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Monthly Archives: July 2014

  1. Meditation Shows Promise for Offsetting Cognitive Decline in Older Adults

    Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, along with investigators from the Bender Institute of Neuroimaging at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, and faculty from Maastricht University, in the Netherlands, explored the question of what might counteract cognitive decline in a rapidly aging society, and whether meditation might be able to enhance cognitive function in older adults. (Meditation has already been shown to have positive effects on cognition in younger and middle-aged adults.)

    The team reviewed studies investigating the effects of meditation on age-related cognitive decline, searching the Web of Science (1900 to present), PsycINFO (1597 to present), MEDLINE (1950 to present), and CABI (1910 to present) to identify original studies investigating the effects of meditation on cognition and cognitive decline in the context of aging.

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  2. An Idiotically Simple Way to Beef Up White Blood Cell Counts with Guided Imagery

    Dear Belleruth,

    I am looking for GI [Guided Imagery] for a friend who has completed initial chemo for leukemia, but now needs help restoring a healthy WBC [white blood count] - her count is too low to do another chemo round, or to leave the hospital.

    From the samples I listened to, the "Fighting Cancer" GI doesn't seem quite right for her now, nor the "Healthy Immune System" GI  (which seemed to focus more on eliminating viruses & mobilizing fighter WBC).

    She needs to grow new & more WBC -- that are healthy, and in correct proportion. I think maybe the "General Wellness" GI would be best -- because I know healing is optimized in deep relaxation states.

    Do you have any specific recommends for her situation?

    After she has recovered enough, she will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant & I see you have a GI specifically for that -- (which is great, but I think it's too soon for that.

    ALSO, another question: I want to send her an mp3 but not sure how to do that -- can I purchase it but have it sent to her email? It would be easier for her to use an mp3 (rather than a CD) in the hospital. Thank you for your help.

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  3. Big BR/HJ Blog Merger, Coming Right Up!

    Hello again.  

    Well, I wanted to give you a heads up that we’re about to merge our two blogs into one.  Right now we’ve got two.  This is part of our continuing quest for the holy grail of integration and coherence, folks!

    We have the blog I’ve been writing, basically since 1997, when one of my kids built me a website for my birthday, with 4 pages that changed each week . That content is housed here at As you can imagine, the archives are enormous – that’s 17.5 years of weekly updates, Q & A’s, mind-body research abstracts and inspiring stories.  

    You can see all of our quaint, early iterations on the Wayback Machine.

    And then there’s our spiffy, new, extremely good-looking, well-designed and beautifully written Health Journeys blog over at with lots of culled information and reader-friendly articles.

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  4. August Launches Football Practice and Prep for Other Organized Sports

    From players in PeeWee Football and T-ball games to those in college and professional leagues, athletes are making the transition from playing for fun to playing for real.
    Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are holding fast to summer, hoping it lingers for a long while. Perhaps our desire for an endless summer is fueled by what seemed like an endless winter not so long ago.

    Though we might be lucky enough to enjoy warm weather a little longer, we can’t delay the onset of many pre-fall events, the first yellow leaf that floats down from a tree, the last free summer concert in the park and that favorite end-of-summer event—training camp.


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  5. Hard to Change when Your Identity Is So Wrapped Up in a Traumatic Past

    Hi, Belleruth,

    I was molested starting at one month by my grandfather and two friends…first orally then other ways as time went on.

    At age seven I was raped on vacations in the summer by my Grandfather until I got my period.

    I always had memories and dreams that clued me something had happened, but then at age fifty I saw the first molestation and over the years I saw and re-experienced more and more.
    Over the last forty five years I have done therapy, a few years of meds. Yoga meditation, inner child work therapy,  guided meditation, de-traumatizing body work, many years of rebirthing, some EMDR, processing support group,  and just talking with friends..

    These past years I have returned to meditation and Yoga and faith for stabilization.

    Everything has helped a lot.

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  6. Part 2: More on Incorporating Guided Imagery into a Therapy Session

    Hello again.

    Here are some more thoughts about how and when to use guided imagery as part of a therapy session.  

    Most of these ideas are in my last book, Invisible Heroes, in Chapter 10 - General Guided Imagery Wisdom and Tactics.  I threw pretty much every clinical tip I could think of into that chapter, in hopes I would have the good sense never to write another book again.  (So far, so good – I’ve done chapters, articles and forwards to other people’s books, and a bunch of new guided imagery audios, but there have been no more 2-year-long book writing opuses for this traveling Grandma…)

    These thoughts address some of the questions we get pretty regularly from therapists, counselors, clergy, holistic health practitioners and health care professionals who are interested in using imagery with their people:

    Sometimes, if a client is uncomfortable generating or accessing his or her own images, but clearly could use an imagery experience just the same - perhaps they’re anxious or stressed out and need help settling down; or maybe they’re blocked - possibly unclear about what it is they’re feeling and can’t access it some added help… then you might offer some structure to them in the session, providing a platform that allows them to go inward and get informed about what’s happening in there.

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  7. What to Do for a Friend Who Injured Another in a Car Accident

    A concerned friend asks about what to give a friend who was traumatized by a car accident that was her fault, where she injured the other driver.  She is devastated and traumatized and in need of something….

    I've used your pre-surgery tape when I had cancer surgery and found it wonderful. Thank you so much! A friend of mine just was in a car accident,(her fault) and the other woman got badly injured (though will recover.) My friend is very traumatized; her sister was killed in a car accident 30 years ago. What tapes would you recommend?


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  8. So Much for Sharing Your Feelings, Fibro Sufferers!

    In this randomized clinical trial, 3 cognitive behavioral coping techniques were compared for their efficacy for relieving fibromyalgia pain and anxiety symptoms: (1) an informational patient education program, (2) a general, pleasant guided imagery program and (3) an emotional support program to let the patients talk freely and emotionally about their fibromyalgia problems.

    The study tested the post intervention effects of these 3 interventions 30 minutes afterward. A total of 58 fibromyalgia patients participated,  with 22 in the patient education group, 17 in the guided imagery group, and 19 in the emotional support talking group.

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  9. July—A Great Month for Embracing Change

    According to the people who provide services in my neighborhood, the last weekend in July is the most popular for moving. Whether it‘s cross-country or a move around the corner, that’s the weekend more people choose for making a change of residence.
    One factor contributing to the popularity of July moves is the need to get children situated before school starts. For those going off to college, the last week in July provides ample time to get settled before classes start. Most of us have done enough moving at other times of the year to know that if you have to move, and you can choose when to do it, the month of July offers many advantages. Best of all, once you get where you’re going, it’s still summer.

    There is a wealth of information available on everything from buying, selling and renting living spaces to the minute details of packing and unpacking your belongings. For example, check out Five Mistakes you Don’t Want to Make When You Move, by Divya Raghavan.

    With the assistance of friends, relatives, lists, transition technicians (movers) and helpful tips from places like the post office, we think it will all go like clock-work. But even if Mother Nature smiles on us and July offers up her warmth and hospitality, there is still the matter of taking every single thing you own from one place to another.

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  10. She Says Guided Imagery Is How She Does Everything She Does

    Here is a wonderful post that appeared on the blog of a Registered Dietician and Wellness Coach named Chere Bork.  It’s from Terry, an oncology nurse who uses guided imagery as part of her daily wellness regimen, for stress reduction and weight loss.  She credits guided imagery when she answers friends and colleagues who ask how she manages to do everything she does.  Check it out:
    I came across guided imagery several years ago working as an oncology nurse with patients getting chemo and radiation treatments. The patients were provided with guided imagery CD’s. I started to listen to see what we were giving them. I found it so helpful to myself, that I bought a stress reduction CD. I have listened to this for years. More recently, I am using a weight loss CD.

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