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July 2, 2007

01 Jul
Greetings from Martha’s Vineyard and the whole range of enthusiasm-to-insanity that means it’s Fourth of July week. Independence Day is taken very seriously around here in "Cradle of Liberty" territory
Greetings from Martha’s Vineyard and the whole range of enthusiasm-to-insanity that means it’s Fourth of July week. Independence Day is taken very seriously around here in "Cradle of Liberty" territory .. many old fashioned, charming, patriotic displays, parades, song fests and concerts will occur all over this island. There’s a very sweet, old fashioned feel to the way people celebrate national holidays around here, and a deference to citizenship and freedom that is refreshingly devoid of cynicism or even irony - this in spite of the fact that most people around here tend to be on the liberal side of the political spectrum, or else fiercely independent, with conservatives in the minority, and therefore not too happy with a lot of our government’s policies these days. But regardless of political affiliation, July 4th is a big deal around here.

(The downside of course is the onslaught of testosterone-loaded, beer-swilling, late-night-screaming frat boys who are known to kind of run amok in Oak Bluffs, where most of the bars are. But the police here are brilliant at managing this, without escalating trouble. There’s a lot to be learned watching them get these guys to be quiet and move on!)

If you have time, take a look at an interesting study out of Michigan State from the very prolific Gwen Given at the school of nursing. She’s been a real pioneer with guided imagery research for years, especially with breast cancer patients. In this study she examines who opts for guided imagery as opposed to reflexology (foot massage with pressure point work that’s very relaxing) and who drops out of which intervention earlier. She found some interesting results, and it looks like the more seriously ill patients go for the complementary therapies over the traditional counseling sessions, and tend to stick with reflexology even more than the guided imagery. (Actually, if offered reflexology - the real thing with acupoint work on the feet, not just a simple foot massage - I have to confess, I’d take it over just about anything. It’s truly an awesome and powerful intervention, and if I were acutely uncomfortable or anxious or distressed, and in need of strong, hands-on, physical comfort, reflexology would be a hard act to beat.)

OK, 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