SUSAN ENFIELDFEB 3, 2016
With a growing body of research proving yoga’s healing benefits, it’s no wonder more doctors—including those with traditional Western training—are prescribing this ancient practice to their patients.
Yoga therapy is now recognized as a clinically viable treatment, with established programs at major health care centers, such as The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cleveland Clinic, and many others. In 2003, there were just five yoga-therapy training programs in the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) database. Today, there are more than 130 worldwide, including 24 rigorous multi-year programs newly accredited by IAYT, with 20 more under review. According to a 2015 survey, most IAYT members work in hospital settings, while others work in outpatient clinics or physical therapy, oncology, or rehabilitation departments (and in private practice).
Some therapists focus on physical mechanics, while others bring in Ayurvedic healing principles and factor in diet, psychological health, and spirituality to create a holistic, customized plan.
“Researchers take blood samples before and after yoga practice to see which genes have been turned on and which were deactivated,” says Khalsa. “We’re also able to see which areas of the brain are changing in structure and size due to yoga and meditation.” This kind of research is helping take yoga into the realm of “real science,” he says, by showing how the practice changes psycho-physiological function.
more on contemplative practices in this IMS blog
Report: World Support For Mental Health Care Is ‘Pitifully Small’+
October 15, 20183:12 PM ET JOANNE SILBERNER
a comprehensive report from the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health, three years in the making, released this past week at a London summit
In the mid-1990s, the first Global Burden of Disease study noted that of the top ten causes of disability worldwide, five were mental illnesses. Mental health researchers had little to offer at the time in terms of proven inexpensive treatments. But researchers since then have demonstrated that diseases such as depression and substance abuse can often be accurately identified and treated by community health workers with talk therapy.
more on mindfulness in this IMS blog
How Stress Affects Your Memory
more on stress in this IMS blog
Secondary Traumatic Stress for Educators: Understanding and Mitigating the Effects
of American school children have experienced at least some form of trauma — from neglect, to abuse, to violence. In response, educators often find themselves having to take on the role of counselors, supporting the emotional healing of their students, not just their academic growth.
are similar in some ways to post-traumatic stress disorder: withdrawing from friends and family; feeling unexplainably irritable or angry or numb; inability to focus; blaming others; feeling hopeless or isolated or guilty about not doing enough; struggling to concentrate; being unable to sleep; overeating or not eating enough; and continually and persistently worrying about students, when they’re at home and even in their sleep.
One of the handful of studies
of STS in schools found that more than 200 staff surveyed from across six schools reported very high levels of STS.
STS can affect teachers’ happiness, health and professional practice. But Betsy McAlister Groves, a clinical social worker and former faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, says that she has often been surprised by the number of teachers, school counselors and administrators who recognized the cumulative stressors that they faced in their schools but did not realize that their symptoms were a common reaction to working with traumatized children — and that these symptoms had a name.
How Schools Can Acknowledge Secondary Trauma:
Building a Culture of Awareness
Create Peer Groups
Trauma-Informed Schools: School leaders should take a school-wide approach. There is a growing movement around creating trauma-informed schools — schools that recognize and are prepared to support community members affected by trauma and traumatic stress. Such schools deeply integrate social-emotional learning into their teaching, culture and approach, understanding that the holistic health and wellbeing of their charges is essential for achieving academic success.
Resource for teachers and schools
- Assess how your work as an educator might be affecting you (both positively and negatively) by using the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) self-assessment tool and exploring the toolkit created by Teaching Tolerance to learn self-care strategies.
- Learn how, as an educator, you can begin to identify secondary traumatic stress and learn strategies for self care through the tip sheet created by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
- Explore the resources created by the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative, a collaboration between the Massachusetts Advocates for Children and the Harvard Law School.
- How strong are your school’s trauma-responsive programs and policies? Take the 20-minute evidence-informed Trauma Responsive Schools Implementation Assessment to find out — and learn ways to grow your school’s work.
- Learn about additional individual and organization strategies for addressing secondary traumatic stress, compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Stay tuned for a new online curriculum for preK–12 teachers, named STAT (Support for Teachers Affected by Trauma), being created by experts in the fields of secondary traumatic stress, education, and technology. The curriculum, due for a 2019 launch, will feature five modules on risk factors, the impact of STS, and self-assessment, among related topics.
more on mindfulness in this IMS blog
It turns out, nobody really knows. The first study, a systematic review, summarizes the research to date on physician burnout. Study authors found that researchers do not use a consistent definition of burnout, and estimates of how common it is vary widely.
The second study followed doctors-in-training over six years and tracked how they felt about their work. They found that women and doctors in certain high-stress specialties were more likely to experience symptoms of burnout, like emotional exhaustion and regret about career choice.
Dr. Katherine Gold, coauthor of an editorial accompanying the JAMA studies. She says that the main questionnaire used to measure burnout wasn’t even designed for doctors. She says it’s intended for professionals like social workers and therapists, who have to cope with trauma their patients experience. My note: this is the merit of Kelsey Milne’s dissertation with SCSU EDAD program: how do we measure may be the key to the right assessment.
Burnout definition: How you define burnout is all over the map. Any time you have a diagnosis that might apply to 85 percent of the population, you wonder how useful that is. But burnout is much less stigmatized than depression. People are just more willing to say they’re burned out.People have resonated with the feeling that something isn’t right, and something is making our work really difficult. We’ve latched on to this as the word we’re going to use.
There’s talk about the solutions all being personal. The physician should be more resilient. The physician should do yoga. The physician should practice mindfulness. I think the stress that people are feeling is much more about external demands, like the electronic medical record and paperwork.
I know I feel frustrated when I get emails telling me that there’s lunchtime yoga, which of course I can’t make it to because I have too many patient charts to complete. My Note: this is part of Kelsey’s findings for educators also.
more on meditation in this IMS blog
We spend hours in front of our computers and phones, and the repetitive movement patterns can cause neck and shoulder strain. This sequence will help.
FEB 8, 2016https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/healing-yoga-sequence-ease-neck-shoulder-pain
more on contemplative computing in this IMS blog
Harvard Study: Clearing Your Mind Affects Your Genes And Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
A new study indicates that people who meditated over an eight-week period had a striking change in the expression of 172 genes that regulate inflammation, circadian rhythms and glucose metabolism. And that, in turn, was linked to a meaningful decrease in their blood pressure.
“This is a major step to overcome the innate bias that has developed in medicine over the last hundred years or so,” says Dr. Herbert Benson, who started promoting what he called “the relaxation response” more than four decades ago. “Going back to penicillin in the 1920s, we have been inexorably dependent on medication, surgery and procedures.”
His goal is to establish the relaxation response and other techniques that calm the brain — yoga, t’ai chi, breathing exercises, repetitive prayer and other meditative practices — as a “third leg” of medical treatment, along with medication and surgical procedures.
Previous studies of other diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis, have suggested improvement after meditation. But, “this is the first study where we have a nice, clean, clinical read-out,” says Towia Libermann
Sheryl Sandberg Is Teaching a New Free Online Course on Mental Toughness
Sandberg and her Option B co-author Adam Grant believe resilience is a skill you can learn.
more on mindfulness in this IMS blog
Why Teachers Say Practicing Mindfulness Is Transforming The Work
Christa Turksma, is one of the co-founders of Cultivating Awareness and Resilience for Educators, or CARE for Teachers.
In the last few years, teacher job satisfaction has reportedly plummeted to a 25-year low, and turnover is high — almost 50 percent for new teachers.
In a soon-to-be published study, Jennings and her co-authors provided an extended version of CARE training to 224 teachers in high-poverty schools in New York City, with several two-day sessions spaced over the course of a year.
CARE TECHNIQUES TO TRY IN THE CLASSROOM
Mindfulness for students and teachers
1. Calmer Transitions
2. Take 5
3. Quiet Corner Or Peace Corner
4. Mindful Walking And Centering