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18 Sep

Listeners to mind-body recordings like to have some choice on what they’re listening to. More than five options can get overwhelming.  Two is too few. The sweet spot appears to be 3- 5…..  

18 Sep

Guided imagery and many kinds of guided meditation are passive activities. All you need to do is press PLAY and immersive, hypnotic words and the music will carry you. Mindfulness, however, is an active discipline that asks things of us…..

18 Sep

A RAND survey found that 83% of military treatment facilities offer services like relaxation therapy, acupuncture, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and chiropractic…

07 Aug

Even if parents are thrilled to have their kids up early and out of the house for a reliable chunk of the day, back-to-school time can still be pretty stressful….  
Is it my imagination, or is back-to-school time getting earlier and earlier?

26 Jul

Well, it’s finally the week we’ve been anxiously awaiting … Moving Week.   

Apparently, we’ve chosen one of the biggest moving weeks of the entire year.  And, rightfully so!

21 Jul

Akron, Ohio has been good to us for more than 18 years. We’ve evolved and blossomed, made friends and fond memories, but it’s time for Health Journeys to go home.

13 Jul

Why are we hearing breaking news about the health benefits of yoga and meditation? We already knew they were good for us…

11 Jul

Remember when the word “hypnosis” conjured up images of a stage Svengali snookering some hapless volunteer from the audience to walk like a duck and cluck like a chicken?

Well, according to a just-published University of Birmingham research analysis, hypnosis and hypnotherapy have come a long way from that perception. The investigators show most people are open to using it for medical or psychotherapeutic purposes.

03 Jul

During this week of the Fourth of July, I’m focused on the idea I grew up with of what is the classic American Hero. 

I was born during World War II, infused with an ideal of a certain post-war, iconic, American male. In the movies, he was best exemplified by Gary Cooper in High Noon and Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird - both won Oscars for Best Actor, by the way.

This hero figure was gallant, brave and principled, protecting the weak and doing what was right, even at great personal cost.

26 Jun

June 27th is National Posttraumatic Stress Awareness Day, so I’m taking the occasion to point out a few things. 

The actual name for the day is “PTSD” Awareness Day, but I’m not using those initials, because I don’t think the “D” (for Disorder) belongs there. The experience of Posttraumatic Stress does not constitute a mental disorder, regardless of PTSD’s prominent listing in the DSM-V. (That’s the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which therapists use to assign diagnoses and file for insurance).  

PTS is a normal reaction to abnormal events.

It’s a body based neurophysiological and biochemical response to threat.

It’s an ancient, human, survival-driven, wired-in answer to danger, real or perceived – it makes no difference to the body.

Capacity for words shuts down and sheer instinct takes over. That’s so we can move and act faster, the better to save our lives.

Ugly images stay stuck in the brain and repeat, as fresh and contemporaneous as the day they first showed up. That’s because traumatic memories aren’t stored in the usual structures in the brain where normal memories are housed.

That’s why standard therapy or “the talking cure” doesn’t help as much as we once thought it could.  It’s like apples trying to talk to oranges.

Instead, techniques like guided imagery, EMDR, Healing Touch, Somatic Experiencing, Yoga Therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique and other sensory and body based approaches are far more effective and quick-acting. That’s apples talking to apples.

I tried to spell this out in my book, Invisible Heroes. So does Robert Scaer in The Body Bears the Burden. Peter Levine was early to the party with Waking the Tiger. Bessel van der Kolk came later with The Body Keeps the Score

Hopefully the DSM-VI will set the record straight and take out that D. Stay tuned!

All best,

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Belleruth 

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