Body, Mind, and Spirit: Good Practice, and Good Science

Psychoneuroimmunology and spiritual healing . . . I think they share common ground. For psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) researchers, it’s important to work with the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and not just a single biological system. Here’s some research that shows the connection between PNI and spiritual health. Ruth Tanyi, DrPH and her research team in California investigated the effect of what they referred to as a PNI-based lifestyle intervention on depression. The intervention included spiritual guided imagery, muscle relaxation, and humorous videos. After conducting pre-intervention tests using the Beck Depression Inventory, researchers randomized the participants into two…

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An Eye-Opening Look at the Power of Prayer

If you’ve ever wondered about the healing power of prayer, you might want to hear what Larry Dossey, MD has to say. He was a skeptic – until he found research he couldn’t ignore. Larry believes that distance healing is possible, whether through prayer, general well-wishes, or other interventions – even when patients don’t know they’re being prayed for. In this brief video, Larry shares his encounters with distance healing, and talks about some of the research he’s found. Whether you’re skeptical or not, I think you’ll want to see this – it’s only 3 minutes long. Click here to…

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Releasing Negativity – Why It’s Essential for Healing

We know that grief can affect our emotional health – but did you know that it may also have profound physical effects? A recent study led by Murray Mittleman, MD, at the Harvard School of Public Health found that the risk of heart attack may increase dramatically after the loss of a loved one. The day after the death of someone close to them, patients who had already survived one heart attack were 2100% more likely to have a second heart attack than those who had not experienced this loss. Of course, the chances aren’t as high for someone who…

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Why Self-Compassion is Becoming a Psychotherapist’s Best Between Session Tool

Psychotherapy can be incredibly effective – we all know this. It is truly amazing how much can be accomplished between a patient and a therapist in each session. “Can we make the psychotherapy experience portable?” But the world outside the therapist’s door can often be cold, harsh, and lonely to vulnerable patients. Regression can occur while patients are still days or weeks away from their next session. We’re all too familiar with that scenario (and practitioners in other areas of healthcare can attest to this as well.) A patient leaves the office…they’ve made some progress, or sometimes they feel they…

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Ericksonian Hypnosis

Remember “You are getting sleepy” after the hypnotist urges his patient to stare at a swinging pocket watch? Popularized on TV and in the movies for years, this became the lay person’s image of hypnosis. Filled with a good deal of mystery and magic, audiences held their breath until the suspense of trance released itself into awakening. And voila! Eyes opened and consciousness returned. Of course, this isn’t how hypnosis works, but it’s intriguing to look at perceptions surrounding its practice. “…we know now that such an authoritarian-like approach can trigger resistance…” With uncanny control, the hypnotist would tell the…

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