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Nurturing Spirit Through Complementary Cancer Care

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... In the modern context, the labyrinth has become a support for personal wellness and self-care. Increasingly it has become known and accepted as a spiritual care practice in a variety of healthcare and social contexts including complementary cancer care (Abdallah-Baran, 2003), long-term care (Carnes, 2001) and corrections (Zucker & Sharma, 2012;Zucker, Villemaire, Rigali, & Callahan, 2013). ...
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Date Presented 03/26/20 OT and spiritual-care staff supported a weekly group at accessible nature spaces over 12 weeks for forensic mental-health clients (n = 9) in Ontario, Canada. Outcomes were measured qualitatively consistent with interpretative phenomenological analysis. Themes highlighted freedom, connection to nature, unguarded reflection and relaxation, and strengthened human connections. Analysis of eco inputs in supporting mental-illness recovery has been limited; this study supports that conversation. Primary Author and Speaker: Clark Heard Contributing Authors: Jared Scott, Stephen Yeo
... In modern society, the labyrinth has become a support for personal well-being and self-care. It has become increasingly known as a practice of spiritual care in various settings for health and social care, including cancer care [34,35] and long-term care [36]. ...
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Background: Meditation as it is currently known is an ancient practice, which can be traced back to Asian traditions. With the proper technique, a state of physical relaxation and respiratory balance can be reached naturally and spontaneously. This paper considers meditative labyrinth walking to be a unique expression of Dr. Lauren Artress’ work, who studied and applied the image of the labyrinth on the floor of the Chartres Cathedral in France. Methods: This study used a qualitative approach. It is a cross-sectional non-randomized study, conducted at an institute for psychotherapies with a sample of 30 participants. Results: 99% of the group reported feeling emotional distress caused by the feeling of a longer walk on the way out, 21% reported feeling the same while walking the path, and 41% at the beginning. The remaining participants felt lost in time and space. Conclusions: This study showed that the practice of labyrinth walking is a physical, emotional, and sensory experience. On the clinical level, correlating this experience to the planning of care seems to be particularly relevant.
... In the modern context, the labyrinth has become a support for personal wellness and self-care. Increasingly it has become known and accepted as a spiritual care practice in a variety of healthcare and social contexts including complementary cancer care (Abdallah-Baran, 2003), long-term care (Carnes, 2001) and corrections (Zucker & Sharma, 2012;Zucker, Villemaire, Rigali, & Callahan, 2013). ...
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Date Presented 3/30/2017 This novel qualitative research considers outcomes for 12 participants in the Walking the Labyrinth program at the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care. Potential care applications are identified, including the link between mental health care planning and labyrinth participation. Primary Author and Speaker: Clark Patrick Heard Contributing Authors: Rev. Stephen Yeo, Jared Scott
... In the modern context, the labyrinth has become a support for personal wellness and self-care. Increasingly it has become known and accepted as a spiritual care practice in a variety of healthcare and social contexts including complementary cancer care (Abdallah-Baran, 2003), long-term care (Carnes, 2001) and corrections (Zucker & Sharma, 2012;Zucker, Villemaire, Rigali, & Callahan, 2013). ...
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The purpose of this study is to explore the unique meaning and experience associated with walking a unicursal seven circuit outdoor Chartress Labyrinth and 11 circuit indoor Chartress Labyrinth for persons residing at a forensic mental health care facility. Over the past several decades labyrinths have enjoyed something of a renaissance and are often utilized by spiritual care practitioners and health care clinicians in order to support reflection, stress reduction, and the exploration of personal wellness in a sacred setting. Labyrinths are used in many settings including places of worship, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and parks. While labyrinths are becoming more prevalent, an understanding of their impact, particularly in the mental health context, is limited. This qualitative study supports a novel investigation of the meaning associated with participation in walking a labyrinth for persons residing at a forensic mental health care facility. The study design is a qualitative methodology involving transcribed interviews with 12 individuals resident at the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care who participated in the ‘Walking the Labyrinth’ program as facilitated by spiritual care staff. A standardized interview protocol was utilized and the collected data was coded for themes. Several methods were employed to establish trustworthiness including triangulation by analyst and by theory/perspective. Member checking was also utilized in order to further validate the themes. Recommendations related to potential health care applications for labyrinths are identified. These include a focus upon the linkage between mental health care planning and labyrinth participation.
... At the physiological level of health, the possibility for labyrinth walking is being offered as part of palliative care, particularly in the U.S., to promote what some health centres call, "holistic health" (Abdallah- Baran, 2003). As of 2008, it was estimated that at least 60 hospitals in the United States had introduced labyrinth walking as part of their health programmes (White &Stafford, 2008). ...
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There is an increasing interest in studying the association between spirituality and recovery from addiction. A few studies have already explored the mediators of the association, but rarely have they attempted to elucidate the association within a viable theoretical framework. The present study attempted to address this need. Beginning with the conceptualization of religion and spirituality, the study considered the possibility of a construct called ‘religious spirituality’. Working within an epistemology of hermeneutical realism, this project in psychology of religion (PR) proposed positive psychology (PP) as a multidimensional theory, and opted for a mixed method approach integrating quantitative and qualitative data. The literature review showed several parallels between the dimensions of spirituality as explored within PR and the list of character strengths as developed by PP. Therefore, the study set out to explore the association between spirituality and recovery within the theoretical framework of character strengths, otherwise also known as ‘Values in Action’ (VIA; Peterson & Seligman, 2004). A qualitative systematic literature review of the spirituality-addiction literature yielded a list of salient character strengths. A holistic conceptual framework was developed to understand addiction and recovery in the context of PP, predicting that spirituality based interventions, such as mindfulness, enhance the salient character strengths and thus facilitate recovery from addiction. The study went on to examine the efficacy of a Christian version of mindfulness (Jesus Prayer, Labyrinth walking and journaling) in enhancing character strengths and reducing addictive behaviour. The empirical study was carried out in two phases in Nairobi, Kenya. The first part was a survey (N=504) to examine the correlation between three addictive behaviours (harmful use of alcohol, sex addiction and compulsive use of internet) and character strengths. The second part was an intervention study that was designed as a controlled trial (N=71). The regression tests on the data from the survey supported the conceptual framework to some extent. The lack of prudence, integrity, spirituality and forgiveness could predict addictive behaviours. Due to small sample size, the quantitative data from the intervention study could not establish that the effect of mindfulness was significantly different from the life skills or control conditions, nor was its effect on character strengths quantitatively verifiable. Through the case studies, it was possible to explore the impact of Christian mindfulness on the participants in the context of addiction recovery. An interesting pattern emerged suggesting a three dimensional religious spirituality in their relationship to the self, others and God. Perspective, humility, self-control, social intelligence, responsibility, forgiveness and spirituality were identified as being active in the practice of Christian mindfulness. Limitations of the VIA-Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) were observed, particularly for a cross-cultural situation. In general, the results suggest that while character strengths are conceptually attractive to address the mediators in a mindfulness based intervention for recovery from addictive behaviour, the VIA-IS itself may not actually present the best measurement instrument in this domain. The findings add support to the emerging understanding that addiction is a multidimensional phenomenon. Character strengths offer a promising framework for further exploring religious spirituality.
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This systematic review set out to summarize the research literature describing integrative oncology programs. Searches were conducted of 9 electronic databases, relevant journals (hand searched), and conference abstracts, and experts were contacted. Two investigators independently screened titles and abstracts for reports describing examples of programs that combine complementary and conventional cancer care. English-, French-, and German-language articles were included, with no date restriction. From the articles located, descriptive data were extracted according to 6 concepts: description of article, description of clinic, components of care, administrative structure, process of care, and measurable outcomes used. Of the 29 programs included, most were situated in the United States (n = 12, 41%) and England (n = 10, 34%). More than half (n = 16, 55%) operate within a hospital, and 7 (24%) are community-based. Clients come through patient self-referral (n = 15, 52%) and by referral from conventional health care providers (n = 9, 31%) and from cancer agencies (n = 7, 24%). In 12 programs (41%), conventional care is provided onsite; 7 programs (24%) collaborate with conventional centres to provide integrative care. Programs are supported financially through donations (n = 10, 34%), cancer agencies or hospitals (n = 7, 24%), private foundations (n = 6, 21%), and public funds (n = 3, 10%). Nearly two thirds of the programs maintain a research (n = 18, 62%) or evaluation (n = 15, 52%) program. The research literature documents a growing number of integrative oncology programs. These programs share a common vision to provide whole-person, patient-centred care, but each program is unique in terms of its structure and operational model.
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A recent survey of rural Midwestern cancer patients revealed that humor was one of the most frequently used complementary therapies. Psychoneuroimmunology research suggests that, in addition to its established psychological benefits, humor may have physiological effects on immune functioning. To determine the effect of laughter on self-reported stress and natural killer cell activity. Randomized, pre-post test with comparison group. Indiana State University Sycamore Nursing Center, which is a nurse-managed community health clinic in a mid-sized, Midwestern city. 33 healthy adult women. Experimental subjects viewed a humorous video while subjects in the distraction control group viewed a tourism video. Self-reported stress and arousal (Stress Arousal Check List), mirthful laughter (Humor Response Scale), and immune function (chromium release natural killer [NK] cell cytotoxicity assay). Stress decreased for subjects in the humor group, compared with those in the distraction group (U32 = 215.5; P = .004). Amount of mirthful laughter correlated with postintervention stress measures for persons in the humor group (r16 = -.655; P = .004). Subjects who scored greater than 25 on the humor response scale had increased immune function postintervention (t16 = 2.52 P = .037) and compared with the remaining participants (t32 = 32.1; P = .04). Humor response scale scores correlated with changes in NK cell activity (r16 = .744; P = 001). Laughter may reduce stress and improve NK cell activity. As low NK cell activity is linked to decreased disease resistance and increased morbidity in persons with cancer and HIV disease, laughter may be a useful cognitive-behavioral intervention.
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This study examined the effects of forced laughter on mood and compared laughter with two other possible mood-improving activities, smiling and howling. While howling did not substantially improve mood, both smiling and laughing did. Moreover, laughter seemed to boost positive affect more than just smiling by 22 adults.