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Ingrid L. Edstrom, Founder and President of Infrared Breast Health, LLC and the creator of the Proactive Breast WellnessTM program teaching module. Ingrid has been nationally certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner since 1978 with a Masters in Health Education from Boston University in 1981. As a Nurse Practitioner she has done extensive patient teaching in regard to medical issues, disease and prevention. Lifestyle and nutritional counseling has been a focus of her practice. Ingrid started her academic career as a nutrition major prior to receiving her Bachelors in Nursing from the University of Rhode Island in 1974.

Ingrid spent her early years working at the Deaconess Hospital, Beth Israel and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospitals in Boston as a staff nurse prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner. From 1978 until 1988 she worked as an NP at Harvard Community Health Plan, which is a large HMO in the Boston area. She became frustrated with the corporate need to push patients through medical care on a conveyor belt system with a certain number of minutes allotted to see and treat clients without addressing the teaching needs of her patients. She also became aware that just handing out prescriptions did not get to the cause of why people were ill, they just treated symptoms.

A turning point for her career involved meeting a woman Korean Buddhist Monk in the late 80’s and exploring suffering from a Buddhist perspective and starting a meditative practice. This fostered a connection between people’s perception of their reality and how thoughts affected their health. This profoundly impacted her view of her role as healer. Ingrid then enrolled in the Behavior Modification / Relaxation Response Course at the Harvard Medical School for medical providers in 1990. This program is run by Dr. Herbert Benson MD at the Mind Body Medical Institute at the New England Deaconess/ Beth Israel Hospital, Boston Massachusetts. Her study continued with the Institute by attending several programs given by the Teacher Training Initiative, and she became certified to teach stress management programs in school systems by May of 1996. Ingrid did further training with Peggy Huddleston, PhD and became a certified instructor for “Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster Workshops” April 1998. This is a Mind Body/ guided imagery approach to help people cope with surgery and pain management.

After this training and continued study Ingrid has been working in the Mind Body Medicine/Complementary Medicine field since 1996 by opening her own private practice and did workshops as “Inner Journeys Healing” for schools, medical facilities and corporate clients in Western Massachusetts. Her practice expanded to working in 3 physician practices doing Stress and Pain Management and natural menopause management using Bio-Identical Hormone replacement and dietary and nutritional supplements. In her wellness coaching, she strives to empower people to take back their responsibility for their own health care and make life style changes. Ingrid has worked with chronic pain clients and those with symptomatology that would benefit from a mind body approach including: trauma, insomnia, irritable bowel, migraines, fibromyalgia, HBP, ulcers, panic attacks, depression, cancer and hospice patients. She uses her background in relaxation techniques, health education, nutritional counseling, supplements and herbs, aromatherapy, adaptive equipment, body mechanics, acupressure and on occasion magnet therapy with Nikken magnets for pain syndromes.

During this period and by utilizing Mind Body Medicine approaches of guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation techniques as used in Ingrid’s “Waves of Serenity” CD and DVD series she was able to make an impact on clients suffering from chronic pain and long term insomnia. She designed and implemented an Outcome Study of the program while working with internal medicine clients of Dr. Andy Larkin in Amherst Massachusetts. The client data showed that the program could drop the systolic B/P reading on average 19.2 points over 6 weeks, and all clients discontinued their sleeping pills. The clients on average decreased their pain perception scale 4 to 5 points out of a 10 scale. This program decreased the number of visits to the primary care office for chronic issues since the patient was better able to self manage, thus providing better utilization of health visits and decreased insurance expenditures. Most importantly the client was more comfortable and felt more in control of their pain in a way that medication regimen did not previously address.

Ingrid started a book entitled "Helping Your Family Cope With Hospitalization, Surgery and Cancer Therapy: Using Mind Body Approaches" which is 200 pages along and is now seeking a publisher. Preparing children for their own hospitalization or for the hospitalization, surgery or cancer therapy of a family member. This is a multimedia project includes three healing/guided imagery audiotapes. The book and tape helps teach the child and parents pain-management skills, stress management techniques and other comfort measures for the whole family. This came about due to her own experience with her son Erik who underwent major kidney surgery as a child and her sense of chaos in trying to support her child and herself when a serious hospitalization occurred.

The newly released a CD and DVD called "Waves of Serenity" were created as a companion product for the book in process but is now included in the Proactive Breast WellnessTM program teaching module to help reduce stress and cortisol levels which contributes to breast disease issues as well as other chronic illnesses. Click here to sample Waves of Serenity

A local high school administration had learned about her work with stress and pain management and requested a program be developed for students. She created a school program called "Chill Out Naturally" that helped to address issues related to peer pressure, family and test anxiety. The program provided the student with tools to help cope with smoking, over eating, drugs, drinking and driving and conflict resolution. Ingrid implemented this program in 6 Worcester Massachusetts High Schools.

So how did you end up in Eugene Oregon with an interest in Infrared thermography? This is a personal journey. The short answer is I was getting tired of shoveling 57 inches of snow and my daughter had finished college and settled in Seattle. I had attended a conference on modern infrared thermography in 2002 and was incredibly impressed with the potential of using this technology as a risk detection tool and to expand the benefits into the realm of prevention.

In 2005 as I prepared to move to Oregon, I discovered a breast thickening in my own breast and of course I was very concerned. I was also facing the possibility of loosing all my health insurance if I moved to Oregon and I was concerned about leaving Massachusetts if I were about to developed a major problem. I was able to locate a digital infrared camera in Connecticut on the New York line which was 2 � hours drive away. My scan was a borderline reading and I went for an ultrasound which was negative and saw a breast surgeon who said they could feel the thickening but there was nothing to biopsy yet. I then started working with a talented Naturopath who pointed me towards an anti-estrogenic diet and I made a number of dietary and lifestyle changes which have now been expanded into the Proactive Breast WellnessTM program with the help of several of my academic partners. I was able to reverse the inflammatory changes in the course of 4 months and the thickened area resolved in 2 months. I had asked the physician that had the infrared camera how much time I might have had and she had responded that statistically I may have had 3-5 years before I probably would have become a surgical candidate . I personally felt that this technology had positively impacted my life and I had been in that state of anxiety that all middle aged women face when they discover a mass in their breasts.

Upon arriving here in Eugene I decided to purchase an Infrared system and create a holistic private practice. I also have 501C Non Profit status so I have been doing a clinical research project since Dec.2005 and the women who have been able to follow the protocol have been able to reverse the inflammatory changes in the breast in a 6-12 month period. This is personally and academically extremely encouraging. Due to the sensitivity of the modern infrared technology I have been invited several times to present at the Breast Cancer Tumor Board Rounds at our local Eugene medical center. The camera has been able to pick up biopsy proven cancers that were mammogram and ultrasound negative that had abnormal thermograms. This technology is particularly helpful in detecting lobular cancers, melanomas and inflammatory breast cancer. The fibrocystic breasts tend to scan cold which when confirmed by ultrasound will decrease the number of unnecessary biopsies. I am seeking more academic partners and hope to obtain more grant funding to expand the research. My focus has always been on prevention and reducing risk. I strongly feel that modern Infrared technology in conjunction with a Proactive Breast WellnessTM program will help to empower women and provide tools for a more prevention based approach to breast cancer.

 


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