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Monthly Archives: April 2014

  1. Dr. Traci Stein Discusses Tools for Creating Positive Change

    Dr. Traci Stein Discusses Tools for Creating Positive Change

    Happy Earth Day, and Happy Spring to all! I am grateful for Spring’s arrival for a number of reasons.  Spring provides us with a much-needed break from what has been a very long, cold winter in much of the country. Symbolically, Spring represents new life, growth and positive change on so many levels after having shed whatever Nature deemed necessary during Fall. It also ushers in longer, brighter days and a delight in being outside after the winter hibernation. Now, each tiny seedling sprouting forth from the earth invites us to appreciate the beauty and change all around us.

    Spring also is a time for personal housekeeping and sprucing things up – both literally and metaphorically. Sometimes this means taking stock of where we are with regard to relationships, old patterns, our health, and how we spend the bulk of our time. We can then lovingly tend to what needs nurturing, prune what belongs in the past, and sow the seeds of the changes we desire.

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  2. Comparing Hypnotherapy and Biofeedback for Reducing IBS Symptoms

    Investigators from the School of Clinical Sciences and Community Health at the University of Edinburgh in the UK compared brief interventions with biofeedback and hypnotherapy in women with refractory Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

    Patients were randomized to one of two treatment groups, biofeedback or hypnotherapy, delivered as three one-hour sessions over 12 weeks.

    Symptom assessments were undertaken using validated, self-administered questionnaires.
     
    Two of the 128 consecutive IBS patients suitable for the study declined to consider nonpharmacological therapy and 29 patients did not attend beyond the first session.

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  3. Wanna See Some Dazzling Musical Talent from an Untrained 9 Year Old?

    Okay, so shoot me.  I’m a sucker for these international talent shows, where some unlikely contestant opens his or her mouth and just knocks it out of the park.  Check out this little kid. Amira Willighaven is only 9 years old and has no musical training – she just mimics what she sees and hears on youtube.

    Here she sings 'O Mio Babbino Caro' on the TV show, Holland's Got Talent, delivering a jaw-dropping performance.  She ultimately wins the sweeps.  Check it out!

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  4. Guided Imagery & Affirmations – Best to Listen Separately or Together?

    We got this query a while ago, but lots of people ask it, so we’re running it again. This man had a practical question about optimal ways to listen to a recording that has both guided imagery and affirmations on it.  Should he listen to both at once?  Different tracks on different days? And, if he only has time to listen to one, which would be best?

    Question:

    Please explain if I need to listen to both the guided imagery and affirmations during the same session or can they be done on different days or times?

    If I only have time for one, which is more important?

    Thanks.
    Dan O’M

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  5. A Great Nutrition & Health Conference; Healing Trauma through the Body

    I’m looking forward to attending and presenting at this year’s Nutrition and Health Conference in Dallas TX, running from May 4th through 7th.

    This annual meeting is known for offering the most current, evidence-based ideas and practices on healthy eating, nutrition and using food as medicine.
     
    There’s also a cooking session with master-foodie and integrative health pioneer doc, Andy Weil, who’ll be whipping up some of his favorite healthful-yet-savory delights.

    I’m eager to attend sessions with the bodacious and super-knowledgeable nutrition expert and dietician, Kathie Swift, and the amazing Victoria Maizes MD, an extraordinary doctor, teacher, diagnostician and institution builder, who (literally) wrote the book on maximizing fertility and giving birth to a healthy child (Be Fruitful).

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  6. Imagery Offers Respite from Pain, Distress Following Thyroid Surgery

    A woman is shocked to learn that her “benign” lump is a stage two cancerous thyroid gland, and endures the added distress of hypothyroidism while she undergoes treatment.

    But imagery helps her enormously.  Here are her own words:

    “Hi -- a little more than a year ago, I was wheeled into surgery for what we all thought was a routine removal of a benign lump on my thyroid. But when I came out of that surgery, it was without a thyroid and with the designation "cancer survivor,"

    That "benign" lump was actually a malignant tumor, stage two. The shock of that, not to mention the severe hypothyroidism I had to endure during treatment in the weeks following the surgery was miserable.   I'd never been so tired or in so much pain in my life.   

    A friend recommended the "cancer pack" and the vivid imageries, visualizations and guided meditations helped enormously.

    For periods after listening to the program, I had enough energy to function and was even able to keep a positive outlook (for the most part) throughout the process.

    Thank you for the wonderful program -- I'm going to order the relaxation programs shortly to deal with excess stress in my life.   God bless.

    Virginia P.
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  7. What Can Imagery or Music Do for Alzheimer’s?

    Dear BR,

    I work with patients with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.  What can you say about using guided imagery with them?  And what kind of music do you think is best?

    Joan D.

    Answer:

    Dear Joan,

    Alzheimer's patients and people with dementia tend to do well with guided imagery – any right brain practice, really - because it’s apprehended in parts of the brain that are still responsive and receptive to it. 

    Even if the person isn’t able to track the meaning of the words and phrases, they still will pick up on the music, voice tone, pacing, emotional content and sensory feel of the experience – the flavor, so to speak.  So the imagery is very good for soothing agitation, calming upset or anger, and uplifting depression.  So is massage, and so is music by itself.

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  8. Yoga Helps Fibromyalgia Patients with Pain, Fatigue, Depression & Quality of Life

    Researchers from the Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen, Germany, performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of meditative movement therapies or MMT (Qigong, Tai Chi and Yoga) for fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).

    Data bases were screened for randomized, controlled trials that compared MMT to controls with FMS. Outcomes of efficacy were for pain, sleep, fatigue, depression and health-related quality of life (HRQOL).

    A total of 7 out of 117 studies with 362 subjects and a median of 12 sessions (range 8-24) were included.

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  9. Traci Stein’s New CDs on Creating Positive Change Now in the Warehouse!

    Well, we’ve got good news for all of you who pre-ordered Traci Stein’s new recording for Creating Positive Change- it’s in the warehouse now!  

    This is yet another terrific hypnosis/guided imagery audio by Traci - this one to help people get unstuck from old patterns and ingrained behaviors that maybe once served some purpose, but are no longer functional.  And who doesn’t need help with that??

    When Bruce Gigax, our awesome sound engineer, played the finished mix, I knew we had another winning resource on the way.  Everything about it sounded just terrific.
     
    Traci’s other titles have been extremely popular, so we’ve got no reason to think that this one won’t be flying out of here too.  It has a superb, psychologically sophisticated, emotionally attuned narrative, embedded in Traci’s highly skilled hypnotic technique, and her voice is just wonderful for this kind of immersive listening.   So check out the sound sample, here.

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  10. Putting the Awareness in Stress Awareness Month

    Putting the Awareness in Stress Awareness Month

    Right now, while you are reading this, no matter where you are, you can try one or more of these five techniques:

    Breathing: Of course you are breathing, but paying attention to how you are breathing is the key to using your breath to relieve stress. When we are tense, we tend to take short, shallow breaths. Rather than trying to force yourself to take a deep breath, try just relaxing the diaphragm and breathing muscles and feel your lungs fill with air. Let your shoulders drop and your belly rise, and hold the breath for as long as it is comfortable before letting it flow out effortlessly. Take a few of these deep, conscious breaths and feel the tension melt away.

    Mindfulness: Though mindfulness is a form of meditation, you don’t need to visit an ashram to learn how to do it. Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere and at any time, even while you are working. In fact, practicing mindfulness improves the quality of whatever you are doing, because it involves focusing on the present moment, without allowing your mind to roam and worry about the future or stress over the past. In her response to a question about mindfulness meditation, (please link to http://www.belleruthnaparstek.com/ask-belleruth/what-s-the-difference-between-mindfulness-meditation-and-guided-imagery.html) Belleruth explained that mindfulness meditation is a way of constantly bringing attention to our internal experience, and focusing on things like the sensation of breathing.

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