Saybrook Alumna Lyn Freeman has been one of the leading researchers on guided imagery as a healing technique. In 2005 she received the first National Institutes of Health grant to study it as a method of support for cancer survivors.
Treatment for cancer can often leave survivors exhausted, depleted, and drained — but modern medicine had little to offer them. Freeman’s research was designed to give them something to lead them back from “surviving” to “health.”
Based on the Phase I and II results of her studies, the National Cancer Institute has directed Dr. Freeman’s company, Mind Matters Research, to make its therapeutic intervention available to cancer patients and survivors.
While the company is launching the program in Alaska, there is every possibility that it will grow nationally. The Phase II grants Dr. Freeman received require Mind Matters Research to develop and clinically test their approach via tele-medicine and the web.
Dr. Freeman’s ENVISION Behavioral Medicine Intervention is one of a kind anywhere, relying on brain plasticity strategies that are imagery-based.
Strategies include imagery-driven biofeedback to assess and modify heart rate variability and temperature; art, storytelling, and sound to effect physiology and mood state; mind mapping memory practices; and many other therapies that are implemented and evaluated on a daily basis with cancer patients and survivors. Methods utilized are personalized depending on participant symptoms and response. The Intervention optimizes health promoting changes in physiology, biochemistry and mood state.
The intervention was demonstrated to produce clinically and statistically significant improvements in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) defined late-term and long-term effects of cancer treatment. Effects may include one or more of these symptoms:
- Cognitive deficits (memory and focus problems)
- Sleep deprivation
- Unremitting fatigue
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (disease related)
Dr. Freeman began work on the program back in 2005 when she submitted a SBIR (small business innovation research) Phase I proposal to the National Cancer Institute and successfully earned a $145,000 award. The ENVISION intervention was then cultivated over the next six years with a $1, 000,000 Phase II SBIR grant, supplemental funding, owner financing, and a lot of determination.
All patients and survivors must be referred by their oncologist or physician. MMR will assist with this process. MMR is a preferred provider with Premera Blue Cross, Aetna and Tricare. Other insurance carriers may also be accepted. Call MMR at (907) 868-7737 for more information or visit the MMR website http://www.mindmattersresearch.com for specific details of the therapeutic Intervention.