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Veterans Yoga Project®: Interview with Dr. Dan Libby

Veterans Yoga Project   Yoga for Emotional Healing PTSD

 

Photo courtesy of VYP, used with permission

Veterans Yoga Project (VYP) is a nonprofit organization that specializes in helping veterans gain access to the healing benefits of yoga with a program called Mindful Resilience. Thanks to the efforts of VYP, the Mindful Resilience yoga program is being used to help veterans and active-duty military personnel heal from the emotional, physical and psychological aspects of war trauma in mental health and addiction treatment programs in the United States and Canada. 

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Hobby Corner: Fall Warming Herbal Salve for Pain Relief

Hobby Corner: Fall Warming Salve for Pain Relief

This spring and summer, I wildcrafted some herbs to infuse in base oils for use in making some fall  and winter salves. I made comfrey, dandelion and calendula oils.  This November, I made my first fall/winter warming salve. Because, like any others,  I do intense work as a psychotherapist, I tend towards hobbies that being me in contact with nature, such as hiking, gardening and herbal and aromatherapy studies.

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Research: Reiki Healing and the Vagus Nerve

Reiki is a system of natural healing techniques whereby the practitioner taps into the universal energy field and also interacts with the human bioenergy field. It’s not based on religious beliefs, it’s actually a  bioenergetic phenomena. Reiki does has a philosophy of love and acceptance associated with its practice, however, it doesn’t interfere with or replace any religious belief systems.

What is Reiki .

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ACOG Recognizes the Fourth Trimester

In May of 2018, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) expanded the definition of postpartum care of mom and baby and embraced the inclusive cone of the “fourth trimester.” embraced   For decades, American mom-baby advocacy groups have used the fourth trimester as a way to conceptualize newborn care in the first three months.  And now ACOG validates and identifies this conceptualization of the fourth trimester as a sensitive period of development for both mom and baby.

Since the 1950’s, the mom-baby advocacy groups, such as La Leche League, conceptualized newborn parenting in the fourth trimester as informed by the human evolutionary scale. They normalize baby’s crying by framing it as a signal to be picked up and comforted by his or her caregivers. La Leche League says that it’s normal to provide comfort for a newborn baby by way of nursing, carrying and co-sleeping. All these behaviors imitate the womb environment of warmth, movement and lots of touch. La Leche League normalizes that a baby’s crying is his or her way of communicating with and connecting with their loved ones, and is not a form of manipulation. La Leche League says “It’s normal to ‘Pick the baby up!’ ” Using the construct of the fourth trimester, La Leche League is a positive community intervention for education about and parenting the newborn.

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Postpartum Depression, Shame and Stigma

Postpartum Depression, Shame and Stigma

Clara just had a baby. But she was not feeling very…well, happy. Yes, she felt overpowering love for her new baby. But she also felt irritable, depressed, nauseous and she was crying alot.  Even worse, she started having nightmares. Scary nightmares that she dared not talk to anyone else about. They were, well, just plain disturbing. They centered around things that she imagined could just happen to her baby that were outside of her control.  She was trying to hide behind a veil of smiles and perky laughter.

Clara felt very scared  and very, very, ashamed of herself. She wondered why she wasn’t happy. She didn’t want to admit she was  depressed. After all, she couldn’t possibly have a mental illness! Weren’t people who are depressed kind of crazy and lazy? What couldn’t she talk herself out of this?

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Hobby Corner: Arnica Oil Infused Salve for Muscle Pain

Arnica Oil Infused Salve for Muscle Pain

My work can be very analytical and intense, so I offset this by exercise and engaging in pleasant hobbies.

Here’s another easy remedy for you to make for simple comfort in everyday life. Make this salve for use in your home and to give to friends, too! Making salves with plant essences is a lot like cooking.  So, if you like to cook as a hobby this is a meditative fun way to pass a rainy day at home!

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5 Mindbody Ways to take care of mental health during pregnancy

5 MindBody Ways to Care for Mental Health During Pregnancy

Be mindful of your mental health during pregnancy.  For many women, pregnancy is the most joyous times of their lives, but for some women it can be a time of increased anxiety and depression. If you have certain risk factors, such as a personal or family history of trauma, depression, anxiety or bipolar disease, you have an increased chance of  becoming depressed, anxious or having a manic episode in your perinatal time.

Stress during and after pregnancy increases the likelihood of depression or anxiety.  Mindfully taking care of yourself is just as important as your doctor visits and decorating the nursery!

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Hire a postpartum doula to help in the fourth trimester

Hire a postpartum doula to help in the fourth trimester 

 

What is a postpartum doula?  A postpartum doula is a woman hired to “mother the mother” after childbirth. Sometimes postpartum doulas say they are “grandmothers for hire!”  Usually a postpartum doula is an experienced mother herself, so she knows what type of help is needed during the babymoon. The postpartum doula fills multiple roles in emotional support, babycare, and helps with light household chores. But, a postpartum doula doesn’t provide medical advice or assistance.  

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Guest Post: Better Angels – Let’s Depolarize America

Guest Post:

Better Angels – Slowly Bridging the Partisan Divide

This week of August 25, 2018, there’s been an outpouring of respect and love for the late Senator John McCain. It is good to see the nation once again remember that we are all Americans together.

 

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Part two: Recovering from birth trauma

Last week, we discussed the story of Betty’s traumatic birth here. This week,  we’ll discuss Betty’s healing plan from a traumatic birth. Betty ‘s husband helped her find a therapist who specialized in trauma and perinatal mood disorders by using Google and looking through Psychology Today profiles.  Betty was fortunate in that she had babysitting assistance from her mother and mother-in-law. Betty also was able to take extend time off from work, as she had been steadily employed at the same company for many years, her work was well respected and she had an understanding supervisor. Not all woman have these options. Betty knew this and she was grateful for the foundation that she had in place.

Betty approached her first visit with her therapist with trepidation. Betty was cautious. Like many trauma survivors, she didn’t want to endlessly talk about her trauma, because, somehow, talking about the incident felt like it might be re-traumatizing to her.  But she was feeling bad and she was curious about the new trauma treatments called Somatic Experiencing® (SE) and EMDR.  She had researched EMDR and found there was 30 years of research supporting its efficacy, so she was hopeful.

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