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Monthly Archives: August 2009

  1. Amazing Stuttering Jaguar Guy’s Story – This Will Knock Your Sox Off

    I first heard this dazzlingly heart-opening story (told without a trace of cheesy sentiment or self-pity) on the car radio and was blown away, couldn’t leave ‘til it was done, in spite of the fact that I was late for an appointment.  I just couldn’t leave this story.

    I’ve since found it and played it for anyone who will listen, and they too are riveted.  It’s Alan Rabinowitz,  the world’s premier jaguar expert, telling his story – in spite of the fact that he was such a severe stutterer as a kid, that for years he couldn’t talk at all. Treat yourself.  Click here and go to the second set - The Moth Radio Hour #2 . It’s around 20 minutes. You won’t be sorry.

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  2. What Good Is My Intuition if I Don’t Trust It?

    Dear Belleruth,
    I have been reading Your Sixth Sense and listening to some of the related downloads.  I wanted to thank you for helping me understand the language of my own inner workings a little bit better.  I have been struggling with Lyme Disease and am faced with the decision of IV antibiotics. It's a rough decision b/c I have many allergies, so it may have to take place in the ICU under the watch of medical staff for 5-8 weeks... ugh!  Here is what I wrote on my blog tonight:

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  3. Relaxation and Imagery Help Air Flow with Asthmatics

    Researchers from the Technische Universitat Munchen in Munich, Germany,  investigated the efficacy of a brief relaxation technique called functional relaxation (FR) and guided imagery (GI) in adult asthmatics, in a randomized controlled clinical trial.

    Sixty-four patients with extrinsic bronchial asthma were treated over a 4-week period and assessed at baseline, after treatment and after 4 months, for follow-up. Sixteen patients completed Functional Relaxation (FR), 14 the guided imagery (GI), and 15 both FR and GI together (FR/GI), while 13 received a placebo relaxation technique as the control intervention (CI).

    The forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV(1)) as well as the specific airway resistance (sR(aw)) were employed as primary outcome measures.

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  4. Notes from Martha’s Vineyard: Presidential Dip & Town Mania

    Greetings from funky Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts – a.k.a., Obama Nation for the past week.  Our President keeps showing up in this his favorite town on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, appearing from up-island where he’s safely tucked away in resplendent, cosseted luxury.  He comes to our harbor, our restaurants and clam shacks, the Flying Horses, the golf greens, the ice cream shops… and the fine people of O.B. are beside themselves – nay, demented - with glee.

    Now, mind you, most Vineyarders were pretty fond of Bill Clinton, too. But it was nothing like this.  This is unprecedented.  The enthusiasm is even undimmed by the death of the dearly loved senior senator from Massachusetts, for whom there is much mourning.

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  5. Trying to Accommodate the Tyranny of Phobia, Panic & OCD

    My wife suffers from panic attacks, anxiety, depression, OCD and medical phobias. These issues have been going on for over a decade with no resolution in sight. The problems seemed to start just after a death in the family, and the anxiety just escalated from there until it turned into debilitating OCD, depression etc.

    The largest obstacle to overcome seems to be the medical phobia. Because of this phobia I can't get her to seek treatment, so one thing just escalates into another. At this point she barely speaks to people, doesn't watch television or read etc. This is because any word she associates with medicine sends her into an uncontrollable panic. The words don't have to be medical - she just has to be able to draw some sort of correlation – for instance, hospitality, sounds like hospital.

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  6. Another Happy Ending – Weighing 6 Lbs, 1 Oz!

    We love getting birth announcements from our peeps.  Sometimes these come from people who had fertility struggles, maybe a series of miscarriages; sometimes we hear from people who had difficult pregnancies; and sometimes, like the message below, we just hear about a regular birth experience made a little easier.  We still are hoping for a systematized study of guided imagery in childbirth, but until one of those comes down the pike, we’ll settle gratefully for postings like this one:

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  7. Brief Counseling Does Not Prevent Later Onset of PTSD

    Researchers from University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, UK, performed a systematic review of counseling interventions designed to prevent the acquisition of posttraumatic stress.  Earlier reviews had already established that Critical Incident Stress Debriefing has no effect on preventing PTS. Single session interventions were excluded for this review, which looked at other forms of multiple session early psychological intervention, begun within three months of a traumatic event, aimed at preventing PTS.

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  8. Many Stress Tips & Three Magic Herbs…

    We’ve got some excellent stress reduction tips here from Andy Weil, as well as David Edelberg’s combo of “three magic herbs” to get you back on track and into emotional and biophysical balance.  So read on, dear peeps! 

    Andy Weil MD has this pretty comprehensive list of suggestions for managing stress on his website.

    1.    Determine what is causing stress in your life. There may be particular situations, people or events that make you feel nervous, anxious or fearful.

    2.    Keep a diary to record the events or situations that are stressful for you. Record your physical symptoms and emotions.

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  9. Panic Attack Survivor Says Imagery Saved His Life (Really!)

    This has been the month of dramatic thank you notes that attest to the power of guided imagery for anxiety, panic episodes, OCD and posttraumatic stress symptoms.   The HJ staff never tires of reading these emails, whether dramatic or tepid - we don’t care.

    Here is what one fellow had to say:

    Hi.  Can someone tell Belleruth (may I please be so informal?) and the HJ staff that the Panic Attack CD saved me from harming myself?  My sister, who is a cancer survivor and fan of Health Journeys, turned me on to this a few weeks ago when I started experiencing panic attacks and lost control of my life.  I got the CD, listen to it every night when I put myself to bed and again when I wake up, and I'm recovering.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you - you literally saved my life.

    Warmest regards,
    Dean D.

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  10. Mindfulness Reduces Stress Arousal in Fibromyalgia Patients

    Researchers from the University of Louisville in Kentucky looked at whether Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) can reduce stress arousal in patients suffering from fibromyalgia.

    An earlier study by this principal investigator showed that MBSR reduced depressive symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia with gains maintained at two months follow-up (Sephton et al., Arthritis & Rheumatism, 57:77-85, 2007).

    This second study explored the effects of MBSR on basal sympathetic (SNS) activation among women with fibromyalgia. Twenty-four participants were tested before and after MBSR for anxiety, depressive symptoms, and SNS activation.

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