Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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22 Jul

One of the most frequent reasons people start using our guided imagery is because they’re facing an upcoming surgery and they’re feeling anxious. Actually, scratch “anxious”; they’re feeling a terrified combination of fear, loathing and dread.

Here are three typical stories, all of them found among the 37 reviews currently posted on our site. It’s pretty much the same story, give or take. Each of them supports the finding from research at Blue Shield of California and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, that the more anxious the pre-op patient, the more dramatically better they feel with guided imagery.  Go figure.

21 Jul

In this small pilot study, researchers from the Tacoma VA Medical Center tested the impact of yoga nidra (iRest®), a form of guided mindfulness meditation, on women veterans suffering from symptoms of sexual trauma and military sexual trauma.

Ten women participants experienced nineteen 90-minute sessions, twice a week, for 10 weeks, except for one week with a holiday.

Participants completed self-report measures pre- and post-treatment: the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI), Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory (PTCI), and the Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Check List (PCL).

19 Jul

Talk about feeling vulnerable twice over! This question came from a woman who loses her speech in stressful situations, probably brought on by the death of her spouse. As I say in the reply, this is a situation made to order for generating panic attacks, and she’s got enough trouble as it is. Check it out – this reaction is more common than you might think.

18 Jul

Please listen up, long-suffering iPeople! We have heard your pain. The Cavalry is here!

You can now download our guided imagery audios directly to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, thanks to our new free app. 

Truly, Cheryl, Maggie and Elizabeth have shared your pain. They’re the ones who’ve been answering dozens of calls each day from baffled people asking how to get our downloads into their Apple devices. The answer involved a multi-step process that was a pain in the tush for all concerned.  

Sometimes callers would just throw their hands up and go to iTunes for our audios. The problem is not everything in our library is there. 

So at last, we’ve got a simple, easy solution for this!

15 Jul

It seems we hear this surgery narrative more than any other guided imagery story. It’s about having the stone cold heebie-jeebies over an anticipated elective surgery, and getting calm from listening to guided imagery.

Actually, we have data that show that the more anxious a pre-op person is, the more they are likely to dramatically benefit from guided imagery. Who’d a thought?

And, by the way, we get more of these posts from women than men, but the statistics are about the same for either gender. We think it’s because women are more likely to admit they’re scared; and also tend to be more forthcoming with praise and gratitude. At least that’s been our experience (with some notable exceptions, of course).

Charlotte Barkley left us this post, and since she published her name, we can too.

14 Jul

A simple, brief, online guided imagery training with 273 volunteer health professionals seems to have yielded quite an impact. Investigators found significant changes in anxiety, perceived stress, empathic concern, sense of perspective and feelings of efficacy – and all this from less than three hours of online training. Surely this is worth studying some more.

Researchers from The Ohio State University studied the impact of brief online guided imagery training (up to three hours) on health professionals.

They measured changes in perceived stress, anxiety, empathy and feelings of mastery/efficacy.

12 Jul

This question came from a woman with bipolar illness, suffering as well from deep-seated feelings of emptiness. 

Back in the day, we in the psychotherapy biz used to call this ‘anaclitic depression’, marked by this sense of emptiness or nothingness on the inside. We now know a lot more about it, and a whole field of study on ‘attachment disorder’ has since emerged.

These profound feelings of ‘nothing on the inside’ are often the result of a very early disruption in a baby’s bond with a primary caregiver. We used to treat this with lengthy, intense, expensive, deep-dish, insight-oriented psychotherapy. People would search for reasons and delve into their personal history, for weeks and even years, with iffy results for all their effort. 

Additionally, few people could afford the time or money needed to undergo this kind of therapy. It was for a very exclusive few.

It turns out that most people will do much better working from the outside-in, using behavior to change feelings. 

So read to what our very own Traci Stein has to say about this, offering some smart, practical, effective behavioral suggestions to Paula.

11 Jul

When something horrible happens - like the orgy of irrational killing that’s been all over the news this past week - it’s so disturbing, we can’t process it. It’s in just such violation of how we believe the world should be, we simply can’t wrap our minds around what’s happened.

That’s probably why we stay glued to the TV, watching the same repellant footage, over and over. It’s not good for us and we’re not even learning anything new - we’re watching the same reports we saw twenty minutes ago. But, we can’t turn away from the screen because we’re trying to grasp the insanity, get some sense of mastery over what’s happened and put it somewhere that makes sense. 

08 Jul

Willetta Thomson, a writer and retired counselor, found all kinds of ways to put guided imagery to good use. Her favorite thing was using it in a study group she began for ten people interested in developing their intuition and creativity… it resulted in some startling benefits for her. Here she tells us all about it in her own words.

07 Jul

Bariatric surgery is a pretty extreme solution for morbid obesity, although sometimes a necessary, life-saving choice. Still, there can be problems if something goes awry, and many people are too scared to go for it. That’s why it’s good to know this 12-week behavioral management program works for a certain subgroup.

Researchers from the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston looked at whether diabetes remission was possible without bariatric surgery through a 12-week intensive program for diabetes weight management called the Weight Achievement and Intensive Treatment (Why WAIT) program.

05 Jul


Hello, Belleruth,

My husband has Parkinson's Disease. We have found there is not much by way of support services or wellness programs for him in our area.  He has, however, just started a class for Parkinson patients that will be teaching mindfulness as a tool to improve quality of life for people with PD.

This led me to wondering if you had some guided meditations that you think would be useful for this kind of population.  I would like to recommend a CD of yours for the doctor leading the group, who has many Parkinson patients in his practice, plus two other groups starting.  I have some of your CDs, but nothing that is right for this population. 

Thank you,

Mary M.

04 Jul

On October 8th, I’ll be speaking at the annual conference for Healing Touch® practitioners in Colorado Springs. It’s the Healing Beyond Borders conference, and this year’s theme is Celebrating Our Path. Aiming Straight Into the Future.

My keynote will be on the fun of using guided imagery to open up intuitive knowing; and that afternoon, I’ll be giving a session on the power of using guided imagery for healing trauma. But that's just the beginning of what's offered.