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Some Recommended Reading

05 Dec

Well, as you can see, we’ve got a new look on our enews.  We switched our delivery system and decided we might as well redesign our graphics and format while we were at it.  So here’s hoping you like it – let us know either way.

We don’t usually post qualitative studies on our Hot Research page, but we get so many questions about Bipolar Illness (what used to be called Manic Depressive Disorder) that I knew these interviews with a dozen people diagnosed with B.I. and practicing mindfulness meditation for 18 weeks would be of interest. So please take a look at this exception to the rule if you have a minute.

Since it’s the season for recommending books, I’ve got to add to the list: Breast Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do by Greg Anderson, a cancer survivor himself and the founder of the Cancer Recovery Foundation.  This is a terrific book - very wise, comprehensive, supportive and it makes for super-pleasant reading.

Chapters are short and to the point, and the whole book is practical and immediately helpful.  Don’t be put off by the 50 things – some of them are as simple as taking a low dose aspirin each day (yep, that’s right – those 81 mg are not just good for preventing heart attacks; they can help prevent a recurrence of breast cancer, too).
You’ll get a road map for a fully integrative approach, combining nutrition, exercise, mind-body tools and social support along with conventional medical treatment.  In providing context, he says smart things like, “The tumor model of breast cancer care considers the tumor the entire problem. The emerging model of breast cancer treatment recognizes the tumor as a physical indication of an underlying imbalance.”

I figure this is a great gift for anyone dealing with cancer.

And for those of you interested in Energy Psychology, ACEP (The Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology) has just started a virtual bookstore that features several titles by pioneers like Fred Gallo, Dorothea Kramer and David Feinstein.  

And for all you macho health care providers out there who are loathe to take good care of yourselves, Laurie Barkin RN, has written a memoir, The Comfort Garden: Tales from the Trauma Unit.  She talks about the compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma she acquired over her 20 years as an elite psychiatric trauma nurse working with acute suffering, and how just sucking it up and pushing through to take care of her patients eventually just couldn’t cut it.

She writes about one instance where a young patient arrived with an injury, only to experience a psychotic episode, igniting her long hair and polyester clothing with a Bic lighter before Barkin found her.  Such experiences were hard to leave at the workplace. When Barkin went to a U2 concert months later, and the audience started waving lighters, she fainted.

Suffering shortness of breath, heart palpitations and dizziness daily, Barkin realized that she was absorbing her patients' traumas.  "There was this attitude that my issues were personal, that I should pay for a therapist," she said. "But mine were occupational injuries.”

You can find this excellent book over at Amazon.

And don’t forget to add 2 books recently reviewed on these pages:  Priscilla Warner’s Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life.

And Caren Goldman’s Restoring Life's Missing Pieces: The Spiritual Power of Remembering and Reuniting with People, Places,Things and Self.

Okay, take care and be well.
All best,

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