Monthly Archives: April 2015
Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, tested the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapy, either immediately or after a 3-month waiting period, in women seeking treatment for low levels of sexual desire and arousal.
There is increasing evidence that mindfulness, defined as non-judgmental present moment awareness, may improve women's sexual functioning.
Women subjects participated in four 90-min group sessions that included mindfulness meditation, cognitive therapy, and education. A total of 117 women were assigned to either the immediate treatment (n = 68, mean age 40.8 yrs) or delayed treatment (n = 49, mean age 42.2 yrs) group, in which they received two pre-treatment baseline assessments followed by treatment.
Posted: April 29, 2015Categories: News
Mother's Day is all about love, and families of all kinds. It comes early this year, May 10, so don't miss your chance to honor someone special with a gift to soothe the senses.
Biological mother, adoptive mother, stepmother, mother-in-law, grandmother, expectant mother, aunt, sister, neighbor, friend—to anyone who provided nurturing, understanding and love when you needed it, whether that person is living or not, Mother's Day offers you a chance to say thank you.
When you think of Mother's Day, what usually comes to mind is a special day or memory, your first Mother's Day or the first time you gave or received that special creation, made by someone with tiny hands and a huge, loving heart. You might remember a day when you were able to be with someone in some special way or the last Mother's Day you spent with someone you love.
Now that we have our new website in place, and it seems to be clicking along, doing what it's supposed to, with shockingly few complaints, I've been looking back at how this company evolved, and all the help we got to help get guided imagery into the ears of people who could use it.
It's hard to believe it's been nearly 25 years since I was first introduced to my business partner, George Klein, and we started Health Journeys.
At the time, I'd recorded 14 guided imagery cassette tapes that focused on major illnesses or procedures (cancer, stroke, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, surgery, chemotherapy, etc etc). I'd first created some imagery for chemotherapy, requested by the oncology nurses at University Hospitals of Cleveland for patients in the waiting room.
Posted: April 24, 2015Categories: Guided Imagery Success Stories
We got this email recently:
I want to praise Carol Dickman's Seated Yoga video and Belleruth's Parkinson's Disease imagery. My husband who has been disabled and depressed with his illness for several years responds well to these. He works with both each day. He is less depressed, sleeps better and we both think he has gotten somewhat better at getting himself to move when he is "stalled", which is what we call it when there is a gap between when he wants to use his muscles and when they respond.
Having something he can do for himself to improve his symptoms is therapeutic in and of itself, we have concluded. This has been quite a difficult journey for us. We are very happy to have new tools he can use to improve his sense of agency over his life. As his wife and caregiver, it is therapeutic for me as well. There is nothing worse than helplessly watching the man you love suffer.
In the future I will be looking for more tools for him, to keep this "roll" going when he tires of these two tapes. For instance, now that he has the energy for it, we may try some gentle, graded exercise. We read on the site that this can be helpful for PD too - which reminds me, thank you for posting the new research every week. And thanks to all the staff in the office. The woman who answered my phone call was notably kind and patient.
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 examined.
Posted: April 22, 2015Categories: News
It's April, and all around us life springs forth, affirming and renewing itself. Spring can be a particularly difficult time for people who are experiencing fertility issues. It often feels as if the whole world is doing something they have been unable to do.
About ten years ago, I taught play and music classes for children, and often taught a class for newborns. The babies were bounced on laps for songs, then placed in a circle, so they could visually interact with each other. The moms (and on occasion, a dad) sat in an outer circle and had sharing time.
They spoke candidly of insecurities about parenting, physical exhaustion, roller-coaster emotions and the wonders of parenting, like the internal, red-flag that tells you to go and check on your infant. Many shared stories of prior challenges with infertility.
Which of all these strategies can be applied to phobias, such as a fear of heights?
The two simplest methods would be to either become very skilled at becoming relaxed at will or to use one of the alphabet therapies, such as Emotional Freedom Technique, to extinguish the fear.
For the first approach, you could work with any relaxation program – I think the most versatile we have is our Panic Attack CD, which offers five different relaxation approaches that you can pick and choose from, mix and match. Listening repeatedly to your favorite tracks, at times when you are not threatened or stressed, will create this ability to relax at will, merely with the help of a couple of breathing or positioning cues, at the first sign of anxiety or terror. You can then use these simple tools when you're ready to climb that mountain or cross that bridge.
Posted: April 20, 2015Categories: Update from Health Journeys
Harriette Rovner-Ferguson, LCSW, is a gifted psychotherapist with a private practice in Smithtown, NY, where one of her specialty areas is fertility. In fact, she's been treating patients trying to get themselves pregnant for over 20 years now. Harriette was one of the clinical experts who provided input to Belleruth when she was writing the narrative for her Help with Fertility guided imagery audio program.
Here, Harriet recounts how guided imagery helped one of her clients recalibrate her attitude and sense of self after struggling with a sense of failure that was threatening to take over her whole identity. Some of the identifying details have been changed to protect this client's privacy.
We got this enthusiastic review of our guided imagery for surgery quite a while ago – an emailer just referred to it. It's signed. Here it is:
Because my CD player broke down at the very last minute, I was only able to hear the guided imagery pre-op meditation one time. I replayed it in my head the night before surgery, and then (because I had no CD player with me) the attending anesthesiologist played Steve Kohn's surgery meditation music for the entire OR staff on their player. (They "loved" it.)
But what was truly astounding was when one of the doctors came to my room to report EXACTLY the words that are in the pre-op meditation. My surgery was "spectacular" (the O.R. team's words), I lost the smallest amount of blood they'd ever seen (10 ml), and it took 2.5 hrs instead of the usual 3 hrs.
On top of that, I was off heavy pain meds within 36 hours and off the Tylenol in another 36 hrs. In 72 hrs I was up and dancing (gently) with my granddaughter! Every doc who visited me took down the name of this CD!
Ariane Goodwin, Ed.D.
Researchers from the Santa Lucia Foundation IRCCS and Tor Vergata University in Rome, Italy, evaluated the impact of progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and phantom exercises on phantom pain in 51 subjects with unilateral lower limb amputation who experienced phantom limb pain (PLP) and/or phantom limb sensation (PLS).
The randomized controlled prospective trial was conducted on the amputee unit of a rehabilitation hospital, using 2 parallel groups.
The experimental group received combined training of progressive muscle relaxation and mental imagery, and phantom exercises 2 times/wk for 4 weeks, while the control group had the same amount of physical therapy dedicated to the residual limb. No pharmacological intervention was initiated during the trial period.