Well, it always happens in the Spring. I go to the studio to record our new audio for ADHD, called Concentratiion, Focus and Learning, on Bruce Gigax’s impeccably tuned, super-pricey, new microphone, and for some reason or other, I find myself sounding like a baritone frog. Chagrined to say I got sent home, having failed to execute my mission.
Usually allergies are the culprit. This time, I’d caught a monster cold a few days earlier, or thought I had, in Boston Harbor, in an open boat taxi on a nasty, windy, rainy day.
On reliable advice, I started gulping 3 horse pills every 3 hours of Wellness Formula, an over the counter immune support supplement you can find in any natural food store, and amazingly, that seemingly inevitable cold – it felt like it was going to be a grand 3-weeker - just faded away. Astonishing!
In a feasibility study at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, investigators looked at whether Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) could decrease blood pressure in low-income, urban, African-American older adults, and whether such an intervention would be acceptable to and feasible with minority, low income, older adults when provided at home.
The study was launched because (1) hypertension affects a large proportion of urban African-American older adults; and (2) many older adults don’t have access to medicine and/or don’t take them when they do have them.
Participants were at least 62 years old and residents of a low-income senior residence. All were African-American, mostly female. Twenty participants were randomized to the mindfulness-based intervention or a social support control group, both of which were 8 weeks duration.
Blood pressure was measured with the Omron automatic blood pressure machine at baseline and at the end of the 8-week intervention.
Elizabeth got this note from a nurse who’d sustained a concussion that kept her from working, driving or doing two things at once – very frustrating and discouraging, needless to say….
In October of 2012, I sustained a concussion. I couldn't work, drive or multi-task. My thought process was slow and frustrating. A health care professional trained to care for others, I was humbled.
After months of slow progress, I turned to guided imagery for help. I found Belleruth's TBI imagery/affirmations immensely comforting and assuring. With repeated use, I was gently guided from a place of despair to one of hope and renewal. "The more I accept what I feel, the more I allow myself to heal."
Thank you for partnering with me on my health journey. I highly recommend this sensitive, well-researched recovery tool.
Jane N., RN, MS
We received this question from a woman who was traumatized by a clumsy practitioner and then made to suffer an additional amount of time by the medical system, until she finally found some help. By then, she was the worse for wear, psychologically and physically. Sadly, we hear variations on this far too many times:
I am having a difficult time recovering both physically and psychologically from a traumatic hip injury caused by a physical therapist last September. He was very insensitive and aggressive and usec a traction belt on my leg with such force that he literally pulled my hip apart. It then took four months to get a doctor to listen to me or correctly diagnose the injury. I finally found a hip specialist who did, and had arthroscopic hip surgery in late January. By then, there was a lot of surrounding trauma and weakness to the back and hip, which has made recovery very slow and painful. I am still frightened and tense all the time, and worry that this is also impeding my progress. Which healing program do you think might help me the best, at least to start with?
I would like to let you know about a unique way that I’ve been using your guided imagery CD’s. First, let me say that they have been a lifeline for me, especially dealing with some unpleasant medical problems and the sudden death of my mother in September. Unfortunately, I was dealt another blow in December when my amazing tabby cat, Cody, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after surgery to remove a tumor, his spleen, and part of his pancreas.
Before I go any further, let me tell you a little bit about Cody. I adopted him from a shelter when he was 2 years old and he’s now almost 14. He has a wonderful personality and absolutely loves people. One of his goals in life is to charm everyone he meets. When we lived in Cincinnati, one of his vets used to refer to him as the Cat Ambassador. He ’s one of the few cats who actually likes being at the vet because people love on him and tell him how cute he is. We affectionately call him our snuggle slut.
I have just finished reading Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom by Dr. Christiane Northrup. In it, she cites studies in which women used guided imagery or hypnosis to increase their breast size. I am curious to know if you have any plans to release a recording on this subject. My breasts could use some help, but I’m not sure I want surgery.
In this feasibility study, investigators from Baylor University in Waco, TX examined whether a hypnotic intervention could reduce hot flashes.
Thirteen postmenopausal women received 5 sessions of guided self-hypnosis in which all hypnotic inductions were recordings. Additionally, they were given guidance regarding symptom monitoring, individualizing their guided imagery, and on the general practice of self-hypnosis.
Hot flashes were determined through diaries.
Results indicated that the average frequency of hot flashes decreased by 72% (p < .001) and hot-flash scores decreased by 76% (p < .001) on average.
I’m smiling ruefully as I write this, because once again a smoke detector in my house is chirping. It’s in a place I can’t reach, so I’m waiting for a rangy and supple (not to mention kindly and generous) friend of mine to come over and set things straight. In the meantime, I’m trying to not waste energy on being too annoyed by it, which is a little bit like trying to not think of a blue elephant.
Remember the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode when Larry David takes a baseball bat to his smoke detector? Loved that one. (He displayed a similar arc o’ fury when he tried to open up an impervious plastic package, only I think that involved a hammer.)
Well, imagine our surprise when perusing the data bases of Pubmed for the latest guided imagery research, we found a U of Michiganpilot study assessing the effects of our Healthful Sleep imagery on sleep disruption and systemic inflammation in the ICU and step-down unit, following cardiac surgery (the CABG and valve replacement variety).
Even though it was a small RCT – only 20 patients in the experimental group and 20 controls – it was impeccably analyzed and written up, showing positive effects of the imagery over time, falling just short of significance. The investigators recommend guided imagery as an adjunctive resource to remediate sleep troubles and inflammation in this post-op population, and make the case for a larger study.
You can see the full write-up on this week’s research page, here.
This is really something – The Landfill Harmonic Orchestra, with instruments put together from recycled materials by kids who can’t afford to play any other way. And what music they make! Check it out.