September is TBI or Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month. Everyone here at Health Journeys salutes those coping in one way or other with this condition.
TBI's can take many forms, from brief, mild concussion, to an injury that requires a slow, arduous recovery. Sometimes it means catastrophic impairment with no end in sight.
It takes bucket loads of fortitude, resourcefulness and energy, in the patient, family and loved ones, to manage and cope with a mid-levelTBI.
I was amused and delighted to see an article about "new" techniques to reduce stress in Business Insider. Okay, so what if three out of the five methods are older than dirt? The good news is that meditation, guided imagery and yoga breathing have hit the mainstream, big time and are being touted as practical solutions to stress at work.
Actually, corporate America has long been onto the fact that work site stress breeds hypertension, depression, indigestion, panic attacks, substance abuse, and other maladies, not to mention absenteeism and sick days.
It's been really good to see a sudden spike in requests for guided imagery from dialysis centers all around the country. We're not sure why we're getting so much activity now – we haven't done any special outreach that I'm aware of - but our guided meditation CDs for dialysis, surgery and general medical procedures have been flying off the shelves, shipping to dialysis professionals around the nation.
Of course, if you're stuck in a big recliner, tied to a dialysis machine for 3 or more hours, there's only so much TV you can watch, reading you can do or sleep you can get. It can be dispiriting, confining and frustrating to have to depend on these treatments.
Well, what a kick! Last week, we hosted our first Health Journeys Hangout On Air – the topic being guided imagery and how to use it, listen to it and what are the conditions for its most effective use.
There was an especially great discussion on how to introduce guided imagery to people who aren't used to meditative techniques, not to mention the skeptical, suspicious and reluctant.
We had knowledgeable and passionate input from our terrific panelists Ann Williams, Craig Walker, Lisa Lansing, Jean Maurie Puhlman and Bob May, whose considerable collective experiences included using imagery for diabetes, surgery, combat stress, childhood trauma and rehab in the Gyrotonic studio.
It was our first sortie into this wild, new world, using a terrific platform provided by Google (who knew?). Well, I guess Elizabeth knew, because it was her idea, and she was after us to give it a try.
With Cindy as co-producer, E. also moderated the panel for us, skillfully commandeering the tech requirements (those would have stopped me cold, right there), showing panelists with varying levels of technophobia how to use the platform, doing the intros, and facilitating the conversation, after setting the whole thing up. Yikes. That had to be a ton of work and a steep learning curve. Bravissima, E and thanks to Cindy for her usual steady, behind the scenes support.
If you missed it, this hangout is now memorialized on Youtube in perpetuity, and on our HJ Youtube Channel. So if you missed it, you can still "attend".
Stay tuned! We'll be doing a lot more of these, including a special series for our professional program members. And coming up soon: We're also thinking about hosting a special hangout for vets and military to honor Veterans Day.
It's funny - some days I feel like a resentful slave to Google and its persnickety web page requirements, rules and regs. But I'm grateful for this ingenious hangout platform – it's almost as impressive as its astoundingly speedy, comprehensive search engine. When they get it right, they get it right. Again, check it out.
See you soon. Take care and be well,
p.s. If you liked this post, you might enjoy getting our weekly e-news with other articles just like it. If so, sign up here!
Before I forget, I want to remind you that Cindy's super-successful back-to-school sale ends on Sept 7th. We've got strong titles for students eager to fine-tune their learning game (- even for those not so eager, come to think about it...). Check out our guided imagery for Procrastination, Self-Confidence, ADHD, Self-Esteem and Stress Relief, to name a few topics that have been flying off the shelves lately.
And on an entirely different note, here's this announcement:
So, all you Torontonians, Ontarians, Buffalonians and North Americans, listen up! If you're in the business of therapizing, coaching, consulting, or people-influencing, and want to pump up your people/process skills to a whole 'nother level, a pretty amazing and unique training opportunity is about to show up in downtown Toronto Oct 7-9.
Well, it's that time of year, although it's hard to believe it's crept up so quickly. Yep, most kids will be going back to school, this week or next.
The children will be feeling separation anxiety, social anxiety and performance anxiety – and so, most likely, will their parents. Some could not possibly be separating soon enough, the blessed structure of school days coming as a godsend. Many will be feeling all of the above.
The kids will be worrying about which class they were assigned to, did they get a good teacher, are they with their friends, will this grade be really hard, will the class bully be meaner than ever, will they be able to keep up with the work, separate from home, make the team...
Parents will be facing lots of prep: the reading of instructions, purchasing school supplies, doc check-ups, shots, signing forms, getting school clothes that manage to fit the dress code and not embarrass the kid.
Greetings, good people! Is it really the middle of August already? And have I really become one of those perpectually baffled old codgers who ask, "Where did the time go"?
In any case, it's time, to remind you of our First Ever Google Hangout on Air. It's happening on Thursday August 27th from 1-2 p.m. Eastern.
We're going for an open Q and A, back and forth, shoot-the-breeze, share-the-info with me and fellow panelists. So bring any and all of your guided imagery thoughts, discoveries, questions, concerns and experiences.
I'm assured that it's really easy to participate (being a codger myself, I wouldn't know).... Any number of attendees can join us, and type in their questions and comments whenever they wish. There will also be a few people on the screen with me – part of our live panel.
Lately I seem to be having a lot of conversations with friends about clearing out clutter. This is probably part of a post-child rearing, de-nesting phase. Most of the people I talk to want to do it. They feel oppressed by the stuff surrounding them. I think it actually creates a subtext of constant, subtle stress. But they also feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the job. After years of inadvertent accumulation, let me tell you, it can be a pretty daunting prospect.
When I was getting ready to sell my big, old, Charles Addams-esque house in Cleveland Heights (designed for relentless entertaining from when my husband was a grad school dean), I was taken firmly in hand by my real estate agent and told that clean surfaces, open spaces and orderly closets would be the sine qua non of unloading that sucker.
Fifteen Fabulous, Fool-Proof De-Stressing Tips
Well, I know summer is supposed to the season of less stress – a time away from over-scheduling and killer routines; a time for vacations and kicking back...
And truly, I hope your summer is going that way.
But from my perch, I'm hearing a lot of stress, worry and agitation. People are worrying over their summer trips; about cobbling together the right combo of week-long sports camps and art camps for their kids; about getting their children ready for school, because in many parts of the country, it starts, weirdly enough, in mid-August; about seeing too much or too little of their grown kids; about having so much company coming and going, they feel like they're running an Airbnb. I've also heard a hefty amount of teeth gnashing about the summer slipping by and all those special projects waiting to be tackled... well, they're still waiting.
Now, I grant you, these are FWP's (First World Problems) of the first order, and can't hold a candle to poverty, war, famine, natural disaster and real human misery.
But often that's the nature of stress. Even when we know we're overreacting to stuff that's ridiculously trivial in the larger scheme of things, there we are - still overreacting.
So I decided it was time to assemble a new, updated list of common sense, stress management tips.
I get that nobody's going to adopt all fifteen. How stressful would that be?? But just a few of these tips can make a big difference. I suggest starting with the easiest ones to take on first – then add another. Success breeds success.
Okay, good e-news subscribers. Cindy is on the loose with yet another special perk, just for you guys. This time, aside from the free guided imagery download you already got when you signed up, you can now also get 20% off your next order. Those of you who are already subscribers will find the promo code in the special features box on the 7/22/15 e-news.
If you don't currently subscribe, she tells us, you can sign up now, and get that free guided imagery download plus the 20% off your next order*. All you have to do is sign up and confirm your subscription before the offer expires on August 5, 2015. Be sure to order using the promo code before that August 5th expiration date.
So, what's in this e-news, some might ask...
Well, every week our Health Journeys newsletter features at least one, hot off the presses summary of the findings of a mind-body research article (in user-friendly English) – so you're among the first to hear about a significant new study of guided imagery, meditation, hypnosis, biofeedback, acupressure and the like.