Update from Health Journeys
Even the holly jolliest of us can get a little overwhelmed during the holiday season. If you slip into Grinch mode before Thanksgiving and stay there until after Valentine's Day, though, you might actually be feeling SAD.
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.
Well, it’s here and ready for release to the general public - Maurine Killough’s terrific new Guided Imagery for Embracing a New Medicine!
Maurine is a Certified Guided Imagery Practitioner and Clinical Hypnotist working with clients in the San Francisco Bay Area.
She weaves imagery techniques with hypnosis and other approaches, to help people overcome challenges like stress, trauma, performance anxiety, and self-esteem issues. She also leads weekly meditation groups.
Master hypnotherapist, guided imagery pioneer, math and physics nerd, player of multiple musical instruments, super-athlete, and all-round polymath, Emmett Miller MD, is a man of many parts. A lot of these parts don’t normally coexist within one person.
He’s a guy who grew up in the heart of Bed-Stuy in the 50’s (the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, known for its rich African American culture, but also for gangs, race riots, and poverty), but he was sent to an all-white high school in Queens for the education. As a result, he got to understand two different universes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I first met Traci Stein in the late nineties when she was Mehmet Oz’s point person for mind-body research & evaluation at Columbia Presbyterian.
In those pre-TV show days, Mehmet was trying out various techniques like guided imagery, when not inventing valves out of esoteric pig parts or doing CABG surgeries on beloved NY luminaries like Joe Torre, manager of the Yankees.
Traci was amazing to work with from the very start – smart, diligent, accommodating, responsible, considerate, and insanely productive.
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).