Category Archives: psychology

The Healing Power of Art

Can music heal?  When is art considered medicine? Will the arts actually help improve healthcare?  Studio 360 explores these and more questions in an encore presentation of Art As Medicine.

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Don’t Just Google Yourself, Search Inside Yourself

It doesn’t get much more mainstream that this: Google’s corporate mindfulness initiatives are covered on the NY Times Technology section front page. Read about S.I.Y. or Search Inside Yourself,a new book by Google engineer and personal growth head, Chade-Meng Tan. The book has endorsements from both Jon Kabat-Zinn and Daniel Goleman, so it’s sure to make waves in the business world as well as the integrated health world.  S.I.Y. is also a new popular corporate course that employees at the world’s premier information organization system say helps them handle stress related to a demanding workload, diffuse emotional reactions, and work better. OK Google, Take A Deep Breath

A Google story plus: A good slideshow.

Related alternathealthgrrrl story: What You Can Really Get Out of Meditation


New Antidote for Teen Angst

Why do so many of us experience teen angst so deeply?

Probably because we’re not trained or equipped to deal with the emotional realities of adolescence.  Emotional intelligence, sometimes referred to as “EQ,” is the ability to appraise, express and regulate emotions. Over the past decade, the idea that these skills positively influence physical as well as psychological well-being has gained momentum.  (If for haven’t read Daniel Goleman‘s books on the topic, check out his website.)

This recent article, published by to the Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health, highlights new research supporting the notion that building emotional intelligence is a crucial life skill.   In the case of kids, learning to use more emotional intelligence may help prevent them from doing so many of the risky things that tempt teens, such as drug use or promiscuity. What’s more, improved EQs could help students cope with classic  issues and conflicts related to growing up, including fear, stresses and relationships.  (Think back. Is high school about anything besides fear, stress and relationships?)

Teens who received emotional intelligence training in school had improved scores on several measures of emotional well-being, including less anxiety, depression and social stress…(more)

Related content from alternahealthgrrrl:  Real Stress Relief


The Mean Girl Diet: Why processed food pisses you off

Can dropping processed food from your diet help you drop a bitchy attitude? And maybe even some extra pounds? Don’t miss Cynthia Sass’s recent story on Shape.com.  The author of S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim reports on a new study that suggests eating “bad” foods can put you in a bad mood—and even make you mean. The research  suggests that consuming trans fats increases aggression and irritability…more


Massage + Therapy = Medicine

Well that hit the spot!  It’s gotta to be a good sign when the Wall Street Journal reports on the medical benefits of getting a massage. Check out Andrea Petersen‘s Don’t Call It Pampering: Massage Wants to Be Medicine.

Related alternahealthgrrrl story: Why a Post-Workout Massage Feels So Good


Holistic Healing: What would Bill W. say? LSD may treat alcoholism

Dropping acid may help you drop drinking, according to a large review published this week.

Reading this study, I was reminded of a talk, “The Impact of Spiritual Experience on Health” that I attended at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium. In the workshop, and the session intro, Richard Schaub, Ph.D, described the role of spiritual experiences in improving people’s health and lifestyle choices. “One famous example is the cosmic consciousness experience of Bill Wilson.  A desperate alcoholic who was hospitalized yet again for detoxification, he became immersed in the hospital in a blissful “white light” and emerged free – for the rest of his life – from his addiction.  He went on to co-found the now-worldwide 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and built spirituality into the Steps because of his experience.”

Schaub went on to tell us about Wilson’s experimentation with LSD later in life, saying that he was attempting to revisit the spiritual experience he had in the hospital. Reportedly, Wilson supported the clinical use of LSD as a treatment for alcoholism.  In Scott Hensley’s coverage, he cites a researcher who suggests, essentially, that a “trip” can be a profound experience that dramatically changes the direction of a person’s life.

Hallucinogenic drugs aren’t a magic cure for alcohol dependency, but I find this line of research fascinating.  Can a consciousness expansion help some people who are struggling with addiction? And, as Schaub asked the workshop attendees: What actually happens to someone in such a moment of personal transcendence?  Why does it cause such a ripple effect of change in the person’s health and life choices?  Can such experiences be induced by safe, effective methods?

I, for one, am going to pick up some of Schaub’s books to further explore this topic.


Holistic Eco-Health: Protesting blocked bike lanes with comedy

I’m an NYC cyclist, but I hadn’t seen Casey Neistat’s clever cycling video until today. Make sure you watch the first 90 seconds of bike lanes

Related alternahealthgrrrl stories:

Naked Cycling & Bike Share Systems

Power Cycling