Amazing Books:

Daily Tracking: One of the most empowering aspects of the internet-based health tools is the capacity to track one’s own health and wellness habits, for example, minutes spent doing physical activity. Erica recommends the daily tracking tool on the website, as this tool allows the user to enter the specific health habits s/he wants to track. The website also has tracking tools for calorie counting, exercise, and others: Livestrong Fitness and Livestrong Tools. There is an iPhone app for people with IBD, so that they can track their symptoms. Read more here.

Erica’s tips: Practice mindfulness. It will help you relax your nervous system and develop more self-awareness. Our nervous systems can become imbalanced through stress, the toll of living with illness on our bodies, and taking corticosteroids, which may worsen IBD and chronic pain conditions. If you have IBD, read more about the impact of autonomic nervous system dysfunction on IBD. Become an exceptional patient. Exceptional patients are sometimes a pain in the ass for the doctor, we ask a lot of questions, make informed decisions, and stay very active as self-healers. Dr. Bernie Siegel wrote about the exceptional patient in his book, “Love, Medicine, and Miracles.” See love medicine and exceptional patient.

Information on research on probiotics for inflammatory bowel disease: Promising Probiotic Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Read about research on VSL#3 at VSL#3 research.

Inspiration: My Path TV offers a Daily Path Podcast in topics such as conscious living, emotional liberation, eastern spirituality, sexuality and relationships, and more: My Path TV. Interesting and inspiring talks about health and health technology can be found at TED health talks.

Integrative Cancer Care Resources: See Embodiworks to find out about resources for people with cancer.

Life Stress Survey: With this survey, you answer questions about events that took place in the last year. The website calculates your cumulative stress load from those events. See: Life Stress Survey.

Medical Research Databases: To find credible information about a particular medical condition or treatment, you can conduct searches at the following websites: Pub Med database, Mayo Clinic, Cochrane Library, BMJ Best Treatments, Cosmetic Safety Database, Medline Plus Complementary and Alternative Medicine and NIH Health Info. PeRSSonlized Crohn’s Disease is a new free service that compiles quality medical information.

Meditation Practice: To further your meditation practice, you can find information on meditation retreats at: Plum Village, European Institute of Applied Buddhism, Vipassana Meditation, Upaya Institute and Zen Center, and Shambhala Meditation. To download talks on Buddhist meditation, go to: Dharmaseed and Upaya Institute and Zen Center Dharma podcasts.

Mindfulness Bell: A mindfulness bell on the computer can help you experience mindfulness while you are working. When it rings, you can pause, take 3 deep breaths, and stretch or stand up. To use a web-based mindfulness bell, go to: Web-based mindfulness bell. To download a mindfulness bell for a PC, go to: PC mindfulness bell. And to download a mindfulness bell widget for a Mac, go to: Mac mindfulness bell (called “Prod Me”).

Mindful Living: On the Plum Village website, you can read more about how to practice mindfulness in daily life. See: Art of Mindful Living.

Non-violent Communication: Non-violent Communication (NVC) can be a valuable tool for developing empathy towards oneself and others. In the NVC model, individuals tune into feelings that are triggered by met and unmet needs. Read more at: Non-violent Communication.

Patient Voices: The interactive feature on the New York Times website gives people a way to listen to and read about patients’ experiences with various medical conditions, including ADHD, HIV/AIDS, autism, bipolar disorder, Crohn’s disease, eating disorders, epilepsy, migraine, obsessive-compulsive disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal injury, and others.

Research on Imagery: This website offers a compilation of studies on imagery for health and wellness: Guided Imagery Research.

Research on Mindfulness Training: A therapist named Micki Fine compiled a list of studies on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, which you can access here: Mindfulness Research.

Research on Social Support: Having a social network of support is important for your health and well-being (read more at the Mayo Clinic Social Support article).

Set health goals: Keas is a new online tool that helps you set your health goals and reach them. Go to Keas.

Support forums for people with chronic illness/pain: These websites offers a means for patients to develop a network of support with others who have the same medical diagnosis (for example, fibromyalgia). Patients share about their experiences and learn from one another. See: Healing Well Care Pages and Patients Like Me.

The Work: When you can’t stop thinking about a particular problem in your life, the four questions in Byron Katie’s “The Work” are a useful tool. Go to: 4 Questions.

Values in Action Survey: Discover your character strengths! The Values in Action Survey is based on the work of positive psychology researchers and authors, including Dr. Christopher Peterson and Dr. Martin Seligman. These authors assert that there are 24 specific character strengths under six broad cross-cultural virtues: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. You can complete the survey and receive a free brief report of your character strengths for free. A Swedish version is also available on the website. To take the survey, go to: VIA Survey.

Writing to Heal: In the 1980s, Dr. James Pennebaker began conducting studies to assess the psychological effects of emotional writing (20 minutes each day for four days in a row). Since then, Dr. Pennebaker and other researchers have conducted hundreds of studies on the effects of emotional writing for many different populations–from cocaine users to breast cancer patients–and researchers have largely reported that emotionally expressive writing is beneficial. Dr. Pennebaker describes some simple techniques for trying emotional expressive writing on your own: go to Writing to heal.

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