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Wellness (15)

12 May

Researchers from UCLA conducted a randomized controlled trial of a web-based, self-guided, multimedia stress management and resilience training program (SMART-OP) with a stressed but healthy sample.

Sixty-six participants were randomized to SMART-OP or an attention control (AC) group that received marketed videos and published material on stress management.
Participants were evaluated on self-report measures and the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Analyses were based on study completers (N = 59).

The SMART-OP group reported significantly less stress, more perceived control over stress, and rated SMART-OP as significantly more useful than the attention control arm. In addition, the SMART-OP group showed greater within-task α-amylase recovery at post-assessment.

24 Mar

We got this really interesting question from a woman last week, and it’s something we’ve heard before.  So we thought this would be a good place to post it.  She’s not obsessed with fear of cancer, just wants to know if it might do her some long-term good.  Check it out.


Would it be a good preventative therapy for me to listen daily to your Meditation for Cancer CD?  

Or would I be putting thoughts in my head?

I am not really obsessed at all about it, but at age 60, I would like to heal any start of cancer cells.

My mother had breast cancer, and I've also lost a close friend to cancer, and am close to another who is in remission, so it is on my mind.  


10 Feb

This delightful video clip of an adorable toddler discovering rain for the first time has been making its way around the internet.  The reasons for its popularity will immediately become obvious.  Give yourself a treat and check it out – for the first, second or yes, even the dozenth time.

Kayden + Rain from Nicole Byon on Vimeo.

14 Oct

Researchers from the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, UK, took a first step in identifying a cognitive marker for optimism that could provide a modifiable target for innovative interventions to promote optimism, which research has already shown can benefit general well-being and mental and physical health.
They hypothesized that the ability to generate vivid positive mental imagery of the future would be associated with an optimistic disposition.

A community sample of 237 participants completed a survey comprising measures of mental imagery and optimism, along with socio-demographic information.

02 Jul

I challenge you to watch this video of the

, hard at work spreading his own version of jocular healing on the subway - and not start laughing (or at least chortling) yourself.


17 Oct

Researchers from the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain in Davis, California, investigated the effects of a 3-month intensive meditation retreat on telomerase activity and 2 measures of perceived stress - . (Telomerase activity reverses cell aging and is a predictor of long-term cellular viability.  Aging is accelerated by chronic stress)

The two measures of perceived stress were Perceived Control (associated with decreased stress) and Subjective Distress.  In addition, the authors investigated whether two qualities developed by meditative practice - increased Mindfulness and Purpose in Life - accounted for retreat-related changes in the two stress-related variables and in telomerase activity.

10 Oct

Because optimism is a personality trait shown to correlate strongly with psychological and physical well-being, researchers at Maastricht University in The Netherlands, investigated whether optimism can be increased by imagining a “Best Possible Self” (BPS).
Effects were compared to a control group in which participants imagined their daily activities (DA).  In order to minimize inter-individual differences in content of imagery, participants constructed their BPS according to 3 domains:  personal, relational, and professional.  All participants were instructed to practice their imagery exercise for 5 min per day over a period of two weeks.  Effects on optimism and mood were measured after one session, after one week and after two weeks.

14 Aug

The purpose of this review was to explore the research literature related to the use of guided imagery as a nonpharmacological mind-body intervention for the symptom of fatigue.  Investigators used the electronic databases of MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsychInfo, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection and the Cochrane Library, searching from January 1980 to June 2010.

Of the 24 articles retrieved, only eight met the inclusion criteria and were included in this systematic literature review. Findings were inconsistent regarding the effectiveness of guided imagery on fatigue. Studies varied in study length, duration of the applied guided imagery intervention, dosage, and whether the images were targeted to the purpose of the intervention.

24 Jul

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania examined the effects of a 6-wk intervention that used guided relaxation and exercise imagery (GREI) to increase self-reported leisure-time exercise behavior among older adults.

A total of 93 community-dwelling healthy older adults (age 70.38 ± 8.15 yr, 66 female) were randomly placed in either a placebo control group or an intervention group. The intervention group received instructions to listen to an audio compact disk (CD) containing a GREI program, and the placebo control group received an audio CD that contained 2 relaxation tracks and instructions to listen to music of their choice for 6 wk.

22 May

Researchers from the University of Greenwich, London, UK investigated whether hypnosis plus Virtual Reality (VR) performed more effectively than hypnosis alone.
Thirty-five healthy participants were randomized to self-hypnosis with VR imagery, standard self-hypnosis, or relaxation interventions. Changes in sleep, cortisol levels, and mood were measured.