Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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24 Oct

This email came to us from a physician who suffered a painful, ruptured cervical disk. He had serious reservations about opting for back surgery if he could use other, less invasive methods, and guided imagery helped him with the pain enough to allow him to hold out and use yoga and chiropractic to get the job done. Check it out:

Dear Health Journeys,

I have experienced first hand how effective guided imagery can be. I am a long- time distributor and have always believed in the efficacy of imagery, but experiencing its benefits personally takes my enthusiasm to a whole, new level.

I used the Ease Pain imagery during a very rough time with a ruptured cervical disk, which is now fully under control, thanks in large part to Chiropractic and Yoga.

23 Oct

Researchers from the UCLA School of Nursing evaluated a program of early, home based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program to remediate depression in patients recovering from cardiac surgery.

They conducted a randomized controlled trial and enrolled 808 patients who were screened for depressive symptoms, using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) in the hospital and 1 month later. Patients were also interviewed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV; those who met criteria for clinical depression (n = 81) were randomized to CBT (n = 45) or usual care (UC; n = 36). After completion of the UC period, 25 individuals were offered later CBT (UC + CBT).

The outcomes were evaluated after 8 weeks. Compared with the Usual Care group, the CBT group had greater decline in depression scores and greater remission of clinical depression.

22 Oct

In my 20 years of police reporting, I have seen a lion's share of domestic violence reports, and in every one, I feel the pain, fear and despair that could not be written in the allotted space. Police reports are often the culmination of stories that span decades of abuse.

Police officers and emergency medical and health care workers respond to these crises every day and go over and above the call of duty. Police, who are usually first on the scene, do what they can to assist the victims, sort out the facts, make temporary provisions for children and pets and arrest the perpetrators, but it doesn't end there, or in the courts or the prisons.

21 Oct

Question:

I'm a psychologist specializing in PTSD. A client's husband has just received orders to go to Liberia to work on the Ebola crisis. Do you know of or could you develop any imagery that could help prevent PTSD in such health workers who will likely witness scenes of horror that may haunt them in the future? Thanks! It's okay to post this.

20 Oct

Well, it's that time of year again – Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And once again we're offering our Pink Ribbon Survive & Thrive Pack, created for all those breast cancer survivors who want to maintain a wellness regimen once treatment is over.

What we found was that people can get pretty anxious when treatment ends, because, even though that's generally a good thing, there's still this feeling of "Well, at least I knew I was doing something – even if the chemo produced nasty side effects, and the radiation therapy was no day at the beach either...".

And this loss of having something to do can be felt especially strongly by people who used guided imagery during that time of treatment, to boost the action of their medical protocols or help with pain or nausea or fatigue, or just to allay anxiety or provide uplift and a sense of mastery. That imagery served a real need.

17 Oct

We were given this wonderful, inspiring story years ago, and it just recently re-surfaced – it's definitely time to share it again. Enjoy!

In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to special ed children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school career, while others can be mainstreamed into conventional schools.

At a Chush fundraising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.

After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, "Where is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God's perfection?"

16 Oct

Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong's school of public health investigated the impact of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) on the mental health of caregivers looking after chronically ill family members.

Caregivers of persons with chronic conditions who scored 7 or above in the Caregiver Strain Index were randomly assigned to an 8-week MBSR group (n = 70) or a self-help control group (n = 71).

Validated instruments were used to assess the changes in symptoms of depression and anxiety, quality of life, self-efficacy, self-compassion and mindfulness. Assessments were conducted at baseline, post-intervention and at the 3-month follow-up.

15 Oct

Question: What do chic fashion accessories in pink swirls have in common with Health Journeys and cancer research? The answer is Vera Bradley, a Fort Wayne, Indiana company, founded by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia Miller in 1982. Health Journeys donates a portion of proceeds from its Pink Ribbon Survive & Thrive Pack to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research to support breast cancer research initiatives.

The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research is the single largest donor to the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center's breast cancer research program, with gifts and pledges totaling more than $20 million, enabling researchers to make worldwide impact in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

14 Oct

Hi, Belleruth. How does progressive muscle relaxation compare to guided imagery? Is it as effective? Can imagery be improved by combining PMR with it?

Tina Barrow RN

13 Oct

Well, this month we recognize Domestic Violence Awareness, and a good thing, too. Emotional and physical abuse is far more prevalent and ubiquitous than most of us believe. It's not just beefy, steroidal, misogynistic football players punching out their wives in elevators and then hauling off their unconscious bodies like a cheap sack of potatoes.

And no way is it limited to the underprivileged, or women, or the young, or the non-white, either.

If you want to do a quick breaking of stereotype, think old, wealthy, white guy in wheelchair, who's a little annoying because he's pretty deaf and quasi-paralyzed and hard to move around, who's receiving home health care from a private provider, and you'll have another profile of who gets screamed at, beaten, sadistically teased, over- controlled, pushed around, robbed, derided, mortified and terrified. The guy's kids either haven't a clue what's going on, don't care, or behave just as badly as the caregiver.

10 Oct

This was posted on a Christian CD thread from a survivor of childhood abuse. We're putting it here because of the way the writer speaks to a very unique and potent characteristic of guided imagery (hypnosis, too) – the way it functions like a depth charge, dropped below the surface of conscious thinking (and under the pesky radar of resistance and ambivalence) where it can reverberate again and again, catalyzing a deep and system-wide kind of healing that may go unnoticed for some time.

09 Oct

Researchers from the Continuum Cancer Centers of New York, Beth Israel Medical Center, evaluated the impact of guided imagery on patients undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer.

Eligible patients receiving guided imagery sessions were monitored via biofeedback before and after each session.  Monitored measures included blood pressure, respiration rate, pulse rate, and skin temperature.

In addition, a quality of life questionnaire (the EuroQoL Group's EQ-5D) was used for subjective assessment, and patient feedback was collected at the end of radiation therapy through a satisfaction survey.