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Military & Mind-Body Medicine

Armed Services Moving toward Mind-Body Medicine
Jan 31, 2011

[If you are interested in following up on the organizations mentioned in Naparstek’s article, you will find links in the original article here. We made those links bold and have not linked them in this excerpt.]

Belleruth Naparstek

Hello, everyone.

Well, I’m just back from the Military Health System Conference held at National Harbor, MD, and there seems to be plenty of reason to be encouraged about guided imagery and other mind-body therapies gaining respect, visibility and usage within our Armed Services.

For one thing, holistic health and mind-body therapies are a key element in the new, Patient-Centered Medical Home model which is being implemented in Army clinics nationwide. This model is a gigundo improvement over existing health and mental health services, and, as far as I’m concerned, they can’t implement these enlightened, holistic, one-stop medical care changes fast enough.  And let’s hope the rest of the world follows suit.

Cindy and Jerry had a Health Journeys booth there, and the Playaway people were a presence there as well.  They happily reported they had multiple visits from various TriCare folks, along with a lot of serious interest from health providers in all branches of the service.  Now, if TriCare decides they like guided imagery (and given the cost savings to insurers and HMO’s demonstrated by the Schwab et al Blue Shield of California Study, it’s surely in their enlightened self-interest to do so), a lot of troops, vets and families will be getting guided imagery.

There’s also great interest in mind-body methods for treating PTS (posttraumatic stress) and TBI (traumatic brain injury) over at DCoE, (Defense Centers of Excellence), the umbrella organization that includes both the Dept of Defense and the Veterans Administration, tasked with finding new, effective ways to deal with the multiple psychological and neuro-physiological challenges our troops face.

Just last week I learned that DICoE is about to include guided imagery as a “promising practice” in a review paper that’s ready to launch next week, titled “Promising Integrative Practices for Regulating Stress, Emotions, and Arousal”.  This document will feature a dozen integrative health practices, ranging from manipulative body-based and touch techniques, to yoga breath routines, to mindfulness and meditation based practices.  So, how do you like them apples?

For the rest of this story and links of visit Belleruth Naparstek’s website.


Belleruth Naparstek is a sychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer. She is the creator of the popular, 55-title, Time Warner Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her first book, Staying Well with Guided Imagery (Warner) is a widely used primer on imagery and healing.

Her second book, Your Sixth Sense (Harper Collins) has been translated into 9 languages, with a new 2009 edition just released. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award and was released in paperback January of 2006. Highlighted in their 20th anniversary edition of their seminal book, Courage to Heal, Ellen Bass and Laura Davis call Invisible Heroes “the most useful book for trauma survivors to be published in the last decade”.

As Prevention Magazine recently noted, Belleruth has been quietly creating an underground revolution among mainstream health and mental health bureaucracies, by persuading major institutions such as the U.S. Veteran’s Administration, the U.S. Dept of Defense, The American Red Cross, Aetna U.S. Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield of California, United Health Care, Oxford Health Plan, GlaxoSmithKline, Ortho Biotech, Roche, Abbott, Amgen, and nearly 2000 hospitals, mental health centers, recovery clinics and vet centers to distribute her guided imagery recordings, in most instances free of charge to recipients.

In addition, her audio programs have been involved in over two dozen clinical trials, with nearly a dozen studies completed to date. Efficacy has been established for several psychological and medical challenges, most recently for PTSD at Duke University Medical Center/Durham Veterans Administration Hospital.

Her audio programs, books and huge resource library is located at Health Journeys online site.

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