Recent studies are clarifying and refining what works best for reducing the severity of posttraumatic stress symptoms in our Veterans, turning long-held assumptions upside down.
Two recent studies find that general meditation training (ie, practices that do not focus on specific traumas, but instead serve as all-round resilience and self-regulation training) can do a way better job at reducing symptoms than what for years was touted at the V.A. as preferred therapies: Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) and Present-Centered Therapy (PCT).
Starting around Thanksgiving, we get a big uptick of questions from people who want to give something that they hope will be helpful and meaningful to someone they care about… in other words, some guided imagery. Here’s an early sampling. Unless told otherwise, we change the names to protect privacy:
I first learned about Lynne Newman decades ago, from her cousin Claudia, our tech goddess at the time. When I think of how to describe Lynne, what comes to mind first is that she’s a very special and beautiful person, and so uniquely kind, I don’t know anyone like her.
Lynne would probably say her guided narratives come from ‘Guidance’ with the capital G. I would just say her material speaks to the hearts and souls of people – it’s immersive, authentic, generous, kind, and affirming, and people feel better for having listened to it. She has a dedicated following. Lots of people just get all 5 of her audios, because they feel like they’re being blessed as they listen.
Below is Lynne's story in her own words (or most of it – she’s lived through a lot, and it’s a miracle she’s walking and talking, let alone working as a happy, successful and beloved counselor.
A new hospital department of Integrative Medicine can be vulnerable to becoming siloed and separate from general patient care.
The genius of the Connor Integrative Network (CIHN) at University Hospitals of Cleveland is that, as a network, it can be everywhere, seamlessly woven into the fabric of everyday patient and employee care.
Champions of Whole Health Care are either recruited from specialties at the hospital or are hired outright. They are first-rate providers, chosen for their expertise, skill, commitment, and compassion.
I just finished Jim Gordon’s new book, The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing after Trauma, and I liked it so much, I want to tell you about it.
It’s filled with what I value most: clear, practical, doable, and universal healing tools for survivors of traumatic events. His descriptions and instructions are so simple and cogent, readers can replicate them, whether they’re trauma survivors themselves or clinicians working with survivors, or, as is so often the case, both.
I’m 65, just took up golf, and everyone plays better than I do. This is rough on my concentration and confidence. What do you suggest?
Do you have something for a golfer who took up the sport at 65? I am nervous when playing with better players and that keeps me from playing as well as I can. -M
When people fully embrace their treatment, whether that takes the form of pills or chemo or shots or skin patches, they add extra impetus to the healing action of their medicine.
Guided imagery designed with just that purpose in mind – to help people wholeheartedly welcome a new medication into their bodies – can make a difference, because it can cohere the deep power of the whole person - mind, body, and spirit - to squeeze every ounce of benefit out of that medicine.
On vacation, I had a set of the N.O.W. speakers in my living room, a gift from the developer, Michael Joly.
It’s no secret that I love these things. When you press the PLAY buttons on them, each speaker randomly selects a tone sequence from about 120 of them, and whatever gets played on one syncs up with whatever is on the other speaker. You never know what you’re going to hear, which is why you can’t get so familiar with the sounds that you stop listening to them. So clever.
A breakthrough German studyi in 2018 looked at 264 employees suffering from elevated stress levels and randomly assigned them to either a stress management program or a waitlist control group.
The stress management program consisted of 7 sessions of cognitive and mind-body emotional regulation techniques, in keeping with research showing that mindfulness, guided imagery, and meditation are efficacious at improving workplace health, employee well-being, and work performanceii.