A study published by medics at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, showed that Therapeutic Touch (TT) – the laying on of hands – benefited premature infants. It was a double blind and randomized trial involving 20 infants of gestational age less than 29 weeks. Ten received 5-minute TT sessions on 3 consecutive days and ten did not. Measurements of Heart Period Variability (HPV) were taken 5 minutes before, during and after the treatment.
I’ve written, and I speak a lot, about how we are contagious, although not in the usual sense of the word where we catch the cold from each other, but in how our emotions are contagious. Social network research shows that if you feel happy, for instance, you not only infect your friends with happiness, but you also infect your friends’ friends and even your friends’ friends’ friends – out to a radius of three social steps. This is partly facilitated through mirror neurons, specialised cells in the brain that mirror our physical expressions of emotion.
I have learned a lot by watching my dog, well puppy. He’s a 9-month old golden Labrador called Oscar. Among other things, as I wrote in a previous blog, I’ve learned to play more and also that I’m worthy of being loved.
For several years now, I have been writing about, and teaching, a visualisation strategy of imagining illness turning into wellness. People often ask me how it works. I believe there are a few things that contribute so I thought I’d briefly sketch out some of them in this blog.
Forgiveness isn’t always an option, especially when someone has been severely hurt. They say that time is a great healer, and sometimes time is the only way. It’s not about letting someone off the hook. Forgiveness is about freeing ourselves so that we can move forwards in our lives and not continue to suffer. When forgiveness is possible, it’s a conscious choice and it’s a gift to the self.
The US National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS) involving 281,460 men and women over 45 years of age it found that marriage was associated with a much lower risk of mortality than being single. Similarly, the British Regional Heart Study of 1995, that involved 7,735 men aged 40-59, found that being single was associated with a higher risk of mortality. However, it is not marriage itself that offers the health benefits. It is the quality of relationship within the marriage that counts. A happy marriage translates to a happy heart.
I began the first phase of moving house at the weekend. House moves can be stressful, as many of you might be aware, but it turned out to be the easiest, most enjoyable move I’ve ever been involved in. The secret was being in the moment.
A Harvard University study published in 2008 found the first compelling evidence that the Relaxation Response (RR) – the physiological response to meditation, yoga, tai chi, Qi Gong or repetitive prayer – affects our genes. Nineteen adults were long-term daily practitioners of various RR techniques, 20 were trained in RR eliciting techniques (breathing, mantra and mindfulness meditation) for 8 weeks, and 19 served as controls.