The Bridge Space is Evidence Based

The Bridge Space conducts qualitative community-based research in the fields of chronic illness and mental health, our current project explores the experiences of HIV positive migrant women living in Victoria and is funded by Gilead Sciences. Below is a collection of research that informs the therapies we draw upon in our work. This is not an exhaustive list of the available evidence but a snapshot of the existing research in our fields of interest.

Nidra Therapy

Some of the research that informs Nidra Therapy is based on the work of Dr Richard Miller, creator of 'irest', which is a trademarked brand and specific way of 'doing' Yoga Nidra. It was designed and named for use in populations for which yogic concepts may not readily resonate. For example, Miller has been highly successful in implementing irest programs among US military populations, with returned soldiers finding irest to be beneficial in treating symptoms of stress and anxiety. A range of resources can be found on the irest website:


~Yoga Nidra: An Innovative Approach for Management of Chronic Insomnia- A case report. Datta, K., Tripathy, M., Mallick, H. (2017). Sleep Science & Practice, 1, 7:  DOI 10.1186/s41606-017-0009-4 .

~Comparative Effectiveness of Three Occupational Therapy Sleep Interventions: A Randomized Controlled Study. Gutman, S., Gregory, K, Sadlier-Brown, M., Schlissel, M., Schubert, A., Westover, L. & Miller, R. (2016). OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 1-9: DOI: 10.1177/1539449216673045.

 ~The Effects of Integrative Restoration (iRest®) on Sleep and Perceived Stress in Military Medical Center Healthcare Providers: A Pilot Study for Developing Staff Resilience. Bingham, M. (2011)
 Army Medical Center. San Antonio, TX.

~Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), sleep, and recovery in elite performers. Mc Coughlan, L., Hanrahan, S., Anderson, R. & Halson, S. (2014). Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 18: 113.

~The impact of a progressive muscular relaxation exercise programme for reducing insomnia in an elderly population: Results from a preliminary study at two elderly homes in the Colombo District of Sri Lanka. Jayarathne, W. & Zoysa, P. (2016). Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences: Doi 10.4038/sljss.v39i1.7402.


Pain Management

~Using Mindfulness Meditation to Improve Pain Management in Combat Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury.  Nassif, T., Norris, D., Soltes, K., Sandbrink, F., Blackman, M., and Chapman, J. (2015).

 ~Evaluating the Effectiveness of Mindfulness Meditation (iRest) for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain in U.S. Veterans Using the Defense and Veterans Pain Rating Scale.Thomas H. Nassif, T. Norris, D. Soltes, K.Blackman, M. Chapman, J. Sandbrink, F. (2015).

~Relaxation & Pain Management: The relaxation response can play a role in managing chronic and acute pain. Schaffer, S., Yucha, C. (2004). The American Journal of Nursing, 104, 8: 75-82.

~Patients’ perceptions of the effectiveness of guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation interventions used for cancer pain. Kwekkeboom, K., Hau. H., Want, B. & Bumpus, M. (2008). Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 14, 3: 185-194.



Mental Health

~iRest Yoga-Nidra on the College Campus: Changes in Stress, Depression, Worry, and Mindfulness. Eastman-Mueller, H., Wilson, M., Ae-Kyung Jung, M., Kimura, M., Tarrant, J. (2013). International Journal of Yoga Therapy. 23, 2: 15-24.

~A Yoga Program for the Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans. Staples, J., Hamilton, M., Uddo, M. (2013). Military Medicine, 178, 8:854.

~Transforming Trauma: A Qualitative Feasibility Study of Integrative Restoration (iRest) Yoga Nidra on Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. L. Stankovic (2011).  Journal of Yoga Therapy: 21, 1:23-37.

~Effectiveness of progressive muscle relaxation therapy (on stress) as a worksite health promotion program in the automobile assembly line. Sundram, B., Dahlui, M., Chinna, K. (2016). Industrial Health: doc 10.2486/indhealth.2014-0091.

Other Chronic Conditions

~Effect of Yoga-Nidra on Blood Glucose Level in Diabetic Patients. Amita, S. Prabhakar, S. Manoj, I. Harminder, S. & Pavan, T. (2009). Indian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology. 53, 1: 97-101.

~Six-month trial of Yoga Nidra in Menstrual Disorder patients: Effects on somatoform symptoms. Rani, K., Tiwari, S., Singh, U., Agrawal, G., Srivastava, N. (2011). Indian Psychiatry Journal. 20, 2: 97-102. 

~Yoga Nidra as a Complementary Treatment of Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in Patients with Menstrual Disorder. Rani, K., Tiwari, S., Singh, U., Srivastava, N, S. (2012). International Journal of Yoga J of Physiology & Pharmacology. 5, 1:52-56.

~Psycho-Biological Changes with Add on Yoga Nidra in Patients with Menstrual Disorders: a Randomized Clinical Trial. Rani, K., Tiwari, S., Singh, U., Agrawal, G., Srivastava, N, S., & Prakash, J. (2016). Journal of Caring Science, 5, 1:1-9.

~The Effectiveness of Progressive Muscle Relaxation on the Postpartum Quality of Life. Goksin, I. & Ayaz-Alkaya, S. (2018). Asian Nursing Research, https://

~Progressive Muscle Relaxation Improves Anxiety and Depression of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Patients Li, Y., Wang, R., Tang, J., Chen, C., Tan, L., Wu, Z., Yu, F. & Wang, X. (2015). Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: doc 10.1155/2015/792895. 

~A Fresh Look at the Potential Mechanisms of Progressive Muscle Relaxation Therapy on Depression in Female Patients With Multiple Sclerosis. Safi, S. (2015). Iran Journal of Psychiatry, 9, 1: doi 10.17795/ijpbs340.

Eco Therapy

~Nature, Eco, and Adventure Therapies for Mental Health and Chronic Disease. Buckley, R. & Brough, P. (2017). Frontiers in Public Health, 5, 220: doi 10.3389/fpubh.2017.00220.

~Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) and Nature Therapy: A State-of-the-Art Review. Hansen, M., Jones, R. & Tocchini, K. (2017). Environmental Research and Public Health. 14, 8: dog 10.3390/ijerph14080851.

~The relationship of physical activity and overweight to objectively measured green space accessibility and use. Coombes, E., Jones, A. & Hillsdon, M. (2010). Social Science & Medicine, 70, 6: 816-822.

~Green space as a buffer between stressful life events and health. van den Berg, A., Maas, J., Verheij, R. & Groenewegen, P. (2010). Social Science & Medicine, 70, 8: 1203-1210.

~A systematic review of evidence for the added benefits to health of exposure to natural environments. Bowler, D., Buying-Ali, L., Knight, T. & Pullin, A. (2010). BMC Public Health, 10:456

~The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature. Berman, M., Jonides, J. & Kaplan, S. (2008). Psychological Science, 19, 12:1202-1212.

~Physiological and psychological effects of viewing urban forest landscapes assessed by multiple measurements. Tsunetsugu, Y., Lee, J., Park, B., Tyrvainen, L., Kagawa, T. Yoshifumi, M. (2013). Landscape and Urban Planning, 113:90-93.

~Why Is Nature Beneficial? The Role of Connectedness to Nature. Mayer, S., Frantz, C., Bruehlman-Senecal, E. et al. (2009). Environment and Behaviour, 49, 5: 607-643.

~Using resources of nature in the counselling room: Qualitative research into ecotherapy practice. Kamitsis, L. & Simmonds, S. (2017). international Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 39, 3: 229-248.

~Terpenes from Forests and Human Health. Cho, K., Lim, Y., Lee, K., Lee, J., Lee, L., & Lee, I. (2017). Toxicological Research, 33, 2: 97-106.