say.

22 Sep

Hello again, everyone, and happy fall.  

I’ve reduced my public speaking by quite a bit, but I’ve made an exception for this extraordinary local event on October 10th in Solon, Ohio - the upcoming Heal the Healers Symposium offered by University Hospitals. This will be a first-class, all-day cornucopia of holistic, mind-body offerings, presented and demo’d by experts in the field, at Signature of Solon.  

It’s a jam packed day, starting with a welcome from the always inspiring journalist, Regina Brett, and interspersed with a delicious, healthy breakfast and lunch. There will be therapeutic yoga, music therapy, acupuncture, chair massage, Reiki, tips on maintaining healthy muscle tone from Robert Truax DO; some important info about substance abuse among health care professionals from Ray Isackila, LPCC; and Peter Geller LAc, LOMP, will be talking about integrating Chinese Herbal Medicine into a traditional practice.

15 Sep

Hello again.

I was really happy to see an order zip past my screen from the Rhode Island National Guard, requesting multiple copies of our guided imagery for Relaxation & Wellness, Healing Trauma and Mind-Body Exercises for Stress Hardiness Optimization.

As many of my good buddies in the military tell me, those guardsmen and women generally get next to nuthin’  when they come home (except grief) – they were thrown in harm’s way with the least preparation or training, and come home to even fewer resources than the regular military and vets get, even though they’re as injured and vulnerable and as in need of help as anyone, if not more so.
So it really gives us all here a big lift to know these men and women are getting something that might really help them. It’s a resource that these outfits can realistically afford and will actually use.
When I asked Cindy and Elizabeth what other Guards have ordered our stuff, they told me we had Army and Air National Guards from California, Alaska, Florida, North Dakota, Ohio, Virginia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississipi, Minneapolis, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

08 Sep

kathy-swiftI’m eager to tell you about a new book by the amazing, one and only Kathie Swift, RDN, called The Swift Diet: 4 Weeks to Mend the Belly, Lose the Weight, and Get Rid of the Bloat.

Kathie knows more about healthy eating, gut health, weight loss and food as medicine than just about anyone I know.  Check out her newest book if you want to understand and act in healthier and more effective ways about food, nutrition and good eating.
More about the book soon, but first a little background on my friend and colleague, the very impressive but delightfully unpretentious K.M. Swift.

2143Back in the day, when I was researching the imagery for Weight Loss, I couldn’t find anyone who could explain to me the nuts and bolts of how the body loses weight.  I mean, nobody seemed to know the detailed biochemical pathway for converting fat to energy – not even these ultra-famous diet docs, who threw around some buzzy buzz words but didn’t really have a lot of depth or understanding beyond those snappy catch phrases.
Then someone put me onto Kathie Swift, who at the time was running the nutrition program at Canyon Ranch in Lenox MA.  And, lo and behold, she knew everything, including stuff I hadn’t even thought to ask.  She’d tracked down the latest researchers and findings, took the best of it all and did a dazzling job of synthesizing and turning those data and insights into useable, comprehensible English.
And she was possibly the most generous and unterritorial expert I’d ever met (and she’s still that way.)  So if you like the cellular imagery on that weight loss audio, you can thank Kathie.

But I digress.  Here is what she has to say about her exciting new book, which explains the breathtaking new findings on the microbiome, which may be some of the most ground-breaking, hopeful and actionable thinking in medicine today.  

So listen up!  Here is what Kathie has to say about this important new book.

02 Sep

Hello again.
I’m wondering how many of you have been having a bigger than usual problem paying attention to the news these days.  

Is it just me, or does it seem like things are more of a mess than usual?
I’m interested in hearing how people cope with the onslaught of such terrible world events – beheadings, bombings, shootings, earthquakes – not to mention the uptick of nonstop incivility that seems to be everywhere, but especially in our national politics, which, no doubt degrades the social discourse that the rest of us engage in..
Sometimes I take a news fast – just can’t stand another hideous dollop of it, so I shut it all off.  This doesn’t feel like it’s in keeping with my idea of being a responsible citizen, but there you have it. There are times I’m on overload and need to stick my head in the sand – and do.
Sometimes I make a contribution to an organization trying to help on that big, worldwide scale. I’ll spend time finding out from friends and experts I trust where to best send it.  If feels like a drop in the bucket, but it’s doing something, and it counters that debilitating helplessness we all feel from passively watching terrible things happening to real people.
Sometimes I just focus in on doing something small but useful and effective – something that I know could actually help somebody in my corner of the world, even if it has nothing to do with the ugliness on the news.
Have you been thinking about this too?  What do you do?
All best,

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