In Your Own Hands: Mindfulness-Based Practices to Optimize Wellbeing
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Video: Be of Service to Others for Your Own Health

When psychoneuroimmunology researchers Dr. Julienne Bower and Dr. Margaret Kemeny (Bower et al. 1998) studied HIV-positive men who had lost partners or close friends to AIDS at the peak of the AIDS crisis, they discovered that the survivors who were able to find meaning in the death of partners or friends had healthier immune systems […]

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Video: In Your Own Hands: A Course in Self-Empowerment

Since January of 2015, I have been teaching a class in the Continuing Education Department at the College of Marin in Kentfield, California. Since January of 2016, I have been co-teaching the class with a colleague. The class makes it easier to learn the methods described in my book In Your Own Hands: New Hope […]

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Video: Doing Volunteer Work Improves Health

In the famous Tecumseh study of almost three thousand people by psychology researcher James House (et al. 1988) at the University of Michigan, an interesting tidbit of information emerged. While this study focused on a different topic—the health benefits of social support—one of the variables they uncovered was that volunteer activities were among the most […]

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Video: Social Support Reduces the Odds of Developing Cancer

In a very famous epidemiology study, one of the most referenced of its kind because of its impressive sample size, UC Berkeley researchers Dr. Lisa Berkman and Dr. Leonard Syme studied seven thousand residents of Alameda County, California. All of them were observed for a nine-year period in order to discover all the common denominators […]

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Video: Social Support Reduces the Odds of Developing Cancer

In a substantial study of three thousand breast cancer patients, all of whom were nurses, completed in 2006, researchers found that women without close friends had a mortality rate of four times that of women with a close circle of friends. In another study of 514 women, 239 were diagnosed with breast cancer. One of the results of this study was that those […]

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Video: Openheartedness and Love Confer Health

Studies by James McKay found that people who are open and friendly to strangers had half the rate of major illnesses of those who kept a cold and distant attitude toward strangers. These “affiliator types” (people who value relationships) had stronger defenses against viruses and cancer cells and their CD-4/CD8 ratios were better. CD stands […]

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Video: Meaningful Relationships Reduce Odds of Developing Cancer

In one of the longest-running prospective studies, 1300 medical students at Johns Hopkins were followed for forty years.  While at Hopkins they were given psychological tests exploring the ability of the students to have meaningful relationships.  Thirty years later, the researchers discovered that those who had developed cancer were the same ones who had reported the greatest lack of closeness in their families of origin.  Those who had developed cancer also turned […]

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Video: Social Support, Development of Cancer, and Cancer Survival

Epidemiology researchers in one study exploring the effects of social support on cancer survival, interviewed 244 breast cancer patients. The patients were asked how many people they confided in during the three months post surgery. Then they were followed for several years. The seven-year survival rate for the patients who had not confided with anyone during that three-month post surgery period was 56 percent. The survival […]

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Video: Social Connections Are Essential for Health

Around the world and in all cultures, the healthiest people belong to some kind of community or at least have close friends. Humans are meant to be in community and the degree of community we experience directly correlates with the degree of health we experience. A healthy network of supportive relationships is essential for the […]

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Video: Mind Moves Matter

When Deepak Chopra was a young medical resident, training in endocrinology, he had a patient with widely metastasized liver cancer. As was sometimes the case fifty years ago, doctors would sometimes lie to the patient about the seriousness of the diagnosis. They did this because their belief was that being told you only have a […]

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