Hello! Belleruth Naparstek here – clinical social worker and founder of Health Journeys. We’ve been producing and distributing evidence-based, psychologically sophisticated and medically accurate guided imagery and meditation audios by foremost leaders in the mind-body field since 1991, when (trust me) it was not such a cool thing to be doing the way it is now.
Anyway, I’m here to say: This, People, is Nurse Appreciation Month!
Now. Let it be known that we’ve always been nuts about nurses, every month of the year; and for years we’ve celebrated Nurses in May. So, it’s wonderful that the rest of the world has noticed the amazingness of nurses and is applauding what they do for the rest of us - with historic, unfettered enthusiasm and appreciation - thanks to their all-in response to caring for people slammed by this vicious virus, but – just sayin’ – nursing greatness is not news to us, and we’re no fly-by-night fans.
I’m trying to remember when we first began working with Progressive. It was a long time ago… had to be the early ‘90’s.
It was love at first sight.
Peter Lewis, Progressive’s bigger-than-life, hell-raising, out-of-the-box-thinking CEO, put the capital P in Progressive in more ways than one.
"The science shows us that experiencing gratitude is linked to greater well-being and life satisfaction, both in the present and the longer-term. Plus, it just feels better to appreciate what we can." - Dr. Traci Stein
As Thanksgiving approaches, we here at Health Journeys took the time to reflect on what we're grateful for - and we'd like to know what's got you feeling thankful this holiday season too.
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’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
We love Bodhipaksa. His mindfulness meditations add the perfect note of grace, beauty, kindness, and authenticity to our list, and his rich, Scottish-accented voice is profoundly pleasing and soothing to the ear. (You can hear an audio sample here.) Here’s what he has to say about mindful walking meditation.
Almost anything we do can offer us an opportunity to practice mindfulness. The most mundane activities, such as unloading the dishwasher, driving, or grocery shopping, can become part of our spiritual practice.
Here’s an inspiring and heartening story for you. We got this email from a woman who’d been suffering from a fear of flying that restricted her life and severely limited her options. She describes how a little therapy, some guided imagery and a couple of audios opened up her world again. Here she is:
Dear Health Journeys and BR,
I had to write and tell you this!!!!! I have been afraid of flying for many years, ever since I was a young teenager and we ran into some turbulence on a family plane trip to Mexico. Over the years, it has gotten worse rather than better. The fear became more and more pronounced.
At work I was passed over for promotions in the past few years, because of my inability to travel. My social life and vacation choices were also limited. My fear was an embarrassment and I could not readily explain it. I believe it made me more shy around people and closed me off from sharing myself with others, for fear that the topic would come up.
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.
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.
A few years ago, Laureen Campana, RN, MPH, NP, then President-Elect of HSACCC (the Health Services Association of the California Community College system), and coordinator of student health at Columbia College, approached me after a session of guided imagery training I’d given at the U of Arizona Integrative Medicine Fellowship program.
Part of my talk showed the research on how guided imagery and meditation were associated with significantly reduced stress, anxiety, depression; and improved sleep, concentration, and performance. Many of the studies were done with college and university students (they’re sitting ducks for investigators, as we all know).