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Monthly Archives: November 2009

  1. Are There Any Tools for Profound Dementia?


    My father has suffered from dementia since 1999.  He no longer has clarity in his mind and does not recognize me or my brother.   He lives in a special care facility where he gets good care.

    The staff recently told me that he was becoming more agitated and sleepless during the night.  As a result, he is extremely tired and confused during the day.

    Any suggestions as to what kind of tools might help him, or will nothing reach him at this point?

    Thanks.  Arnold 

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  2. Asthma Affirmations Help With COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

    We get a lot of requests for guided imagery for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) but don’t yet have anything specifically targeted for this condition.  We knew that anything that relaxed the listener would make symptoms better, but we were nonetheless gratified to read this post where that notion is validated:

    The [Asthma] affirmations work well for me, [who] suffers from COPD.  I feel better, my breathing is more relaxed. I listen to this at night and when I wake up during the night.  It has helped me to take my drugs as allies.

    I even had a dream of being in a beautiful hall with molded ceiling. There were the friends, and a friendly healthy, strong and vital guide put his arm on my shoulder to comfort me. I woke up realizing that that luxurious room was my lungs feeling healed. Thank you Belleruth!

    With all my encouragements,
    Michael from UK


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  3. Ten Consecutive Days of Imagery Reduce Clinical Depression

    Investigators from the Coimbra Nursing School in Coimbra, Portugal and the University of Akron’s College of Nursing reported on the efficacy of a guided imagery intervention for decreasing depression, anxiety, and stress and increasing comfort in psychiatric inpatients with depressive disorders.

    A quasi-experimental design sampled 60 short-term hospitalized patients suffering from depression, selected consecutively. The experimental group listened to a guided imagery compact disk once a day for 10 days.

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  4. Can Positive Psychology Inoculate Our Troops Against PTSD?

    Recently the Department of Defense (DoD) made a bold decision to introduce Positive Psychology to all active military in hopes of reducing the incidence of PTSD. I appreciate the boldness, but question the choice of method.

    Positive Psychology provides an antidote to the more traditional, symptom-focused, disability-obsessed aspects of standard psychotherapy, and instead examines and promotes authenticity, productivity, the appreciation of beauty, creativity, forgiveness, altruism, gratitude and connection with community.

    Indeed, building upon a person’s strengths is a key tenet of my profession - social work - and always has been.  I’m all for this fruitful legacy of the late, great Abe Maslow (the psychologist who put terms like “self-actualizing”, “peak experience” and “human potential movement” into common parlance).

    I've no doubt positive psychology has been good for a host of people, most notably middle school kids and teenagers suffering from iffy self-esteem, adolescent angst and hormonal doldrums.  It’s also been shown to reduce depression in self-selected, online subjects.  But I just can’t see how it can make a dent on posttraumatic stress, especially the soul-killing kind that comes from the unique horrors of combat.

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  5. Integrative Medicine Program at NorthShore University HealthSystem

    {mosimage}We’re proud to salute the Integrative Medicine Program at NorthShore University HealthSystem (in Chicago and environs), where Leslie Mendoza Temple MD directs an awesome program that makes the best use of both conventional and cutting edge, holistic therapies. Trained at Andy Weil’s one-of-a-kind, 2-year fellowship in integrative medicine, Dr. Mendoza has put together a prodigious team of physicians and integrative practitioners, who work closely together to ensure the very best and most thoroughly synchronized care for the patient.

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  6. Two CD's Do Away with Bedwetting and School Fears

    Our seven-year-old son Sam is a very sweet boy who has had problems with anxiety since pre-school. He now is in second grade with an excellent teacher and many neighborhood friends in his class.  He is also a bright boy - schoolwork has never been a problem for him. In spite of all this, at the beginning of the school year he became very anxious, was reluctant to go to school and started wetting the bed again.

    This happened at the beginning of first grade too, lasting for many months. This year, my social worker sister predicted this was likely to happen again and coached us to become proactive. She recommended we keep tools on hand from your website to help Sam.  

    We used two CDs  – Sleep Fairy right before bedtime and Magic Island in the morning before school – sometimes with breakfast in bed!  He enjoyed listening to them immediately.

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  7. Hypnotherapy Reduces Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    Researchers from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom reviewed the literature, looking at the effects of hypnotherapy on functional gastro-intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, and non-cardiac chest pain – conditions which create severe symptoms and erode quality of life.  

    Because these conditions are notoriously hard to treat, often impervious to a wide variety of conventional medicines, there has been an unusual openness to exploring hypnosis as a treatment option.

    This review concludes that hypnotherapy relieves symptoms and also appears to restore many of the supposed psychological and physiological “abnormalities” that, for better or worse, become  associated with these conditions.  The authors recommend that hypnosis be integrated into the ongoing medical care that patients suffering from these functional gastro-intestinal conditions are receiving.

    Citation:  Miller V, Whorwell PJ.  Hypnotherapy for functional gastrointestinal disorders: a reviewInternational Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. 2009 July; 57 (3): pages 279-92.

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  8. Flu Attack! How a Virus Invades & Your Immune System Fights Back

    Well, folks, after getting much more information, I've changed my tune and my focus slightly.  I've switched my would-be, long distance (and therefore limited) diagnosis of the Fort Hood shooter.  And, having become alarmed at the way the media has made this event about how people with PTSD are dangerous powder kegs, spring-loaded to go murderously ballistic at the drop of a hat, I felt compelled to refute this notion on my Huffington Post blog,  here.

    Please feel free to comment, argue, agree, rant or opine. The more posts the better.  You need to sign up for Huffpo first, but it's no big deal - just give yourself a username and password and you're in. I'm finding it to be a terrific place to impose my opinions upon the unsuspecting nation.  Thanks for your help with this.

    For those of you who want to see how a flu virus gets into your system, becomes all fruitful and multiplies by the millions, and how your amazing immune system responds, there’s a terrific cartoon video on NPR’s website that shows how this occurs at the cellular level.  You can find it here

    This piece also explains why, after an invading virus replicates by the millions within seconds, we don’t just keel over and drop dead in about a minute.  This is the explanation to focus on if you’re interested in creating your own guided imagery to counter this flu-catching process.

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  9. Doc at Crossroads Talks of “Halo Effect” from Using Guided Imagery

    We found this wonderful reaction to guided imagery in general and Martha Howard’s guided meditation for Keys To Your Highest Potential in particular, posted as a review comment on our site:

    This is an extremely valuable item--worth every penny spent and every minute spent. I was deterred at first, since it was only 25 minutes--I felt that it would not have as much value as others on this site.

    After some trial and error, I came back to this one, and I am very glad that I did. I had first been introduced to Belleruth Naparstek when I was given a complimentary chemotherapy CD.  I listened to it religiously for 6 months while I underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy for breast cancer. It helped me immensely in dealing with the discomfort of the procedures.

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  10. Repeated Visits to Old Hurts vs. A Sensible Examination of the Past – What’s the Difference?

    Dear Belleruth,

    I have a question about your affirmations.  I have been listening to the Anger & Forgiveness affirmations. This CD (and others) includes the affirmation that "I can avoid re-injuring by myself with repeated visits to past wounds."

    Yet, doesn't it sometimes make sense, to examine the past in order to overcome it? What is the difference between "repeated visits to past wounds" and confronting past pain in a therapeutic context?  Please clarify this issue for me as I find it somewhat confusing.

    Thank you.

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