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).
Researchers from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, NC, conducted a randomized controlled pilot comparing the viability of two mind-body workplace stress reduction programs - one therapeutic yoga-based and the other mindfulness-based - in order to set the stage for larger cost-effectiveness trials. Additionally, 2 delivery venues of the mindfulness-based program were evaluated (online vs. in-person).
Group differences were examined over time on perceived stress and secondary measures to clarify which variables to include in future studies: sleep quality, mood, pain levels, work productivity, mindfulness, blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate variability.
MD Anderson’s Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine recently evaluated the impact of 4 different integrative, mind-body therapies on the symptom distress of cancer patients and their caregivers.
They looked at guided meditation, yoga, massage therapy, & acupuncture.
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.
Posted: April 05, 2019
For nearly 25 years, ever since my son built me a Health Journeys website as a birthday present in 1995, I’ve been searching the databases for new research on guided imagery – usually on a weekly basis.
At first it was a real fool’s errand, because there was so little there.
A revealing pilot study by Australian researchers investigating what helps people suffering from social anxiety, shows the immediate and powerful impact guided imagery, as compared to a more verbal/mental approach.
The research compared 2 different interventions - Imagery Rescripting and Verbal Restructuring - comparing them to each other after one group session of each, and both to a no treatment/waitlist condition.
I’ve been noticing a nice uptick in guided imagery research lately – both in terms of studies that explore its efficacy in new or renewed areas, such as smoking cessation, dialysis, and hospice care – and with the appearance of systematic reviews, a sure sign that enough trials have been published to warrant an overview.
The ability to mentally imagine the performance of movements is used in sports training and in physiotherapy, as a tool to enhance motor learning and rehabilitation.
It is been assumed that motor imagery activates the same brain areas as actual movement, and this is partially correct. Real life movement activates the left medial frontal areas (preSMA/SMA), prefrontal- and frontal areas, putamen and inferior parietal areas.
In a pilot study, researchers from Copenhagen University, Denmark, and The Grieg Academy of Music Therapy Research Center in Bergen, Norway, examined the effects of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM), a specific technique, created by Helen Bonny, that includes relaxation, music listening, and observing the resulting, spontaneous imagery that arises from the music, on bio-psycho-social measures of stress related to long term sick leave...
Twenty Danish workers on sick leave were randomized to either a music therapy intervention or wait-list control. Data collection was carried out at an occupational health ward in the period 2008-2010.
Posted: April 06, 2017
Researchers from the University of Athens in Greece examined the effect of a simple, zero cost stress management program on patients suffering from neck pain. Studies have shown that stress is implicated as a cause of neck pain (NP).
This study is a parallel-type randomized clinical study. People with chronic non-specific neck pain were chosen randomly to participate in an eight-week program of stress management (N= 28) that included diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation; or a no intervention control condition (N= 25).
Self-report measures were used to evaluate variables at the beginning and end of the eight-week monitoring period. Descriptive and inferential statistical methods were used for the analysis.