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      Studying how the Self-healing Method can offer new hope for stressed and fatigued caregivers

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          Abstract

          A team of researchers is showing how seemingly simple interventions, such as quiet mediation coupled with human touch, offer positive effects for caregivers and patients dealing with the stressful situations of providing and receiving medical care. Long hours, little sleep, adjusting to the rigors of shift work are just a few of the normal elements comprising the job description of a caregiver. Be it professionals, like nurses and healthcare workers, or family members tasked with caring for a dependant loved one, the lack of sleep and unstable working hours are just one of many stresses that caregivers are exposed to. The emotional drain that comes from dealing with patients in difficult situations or those with mental health issues is not fully appreciated by those outside of this field of work. Burnout has become common and the caregivers themselves may struggle with issues that impact their own lives and ability to provide care. While there is growing awareness of this problem in the research communities who seek to improve nursing and healthcare, caregivers themselves do not have many proven strategies to cope with job stress or its prevention. This is coupled with reluctance from some to seek help and the compounding set of factors facing caregivers. Fortunately, new methods of directed self-care are being researched and developed. Hongo and her research team created an original, holistic 7-minute voice guided Healing Touch Meditation for self-care (termed Self-healing Method). Sense of Coherence (SOC) is a widely utilised ‘life orientation questionnaire’ that is used to evaluate how people perceive their own living world. Using this measure in combination with other new techniques, such as ‘biological chaos property’, Hongo and her research team are attempting to quantify the effectiveness of these interventions. For Hongo, the aim of this research is to improve SOC of caregivers, which in turn may improve the care they provide to patients. Using the SOC scale, her team has determined that people with high SOC scores positively overcame anxiety and stress along with high consciousness and satisfaction of health. Next, they specifically examined the relationship between SOC of caregivers and the influence of patient reaction on the oxygen exchange function of the prefrontal cortex. Hongo outlines that in the case of nursing students, high SOC scores correlated with various positive benefits. ‘Those with high SOC scores had less sense of resistance to receiving care from others and had the qualities necessary to interact with the people caring for them,’ she highlights. Furthermore, several physiological measures quantified through autonomic nervous system activity and electroencephalography indicated people with high SOC scores were more relaxed by touch-based care. ‘Caregivers with high SOC scores showed high sensitivity to care for people,’ explains Hongo. In a study investigating the effect of self-healing on caregivers, two groups of subjects working as caregivers for the elderly were examined. One group underwent the Self-healing process for seven minutes while the others sat quietly for seven minutes. Measurements were then completed on what is known as the biological chaos property, the largest Lyapunov exponent, and entropy.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Impact
          impact
          Science Impact, Ltd.
          2398-7073
          December 31 2018
          December 31 2018
          : 2018
          : 12
          : 87-89
          Article
          10.21820/23987073.2018.12.87
          © 2018

          This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

          Earth & Environmental sciences, Medicine, Computer science, Agriculture, Engineering

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