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May 14, 2007

11 May
Some recent research shows that a relaxation & imagery program, dispensed to chemo patients via audio, video and some print resources, can deliver the same outcomes as a live counselor..
Hello, everyone.
I want to call your attention to a recent Hot Research abstract, courtesy of Paul Jacobsen and his team at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. What this research shows is very important - that a relaxation & imagery program, dispensed to chemo patients via audio, video and some print resources, produced virtually the same effect sizes as the same techniques administered by a live counselor.

Jacobsen studied the responses of 411 randomly assigned cancer patients who were about to begin chemotherapy, comparing the effects of (1) standard psychosocial care only, (2) a professionally administered form of stress management training (which included deep breathing, progressive relaxation + imagery and affirmations), or a patient self-administered form of the same stress management training, using video, audio and printed materials.

Quality-of-life assessments were conducted before randomization and before the second, third, and fourth treatment cycles. In addition, the costs of each intervention were assessed.

Compared with patients who received usual care only, those who received the self-administered intervention reported significantly (P < or = .05) better physical functioning, greater vitality, fewer role limitations because of emotional problems, and better mental health. Those who got the professionally administered intervention did no better. The self-administered intervention cost 66% less to deliver, too. (Here is the citation for those of you who want to read the whole article: Jacobsen PB, Meade CD, Stein KD, Chirikos TN, Small BJ, Ruckdeschel JC. Efficacy and costs of two forms of stress management training for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2002, Jun 15; 20 (12): pages 2851-62.)

This supports the idea that you can hand out relatively inexpensive, portable, self-administered imagery materials to people and they can get significant help from them, comparable to sitting with a therapist - outcomes we’ve also been finding to be true in our PTSD study of veterans at the Durham V.A. Medical Center. This means we can be helping a lot more people than we thought, inexpensively, effectively and easily. This includes the idea of giving out audio interventions to the troops, too - dispensed by way of iPods and MP3 players. Thinking about all the promising possibilities implied by this and research and others like it, boggles the mind and offers a ray or two of sunshine.

If you have a minute, do check out our brand new Stress Less Spa at Home Kit - a terrific gift, for yourself or your favorite tense person, at home, on the road or anywhere else. It’s got high-end lotion, mineral bath salts, bath and body oil, an aromatherapy candle (all in lovely, calming blends of lavender, chamomile and sage), plus a wooden massager, combined in a very endearing little portable, see-through bag that’s also perfect for air travel. And the price is definitely right - $20 - for this terrific little kit.

And just a reminder - our free download offer with a new subscription to our enews has been a huge hit, bringing thousands of new subscribers on board. So we’re keeping it going. You can get a free download of our 15-minute, stress-relieving imagery when you sign up for a subscription for our HJ e-newsletter, which is also free, by the way. Just click here.

Aside from these updates, ImageryNews is our primary way of getting immediate, online word out to you about new information in the field; the latest research in guided imagery, meditation and hypnosis; new training and learning opportunities; special sales; and exciting program ideas.

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

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