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Monthly Archives: September 2016

  1. The Stress and Strain of Caring for a Brain-Injured Son

    The Stress and Strain of Caring for a Brain-Injured Son

    Dear BR and Health Journeys,

    For eight months, I was a full time caregiver to our severely brain-injured teenage son, after six months of hospitals and a dozen surgeries. He is now confined to a state mental hospital by court order, because of the dangerous behavior caused by the TBI.

    When he was home, caring for him was constant, and felt so lonely. I worried no one else could do it as well – and also that he would feel abandoned if it wasn't me there looking after him.

    I never got any real rest, because I had to get up every couple hours to check the breathing equipment. I tried to eat well, but I’d end up either overeating junk or forgetting to eat altogether.

    I constantly felt inadequate, because I was tired all the time, and craved some kind of joy again in my daily life. I also felt terrified he would die. And of course I worried for my other children, and had trouble letting them out of my sight, for fear they’d get hurt too. 

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  2. Guided Imagery Heightens Attachment to Baby in Women with Unplanned Pregnancies

    Guided Imagery Heightens Attachment to Baby in Women with Unplanned Pregnancies

    Researchers from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Mashhad, Iran, investigated the effect of guided imagery on maternal-fetal attachment in 67 nulliparous women (women with no children) experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. The average woman’s age was 24 years, and most had a high school education.

    The women were randomly divided into two intervention groups (n=35) and a control group (n=32). Assessment measures included a demographic form and London, DASS 21, and the Cranley Maternal-Fetal Attachment Questionnaire.

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  3. How Do I Get Control over My Compulsive, Self-Defeating Social Behavior?

    How Do I Get Control over My Compulsive, Self-Defeating Social Behavior?

    We got this unusual, very interesting question from one of our readers, and thought we’d share it.  She knows she turns people off in social situations, but doesn’t know why or how to stop it and start doing something else.  Check it out.

    Question:

    Dear BR,

    I feel like I’m the opposite of the introverted, socially avoidant person who sidesteps rejection by shying away from people. I’m so outgoing, I turn people off by over-talking and thrusting myself into the middle of everything.

    How can I moderate my need to be with people with more subtle, acceptable behavior? I’m in my forties. Is it too late?

    Louisa

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  4. Meet Me in Colorado Springs, Colorado… or McLean, VA, Perhaps….

    Meet Me in Colorado Springs, Colorado… or McLean, VA, Perhaps….

    I’m really looking forward to being at the one and only Healing Beyond Borders conference, held in Colorado Springs between October 6-9th.

    If you want to feel the embrace of a wonderful community of gifted healers, while learning some terrific new stuff and getting inspired and tanked up on purpose and meaning, this is the place for you to be.

    I’ll be talking about and demonstrating guided imagery for cultivating intuition at my morning keynote on Saturday the 8th, and on guided imagery for healing posttraumatic stress in my workshop that afternoon. 

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  5. Surviving Sadistic Childhood Abuse – and Flourishing!

    Surviving Sadistic Childhood Abuse – and Flourishing!

    Dear Health Journeys,

    I’m one of those trauma survivors Belleruth writes about in Invisible Heroes, who went from being a barely functioning mess (and sometimes not functioning at all) – even hospitalized for catatonia and other diagnoses of severe mental illness (what I would call a “normal” response to the sadistic abuse I experienced in my abnormal family context) - to a dedicated, joyful, energized and highly functional incest and domestic violence therapist. I love my work wholeheartedly and take pleasure in knowing I make a big difference in the lives of a lot of people.

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  6. Pregnancy-Specific Guided Imagery Reduces Stress in Expectant Teen Mothers

    Pregnancy-Specific Guided Imagery Reduces Stress in Expectant Teen Mothers

    Researchers from the University of Wisconsin examined the effects of a guided imagery intervention on the perceived stress of pregnant adolescents.

    Thirty-five pregnant adolescents, recruited from a local alternative education program, participated in a guided imagery intervention, listening to a pregnancy-specific guided imagery recording on four separate occasions during their pregnancies.

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  7. Where Can He Go to Get Guided Imagery Training?

    Where Can He Go to Get Guided Imagery Training?

    A health educator who leads group guided meditations at a non-profit wellness center, reports that he has not received any formal training in mind-body approaches, and mainly just “wings it”. He wants to know where he can learn more about guided imagery. He writes:

    I heard your keynote at a conference and was impressed with the whole idea of guided imagery exercises. I work as a health educator in a non-profit wellness center and have been leading group guided meditations.I have found some resources and done some reading, but mainly I just wing-it. 

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  8. Domestic Violence & Addiction: Two Conditions that Breed Shame, Secrecy & Silence

    Domestic Violence & Addiction: Two Conditions that Breed Shame, Secrecy & Silence

    Hello again. 

    September is National Recovery Month (from substance use disorders), and October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As you probably already know, these two issues are often connected.  One can cause the other, or at least feed it, and vice versa. 

    They’re also both associated with shame and silence – the cloak of secrecy that allows self-hatred and harsh self-judgment to thrive and grow. Shine a little light on these issues, talk about them with the right people at the right time (not the ones who will judge and shame you, thank you very much) and the power of shame evaporates.

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  9. More Loss in 18 Months than You Could Shake a Stick at, yet She Powers On!

    More Loss in 18 Months than You Could Shake a Stick at, yet She Powers On!

    Dear Belleruth,

    My name is Bonnie M. I'm a married, 52-year-old mother of three sons, and I teach elementary school. The past year and a half has been extremely hard on our family. Our oldest son, Maxim, age 26, died of a drug overdose at our home. He was a bright, gifted young man who struggled with bipolar disorder.

    Then three months later, my wonderful father passed away of an inoperable cancer in his gut.

    Six months later, a very close friend died in a car crash, practically in front of our house. This friend had been an advocate and friend to Maxim and our family during his chaotic and tumultuous teen years, and helped us greatly in our grief when he died.

    Read more »
  10. Got Inflammatory Bowel Disease? Try Breathing, Movement and Meditation!

    Got Inflammatory Bowel Disease? Try Breathing, Movement and Meditation!

    Researchers from New York Medical College, Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medical College evaluated the impact of the Breath-Body-Mind Workshop (BBMW) (breathing, movement, and meditation) on psychological and physical symptoms, as well as inflammatory biomarkers in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

    Twenty-nine IBD patients from the Jill Roberts IBD Center were randomized to BBMW or an educational seminar.  Measures were taken at baseline and weeks 6 and 26, using the Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Brief Symptom Inventory 18, IBD Questionnaire, Perceived Disability Scale, Perceived Stress Questionnaire, Digestive Disease Acceptance Questionnaire, Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire. In addition, C-reactive protein, fecal calprotectin and other physiological measures were obtained as well.

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