In this issue: Synchronicity, Request for Proposals, Interview with Anne Vitale, AHNA's new Research Web Library, Exercise May Ward Off Dementia and much more.

Connections in Holistic Nursing Research
 August 2010
 Volume 2 Issue 4

In This Issue
Leadership Council Meeting: Research Highlights
AHNA Research Grant Recipients
Meet Our New Co-Editor: Jen Reich
Meet Our New Co-Editor: Jackie Levin
Request for Proposals
Interview with Anne Vitale
Research Mentoring at AHNA
Reports from the Road
Researchers in Action
Research in the News
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Research Update
Research Meeting Attendees at 2010 Conference
Research Meeting at 2010 Conference
Happy summer to all! This issue will introduce our two new co-editors for research enews. I am very pleased to have Jen Reich and Jackie Levin in this role.  When I placed the call for people who were interested in co-editing research enews I received 5 responses, all from very qualified people. With Amber Cline's and Diane Wardell's help we chose two people, Jen and Jackie. When we announced it we were surprised to learn that they had been long term friends and that neither of them knew that the other was applying. This seemed to be a surprising synchronicity. We decided that as part of this newsletter we would talk about synchronicity and its potential relevance to holistic nursing and to holistic nursing research. Each of us wrote briefly about what the term means to us and to Holistic nursing and research.
Before we do that however, I want Jen and Jackie to introduce themselves and talk about their interests in Holistic Nursing Research.

In this issue we provide a summary of the research highlights from the 2010 conference. We also offer an interview that Jen Reich did with Anne Vitale. Anne presented a research paper on hand massage and a workshop on her research and development of a research institute devoted to complication and review of Reiki research.
In addition, we have the sections on researchers in action, reports of the research committee meeting, and the Sigma Theta Tau international research symposium, some useful research findings and a report from the leadership council meeting and the strategic plan goals related to research.
Learning at conference.
Conference attendees
Research highlights from the conference:
  • One pre-conference workshop conducted by Sue Robertson and Ruth McCaffery (Research to Praxis: Using Evidence  to Implement Holistic Interventions)
  • Six research related papers were presented (click here for list and brief description of research offerings at conference)
  • Additional workshops on Reiki research dissemination (Vitale) and "Achieving an integrative health care framework" (Lorenz) and "A Mind Body Intervention for Depression" (Miller) were research focused. 
  • 13 Posters were displayed (see web site for abstracts)
  • 15 One and one consultations were conducted with a follow up focus group sessions for both consultants and consultees. (Thanks to all who volunteered their time to be consultants.)
  • A group consultation entitled "Birthing a Research Project" was attended over 30 people (only 10 had signed up). This was a discussion on how  three researchers set up a research project to develop a qualitative historical study on some of our Elders in AHNA
  • The research committee meeting was attended by more than 20 people
Rorry Zahourek PhD, PMHCNS-BC, AHN-BC
AHNA Leadership Council Coordinator for Research
Leadership Council Meeting: Research Highlights
The Leadership Council worked on strategic planning and developed goals for the future.
The goals for the Research Committee are:
  1. Increase visibility & accessibility of holistic nursing research, which is dependent on an enhanced web presence including organization of research on the website in a web library and providing links with other groups who provide holistic research
  2. Develop Webinars and phone conferences: "meet the researchers"
  3. Development of Consultation/mentor Program.
  4. Liaison with education to develop modules
  5. Promote increased possibilities for funding holistic nursing research
The new vision and mission statements adopted by the membership at conference are as follows:
Our vision is a world in which nursing nurtures wholeness and inspires peace and healing

The Mission of AHNA is to foster a vital community that advances holistic health and nursing
We believe that holistic nursing research will contribute toward fulfilling those dreams. - Rorry Zahourek
Research Grant Recipients
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2010 Research Grant: Barbara Vincensi PhD(c), for her research "Spiritual Care in Nurse Practitioner Practice" & Kathy Cino PhD for her research "Aromatherapy Hand Massage for Older Adults with Chronic Pain Living in Long-Term Care."
Meet Our New Co-Editor - Jen Reich MA, MS, ANP-BC, ACHPN
Jen Reich
Jen Reich
I am currently a doctoral student at the University of Arizona College of Nursing as well as an NCCAM Fellow in the Arizona Complementary and Alternative Medicine Training Program in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at The University of Arizona. In addition to my training as an Adult and Palliative Care NP, my background includes degrees in Exercise Science, Physical Education, (Gerontology specialization) and English (Theatre minor). I also have training and practice in areas such as Mind-Body Stress Reduction, Reiki, Health appraisal and meditation. I have incorporated these diverse experiences to design wellness programs and teach self-care strategies to nurses and healthcare professionals throughout the country.  I am a poet and storyteller and my research explores the lived experience of story as a health promotion and healing process. Read more...
Meet Our New Co-Editor - Jackie Levin RN, MS, HNC-A, CHTP
Jackie Levin
Jackie Levin
I'm very excited to be part of the Research Enews editorial team. I'd been pondering for a while in what way to become active in the AHNA as well as how to feed my desire to further the seamless integration of the holistic paradigm into nursing and medicine.
Currently I am honoring two nursing passions. One is as a private practice Holistic CNS teaching holistic nursing strategies and leadership courses to nurses in retreat settings and in health care venues through Leading Edge Nursing. I love bringing the natural world closer to our everyday lives, whether we live in urban or rural environments. I also consult and mentor nurses and organizations who wish to bring a more holistic approach to their practices.

My other nursing work is as a CNS Educator and clinician for Hospice of Jefferson County. We offer integrative strategies to our hospice patients and part of my role is to bring forward the research of what is becoming standard integrative practice as well as what is leading edge.
My love of research was awakened by two very different mentors. Read more... 

Jackie and Jen synch up on the West Coast!
Jackie and Jen
Synchronicity: Our choice of our two new co-editors turned out to be a synchronicity. Neither knew that the other had applied and both were surprised when they saw the announcement. They had been long term friends. The chances of that happening are anyone's wild guess and we would call this a synchronicity. Read what Rorry has to say about synchronicity.
Jen: As Rorry noted, neither Jackie nor myself had known each other had applied for the role. I was honored to be selected as co-editor of Research E-news but could not have possibly imagined it would be such a synchronistic experience!  I first met Jackie in NYC, 2005 through my fellowship mentor, nurse researcher, Marilyn Bookbinder.  Jackie had been the Palliative care Nurse Fellow a couple years prior and Marilyn sensed we would connect on a deep level.  She was right, and I owe a lot of gratitude to Jackie for her friendship and for helping me to navigate through NYC.  Interestingly, since that time, we have both moved to the West Coast. Now we find ourselves in different states (California and Washington) and communicate at least weekly by phone.  We had discussed ways that we could work together from this distance, and put out our intention to the Universe.  It was a beautiful surprise to be offered this opportunity to keep our colleagues up to date on research in holistic nursing.  We hope you will be inspired to share your research, ask questions, and engage in the research process. Read Jen's poem about synchronicity.
Jackie: For me, the timing of opening of the AHNA Research E-news was an anomaly. Usually the email remains unopened in my inbox waiting for a few quiet moments in order to read it through, but this time I opened it the day it arrived. When I saw the announcement for the co-editor position it struck me like a chord, resonating with my own personal aspirations identified over the last several months: to become more involved in AHNA, to write about holistic nursing and to stay current in the realm of holistic nursing and medical research. Without hesitation, I clicked on the link and responded. What was significant about this? Though Jen and I speak and email several times a week, about life, love, work, dreams, and the possibilities of how we might work together, neither of us mentioned that we were applying for this position. It just didn't come up. The beauty of this is, if we had, one or the other of us would have bowed out in support of the other. Read what Jackie wrote about synchronicity.
Rorry: Because this concept has relevance in healing and possibly in holistic nursing research, I asked each of us to think about our concept of synchronicity and what relevance it might have for holistic nursing and our research. Read more.

Request for Proposals
Poster Presentations at AHNA 2010 Conference
Poster Presentations at AHNA 2010 Conference
AHNA will hold its 31st Annual National Conference, Holistic Nursing: Tending to the Sacred Flow of Life,  from June 2-5, 2011 in Louisville, KY. Who could possibly offer a better presentation and learning experience to a group of nurses and AHNA members than fellow nurses and AHNA members?  AHNA invites you to submit proposals for this conference and help create our best conference yet!  
2010 Workshop Participants
workshop participants
Proposals are being accepted for pre-conference workshops, workshops, focused dialogues, research papers, research posters and non-research posters. Eligible proposals must reflect the theme, purpose, and objectives of the conference and topics may apply to practice, education, research, aesthetics and personal & professional development.  All submissions must be relevant to nurses. Proposals will be accepted until 11:59 PM (PDT) on September 8, 2010. Poster proposals will be accepted until December 1, 2010. Submission guidelines are available online.
Visit the Research section of the AHNA Web site for information on creating a workshop or poster proposal.
Interview with Anne Vitale PhD, APN, AHN- BC
Dr. Vitale co-presented both a research paper (Hand massage) and workshop at the AHNA 2010 Conference. The workshop was on her work with Reiki research and developing the Touchstone Project. This project has collected and critically reviewed both qualitative and quantitative studies on Reiki. There is a longer history for quantitative studies than for qualitative. The twelve best studies are the most recent. Five of those suggest Reiki's effectiveness in chronic pain, stress and depression, and practitioner well being. A summary of her work is on her web site, Center for Reiki Research, and her powerpoint presentation from the workshop is available here. View her references here. The following is the interview conducted by Jen Reich.

 Anne Vitale PhD, APN, AHN- BC
Anne Vitale PhD, APN, AHN- BC
How did you develop your program of research?
My research program has humble beginnings! During the early 2000s, I was the Director of Nursing Research in an acute-care Magnet designated hospital in New Jersey.  Several nurses and a physician approached me re: their growing interest in utility of using energy work, such as Reiki touch therapy, in patient care.  Around this time, the Joint Commission began to encourage the use of non-pharmacological strategies into patient care.  This hospital was concurrently to build a holistic therapy department, so key hospital management was supportive of patient care inquiry using CAM modalities.  I designed the Reiki nursing research investigation and received an AHNA Research Grant plus hospital foundation funding to implement the pilot study.  Since I functioned as the nurse researcher in the investigation, I asked if one of the nurse Reiki Masters would share a Reiki session with me. This one session was transformational for me-leading to my own attunements into Usui lineage Reiki, Reiki 1 to Reiki Master (a journey of several years) and my own Reiki practice as a Reiki practitioner.  The completion of the Reiki pilot study continued to peak my interest in not only the use of energy work as an adjunctive modality in patient care, but experiential learning prompted more inquiry into Reiki research and utility in self-care.  This research trajectory continued to develop during my doctoral education (PHD) at Villanova University, PA. My program of research with energy work and other CAM modalities continues within my faculty position with the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida. Our CON nursing philosophy and curriculum are grounded in nursing viewed as a caring science and holism.  I also serve as the project facilitator and research consultant with the Center for Reiki Research.  My scholarship includes dissemination of my work in peer-reviewed nursing and non-nursing journals and frequent podium-presentations on both the utility and evidence to support the use of Reiki touch therapy among nurses and health care providers.

How can your research be translated into practice?
A holistic "lens that includes allowing caring theory to guide and inform research and practice are essential ingredients for translating Reiki into practice!   I invite all professional nurses to...Read more.
Research Mentoring at AHNA
Creating new knowledge in a systematic and scientific way is essential to the health and well being of any profession.  Holistic nursing is no exception in this area.  Understanding and appreciating the values of holistic nursing can only be accomplished through research. Research in holistic nursing includes  investigations of alternative and complementary therapies but also the ideas of authentic presence, compassion, intention and the idea that each person is whole and complete in the moment.  In order to foster and support research within AHNA, research mentoring is available.  Mentoring is a way for beginners and advanced researchers  to discuss ideas, refine methodologies, and gather recourses to assist with the research endeavor.  The research committee at AHNA has held one-on-one mentoring sessions at the last four yearly conferences with great success. Mentors are volunteers who wish to give some time to mentoring another researcher or someone who is relatively new to the idea of holistic research.  If you would like to be a research mentor or if you would like research mentoring by one of our volunteers please contact Amber Cline, Research Liaison for AHNA, at Please include in your e-mail your area of interest or expertise, the type of research you are most comfortable with and the best time and way to contact you.
Reports from the Road
This will be a new section of Connections. We recognize many of our members attend conferences that have relevance to holistic nurses and our research efforts. Please send us a brief summary and we will share it in a future issue. Send summaries to
Report on the Sigma Theta Tau 21st International Research Congress
By Rorry Zahourek
I attended and presented at the Sigma Theta Tau 21st International Research Congress. This is a summary of the congress related to research issues that might have specific interest for Holistic Nurses. The slides from the presentations are available at the Sigma Theta Tau web site.


The emphasis in the congress was on evidence based practice. Very few presentations had words in the titles that resonate with holistic nurses: holism or holistic, transformation, spirituality, resiliency, presence, healing. Holistic nurse researchers need to submit more abstracts to this and other organizations that have broad base appeal. Read more about specifically relevant research presented.

AHNA Researchers in Action
AHNA members Lisa Anselme (Executive  Director of Healing Touch International, Inc) and Diane Wind Wardell (Associate Professor of Nursing, UT Health) presented a paper at ISSSEEM (The International Society of the Study of Subtle Energy and Energy Medicine) Evidenced Based Spirituality for the 21st Century at their 20th annual conference in Westminster, Colorado.  The title of the presentation was "Healing Touch: A multi-dimensional approach to understanding" in which the authors explained the spiritual healing experience and how the spiritual experience is then framed by neuroscience.  Three experiential exercises from the Healing Touch International, Inc Healing Touch Curriculum that informs this process were included to help demonstrate application of Healing Touch.  Participants were given the opportunity to experience techniques that connect one to another from the heart, balance the brain's activities, and provide a foundation with the earth.

Grazyna A. Pajunen, Marguerite J. Purnell, Walter E. Dibble, & William A. Tiller. (September 2009). Altering the acid/alkaline balance of water via the use of an intention-host device. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15(9), 963-968.
Study continues the experimental research on intention altering the ph of water. Their findings support that such 'intention-host devices can produce a significant measure of coupling between two uniquely different and normally no reacting levels of physical reality that exhibit a reciprocal-type of substance behavior".
Christina Jackson. (2010). Evidence-Based practice: Push back from holistic perspectivesHolistic Nursing Practice, 24(3), 120-124. 
Jackson looks at standard methods of EBP to evaluate holistic healing modalities and offers practical advice for others wanting to provide credible evidence for their practice.
Mary Jo Kreitzer, Victor Sierpina, & Susan Fleishman. (2010).  Teaching research literacy: A model faculty development program at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. Explore, 6(2), 112-114.   
Authors list nine competencies for the practitioner to be research literature. These include: generating a researchable question, accessing information, differentiating information, evaluate and synthesize evidence, interpret evidence, integrate evidence, maintain ethical standards, engage in reflective practice, participate in a culture of research.
Lynn Rew & Dolores Sands. (2010). Reflections: The joy of the research process. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 28(1), 99-100.  
Read the full article(AHNA members have full access to all JHN articles. Learn more.)
This article appears in the commemorative issue on Florence Nightingale and is a response to Lynn McDonald's article, "Florence Nightingale: Passionate Statistician. Published in the same issue.  Both articles describe Nightingale as using statistics as a vital component to her holistic nursing policy making, Statistics helped her identify problems, assist in policy making, and evaluate the interventions used in the new policy. Rew acknowledges that nursing research began with Nightingale.

Editor's Note: This article is found in the March 2010 Journal of Holistic Nursing which is specially focused on Florence Nightingale and Her Legacy For Global Nursing. There are a number of wonderful articles with in-depth discussions about Florence Nightingale and implications for nursing practice today. Other AHNA members published in this issue include Sue Collins, Charlie McGuire (deceased), Deva Beck, Barbara Dossey, Peggy BurkhardtCathie Guzzetta, JoEllen Goertz Koerner, Louise Selanders, Susan LuckJean Watson and Jen Reich.  For a list of articles, visit


We would love to hear about your research. Send your "Researcher in Action" to

Research in the News
Exercise May Guard Girls Against Dementia in Senior Years
Canadian researchers believe they've found a link between exercise in adolescence and fewer cases of senility in a woman's senior years. The findings suggest that "early life physical activity is important to late-life health and in particular in preventing late-life cognitive impairment. The sooner you start being physically active, the better it is," said study author Laura E. Middleton, a researcher at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto. (HealthDay, 6/10)
Exercise, tea and vitamin D to ward off dementia
Improved living and diet habits - including lots of physical activity, regular tea-drinking and sufficient vitamin D levels - could reduce the risk of brain decline, according to three studies presented. (USA Today, 7/10)
Black and Latino Boys Twice as likely to Have Poor Health
Growing up in poor and stressful neighborhoods with limited healthcare resources leads to poor health. (Los Angeles Times, 6/10)
Nurses' Research Settles a Common Cancer Concern: Skin Care
Given the complexity of cancer treatment, skin care may seem like a small matter. However, a nurse at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center knew that skin issues were a constant source of anxiety for many patients receiving radiation therapy, and through research she discovered that routine advice was rooted in myth instead of scientific evidence. (ScienceDaily, 5/10)
Click on each title to read article.
Bravewell Collaborative, National Institute of Nursing Research, and National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (BNC) are offering the BNC Fellowship for research in integrative medicine. The full-time, two-year postdoctoral training program includes participation in clinical and research experiences with a clinical integrative medicine focus, and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration to optimize health and healing for individuals, families, and communities.  Additional information about the fellowship, including the application process, can be viewed by clicking here. The deadline for the application is September 15, 2010
AHNA is proud to announce our new Research Web Library. The library includes holistic nursing research by AHNA members, the article library and research from AHNA conferences. This library will continue to grow. If you would like to have your research article or citation appear in the Research Web Library, please visit the web site for submission instructions.
AHNA members have access to the Journal of Holistic Nursing archives, including prepublication articles. If you have never accessed JHN online, please learn more.
Norm Shealy's free eNewsletter that has a variety of information about the mind-body phenomenon as well as research in various topics that would be useful to holistic nurses and to holistic nursing researchers.
The Council for Healing and the International Journal of Caring and Healing are both free and have useful information about research in holism and healing as well as other clinical issues. The journal is edited by Daniel Benor.
If you know of any good resources for holistic nurses and holistic nursing researchers, please contact Amber at

The Voice of Holistic Nursing 

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Although the AHNA supports the concepts of holism, it refrains from endorsing specific practitioners, organizations, products, services or modalities. Opinions expressed in this eNewsletter may not reflect the position of the AHNA.

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