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<p>Abstract: Objective: Innovative approaches to the treatment of war‐related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are needed. We report on secondary psychological outcomes of a randomized controlled trial of integrative exercise (IE) using aerobic and resistance exercise with mindfulness‐based principles and yoga. We expected—in parallel to observed improvements in PTSD intensity and quality of life—improvements in mindfulness, interoceptive bodily awareness, and positive states of mind. Method: A total of 47 war veterans with PTSD were randomized to 12‐week IE versus waitlist. Changes in mindfulness, interoceptive awareness, and states of mind were assessed by self‐report standard measures. Results: Large effect sizes for the intervention were observed on Five‐Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire Non‐Reactivity (d&nbsp;=&nbsp;.85), Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness Body Listening (d&nbsp;=&nbsp;.80), and Self‐Regulation (d&nbsp;=&nbsp;1.05). Conclusion: In a randomized controlled trial of a 12‐week IE program for war veterans with PTSD, we saw significant improvements in mindfulness, interoceptive bodily awareness, and positive states of mind compared to a waitlist.</p>

Contemplative practices support transformative learning processes but can be difficult to identify in a higher education environment. Advocates of contemplative approaches to education see this void as a concern. When topics like these are ignored, especially when desired by students, staff, and faculty, the holistic, transformative, and deep learning needs of students are unfulfilled. Attention needs to be brought to the connections between contemplative practices and the pursuit of transformative education. In this qualitative study, 17 higher education professionals were asked how they integrate contemplative practices into their work and personal lives. In analyzing the data, three themes emerged, namely, awareness, integration, and interconnectedness. These themes, with accompanying stories, highlight the value and benefits of incorporating contemplative practices into a higher education setting. Using an inductive approach, suggestions for implementing practices were identified and are offered here.

<p>Mindfulness training helps students and staff learn to accept and tolerate distress, and to work through distress to resume effective functioning. Practicing mindfulness frequently, even for short intervals, results in positive health benefits and neurobiologic changes in reactivity to stress. Mindfulness programs in schools have shown benefits in cognitive performance and resilience to stress. Several mindfulness/yoga programs have been developed for elementary, middle, and high school students, and can be adapted to new settings. Mindfulness and yoga can be implemented into schools most effectively by being sensitive to the developmental stages and needs of students.</p>

BACKGROUND: Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and massage may be useful adjunctive therapies for chronic musculoskeletal pain.OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility of studying MBSR and massage for the management of chronic pain and estimate their effects on pain and mood. DESIGN: Randomized trial comparing MBSR or massage with standard care. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. MEASUREMENTS: Pain was assessed with 0 to 10 numeric rating scales. Physical and mental health status was measured with the SF-12. RESULTS: The study completion rate was 76.7%. At week 8, the massage group had average difference scores for pain unpleasantness of 2.9 and mental health status of 13.6 compared with 0.13 (P<.05) and 3.9 (P<.04), respectively, for the standard care group. These differences were no longer significant at week 12. There were no significant differences in the pain outcomes for the MBSR group. At week 12, the mean change in mental health status for the MBSR group was 10.2 compared with — 1.7 in the standard care group (P<.04). CONCLUSIONS: It is feasible to study MBSR and massage in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Mindfulness-based stress reduction may be more effective and longer-lasting for mood improvement while massage may be more effective for reducing pain.

Purpose: Presence is the essence of professional nursing in the nurse–patient connection. Nursing students have little exposure to strategies fostering presence. This pilot study explored students’ perceptions of strategies to encourage presence in the classroom. Design: A three-question survey was distributed to students in the last week of classes. Faculty not teaching that course administered the survey. Method: Four faculty used strategies aimed at encouraging presence. These strategies included starting class with a mindfulness minute, mindful movement, singing bowl, peace and power check in, and a discussion of a current event. Each class used only one strategy consistently through the semester. Participants were undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in one of seven classes taught by these faculty. Findings: Overall the students found strategies to be beneficial. In reflecting on the experience with the strategies, four themes emerged: calming/relaxing; focusing/centering; setting aside distractions; and feeling community and connection. Conclusion: These brief strategies were acceptable to most students and were helpful to the students in preparing for class. The response to mindfulness minute was most positive. Further research is needed on the introduction of strategies that help students in the classroom and may also increase presence at the bedside.

<p>The article looks at cultural change in the Tibetan diaspora in India, focusing on sex-roles and traditional lifestyle ideas. (Mark Premo-Hopkins 2004-04-15)</p>

The study of emotional communication has focused predominantly on the facial and vocal channels but has ignored the tactile channel. Participants in the current study were allowed to touch an unacquainted partner on the whole body to communicate distinct emotions. Of interest was how accurately the person being touched decoded the intended emotions without seeing the tactile stimulation. The data indicated that anger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, and sympathy were decoded at greater than chance levels, as well as happiness and sadness, 2 emotions that have not been shown to be communicated by touch to date. Moreover, fine-grained coding documented specific touch behaviors associated with different emotions. The findings are discussed in terms of their contribution to the study of emotion-related communication.
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The complex process of health has, until recently, been understood devoid of a spiritual component. The present article offers a model of health inclusive of spirituality with implications for the health communication field. Amending the assumptive non-relevance of spirituality to individual health, a growing body of scholarship in various disciplines recognizes the ways in which spirituality connects to overall wellness. As a whole, this literature equates spirituality with seeking, striving, and forward movement. Given the potential for health communication scholars to make significant contributions at the forefront of this research, this article proposes a dynamic model of health inclusive not only of the physical and mental, but of the spiritual as well. Recognizing its centrality to wellbeing, the model locates the spiritual self at the center. Specifically, the spiritual self is described as engaging action, hope, and connection to self, others, and/or the universe.

<p>Contemplative practices are believed to alleviate psychological problems, cultivate prosocial behavior and promote self-awareness. In addition, psychological science has developed tools and models for understanding the mind and promoting well-being. Additional effort is needed to combine frameworks and techniques from these traditions to improve emotional experience and socioemotional behavior. An 8-week intensive (42 hr) meditation/emotion regulation training intervention was designed by experts in contemplative traditions and emotion science to reduce “destructive enactment of emotions” and enhance prosocial responses. Participants were 82 healthy female schoolteachers who were randomly assigned to a training group or a wait-list control group, and assessed preassessment, postassessment, and 5 months after training completion. Assessments included self-reports and experimental tasks to capture changes in emotional behavior. The training group reported reduced trait negative affect, rumination, depression, and anxiety, and increased trait positive affect and mindfulness compared to the control group. On a series of behavioral tasks, the training increased recognition of emotions in others (Micro-Expression Training Tool), protected trainees from some of the psychophysiological effects of an experimental threat to self (Trier Social Stress Test; TSST), appeared to activate cognitive networks associated with compassion (lexical decision procedure), and affected hostile behavior in the Marital Interaction Task. Most effects at postassessment that were examined at follow-up were maintained (excluding positive affect, TSST rumination, and respiratory sinus arrhythmia recovery). Findings suggest that increased awareness of mental processes can influence emotional behavior, and they support the benefit of integrating contemplative theories/practices with psychological models and methods of emotion regulation.</p>

BackgroundKnowledge of coping mechanisms is important for nursing and midwifery students to cope with stressful events during undergraduate education. Objectives To evaluate the impact of a psycho-educational intervention “Coping with Stressful Events” with first year undergraduate nursing and midwifery students. Design A quasi-experimental, one-group pre-post-test. Settings One school of nursing/midwifery in one university in Ireland. Participants A convenience sample of all first year undergraduate nursing and midwifery students (n=197). Of these 166 completed the pretest and 138 students completed the post test. Methods Using the COPE Inventory questionnaire (Carver et al., 1989) data was collected pre and post-delivery of the psycho-educational intervention “Coping with Stressful Events” by two research assistants. Data were analysed using the IBM SPSS Statistics version 22 (NY, USA). Results Results demonstrated improved coping skills by students. There were statistically significant differences between pre and post intervention for some coping subscales. For example, the mean subscale scores were lower post-intervention for restraint and mental disengagement, and higher for use of emotional and instrumental social support indicating improved coping strategies. Conclusions This intervention has the potential to influence undergraduate nursing and midwifery students coping skills during their first year of an undergraduate programme.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the current leading causes of disability worldwide. Adolescence is a vulnerable period for the onset of depression, with MDD affecting 8-20% of all youth. Traditional treatment methods have not been sufficiently effective to slow the increasing prevalence of adolescent depression. We therefore propose a new model for the treatment of adolescent depression - Training for Awareness, Resilience, and Action (TARA) - that is based on current understanding of developmental and depression neurobiology. The TARA model is aligned with the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) of the National Institute of Mental Health. In this article, we first address the relevance of RDoC to adolescent depression. Second, we identify the major RDoC domains of function involved in adolescent depression and organize them in a way that gives priority to domains thought to be driving the psychopathology. Third, we select therapeutic training strategies for TARA based on current scientific evidence of efficacy for the prioritized domains of function in a manner that maximizes time, resources, and feasibility. The TARA model takes into consideration the developmental limitation in top-down cognitive control in adolescence and promotes bottom-up strategies such as vagal afference to decrease limbic hyperactivation and its secondary effects. The program has been informed by mindfulness-based therapy and yoga, as well as modern psychotherapeutic techniques. The treatment program is semi-manualized, progressive, and applied in a module-based approach designed for a group setting that is to be conducted one session per week for 12 weeks. We hope that this work may form the basis for a novel and more effective treatment strategy for adolescent depression, as well as broaden the discussion on how to address this challenge.

<p>The text describes and comments on findings of an on-site anthropological study undertaken at a Tibetan residential school in northern India. (Mark Premo-Hopkins 2004-02-03)</p>

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has produced behavioral, psychological, and physiological benefits, but these programs typically require a substantial time commitment from the participants. This study assessed the effects of a shortened (low-dose [ld]) work-site MBSR intervention (MBSR-ld) on indicators of stress in healthy working adults to determine if results similar to those obtained in traditional MBSR could be demonstrated. Participants were randomized into MBSR-ld and wait-list control groups. Self-reported perceived stress, sleep quality, and mindfulness were measured at the beginning and end of the 6-week intervention. Salivary cortisol was assessed weekly. Significant reductions in perceived stress (p = .0025) and increases in mindfulness (p = .0149) were obtained for only the MBSR-ld group (n = 22). Scores on the global measure of sleep improved for the MBSR-ld group (p = .0018) as well as for the control group (p = .0072; n = 20). Implications and future research are discussed.

Family Acro Yoga is a playful blend of partner yoga and acrobatics. The DVD includes Partner Poses, which are mutually beneficial for both partners, and Flying Poses, which are a highlight for kids.Family Acro Yoga is a time to bond as a family, to play and enjoy physical contact. Kids of all ages and parents enjoy the creative challenges and playful aspects. It’s all about heart connection. Family Acro Yoga develops strength, flexibility, balance, concentration, trust, presence, and joy. Taught and narrated by Bridget Van Block, kid yoga teacher and mother of two.

Attention to internal bodily sensations is a core feature of mindfulness meditation. Previous studies have not detected differences in interoceptive accuracy between meditators and nonmeditators on heartbeat detection and perception tasks. We compared differences in respiratory interoceptive accuracy between meditators and nonmeditators in the ability to detect and discriminate respiratory resistive loads and sustain accurate perception of respiratory tidal volume during nondistracted and distracted conditions. Groups did not differ in overall performance on the detection and discrimination tasks; however, meditators were more accurate in discriminating the resistive load with the lowest ceiling effect. Meditators were also more accurate during the nondistracted tracking task at a lag time of 1 s following the breath. Results provide initial support for the notion that meditators have greater respiratory interoceptive accuracy compared to nonmeditators.
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One woman's dramatic story of the search for plants that heal! (Natural remedies)

Effects of interventions for improving mental health of health professional students has not been established. This review analysed interventions to support mental health of health professional students and their effects. The full holdings of Medline, PsycINFO, EBM Reviews, Cinahl Plus, ERIC and EMBASE were searched until 15th April 2016. Inclusion criteria were randomised controlled trials of undergraduate and post graduate health professional students, group interventions to support mental health compared to alternative education, usual curriculum or no intervention; and post-intervention measurements for intervention and control participants of mindfulness, anxiety, depression, stress/distress or burnout. Studies were limited to English and short term effects. Studies were appraised using the PEDro scale. Data were synthesised using meta-analysis. Four comparisons were identified: psychoeducation or cognitive-behavioural interventions compared to alternative education, and mindfulness or relaxation compared to control conditions. Cognitive-behavioural interventions reduced anxiety (−0.26; −0.5 to −0.02), depression (−0.29; −0.52 to −0.05) and stress (0.37; −0.61 to −0.13). Mindfulness strategies reduced stress (−0.60; −0.97 to −0.22) but not anxiety (95% CI −0.21 to 0.18), depression (95% CI −0.36 to 0.03) or burnout (95% CI −0.36 to 0.10). Relaxation strategies reduced anxiety (SMD −0.80; 95% CI −1.03 to −0.58), depression (−0.49; −0.88 to −0.11) and stress (−0.34; −0.67 to −0.01). Method quality was generally poor. Evidence suggests that cognitive-behavioural, relaxation and mindfulness interventions may support health professional student mental health. Further high quality research is warranted.

Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB), an emotion skills and mindfulness intervention, improved wellbeing in a sample of teachers. Two studies examined whether such gain is associated with improvements in classrooms. Study 1 examined post-intervention differences in 20 dimensions of classroom climate (N = 21). CEB teachers were rated higher in productivity than controls. Study 2 was a randomized, controlled pilot trial of 35 teachers with longitudinal assessments of classroom climate, wellbeing, and attitudes towards challenging students. Although the CEB group reported more mindful observing compared to the control group at follow-up, the groups did not differ on classroom climate or attitudes. (Contains 6 tables and 1 figure.)

Greenhouse gases from human activities are causing climate change, creating risks for people around the globe. Behaviors involving transportation, diet, energy use, and purchasing drive greenhouse gas emissions, but are also related to health and well-being, providing opportunity for co-benefits. Replacing shorter automobile trips with walking or cycling, or eating plants rather than animals, for example, may increase personal health, while also reducing environmental impact. Mindfulness-based practices have been shown to enhance a variety of health outcomes, but have not been adapted towards environmental purposes. We designed the Mindful Climate Action (MCA) curriculum to help people improve their health while simultaneously lowering their carbon footprints. Combining mindfulness-based practices with the Stages of Change theory, the MCA program aims to: (1) improve personal health and well-being; (2) decrease energy use; (3) reduce automobile use; (4) increase active transport; (5) shift diet towards plant-based foods; and (6) reduce unnecessary purchasing. Mindfulness practices will foster attentional awareness, openness, and response flexibility, supporting positive behavior change. We plan to test MCA in a randomized controlled trial, with rigorous assessment of targeted outcomes. Our long-term goal is to refine and adapt the MCA program to a variety of audiences, in order to enhance public health and environmental sustainability.


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