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22 Aug

After my surgery, I was very weak.  My dream trip, to go to Oxford, was coming up, and I worried that there might be something in the layout of the place that would be impossible for me to negotiate in my weakened state.  I asked about this, and was told that the toughest thing I’d have to face were the stairs to the refectory, and that I would have to climb them every day.  I requested they send me a picture of those stairs.

Then, because I work at the Capitol, I decided that I would climb a couple of stairs at a time there and imagine they were the refectory stairs.  Every night I imagined myself climbing those Oxford stairs, and every day I’d take a few more at the Capitol and imagine they were the refectory stairs.  It got easier and easier for me to do more and more each day.  I had 3 months to make my goal.

Three months later, when I arrived at Oxford and found my stairs, it was like greeting an old friend.  I climbed them with no trouble whatsoever… wasn’t even short of breath.  It was a wonderful sense of accomplishment, and it was thanks to my own, home-grown guided imagery.

Your Public Servant on The Hill

21 Aug

Researchers from the Department of Health Promotion and Wellness and the Student Health Center at the University of Missouri, investigated whether iRest Yoga Nidra (, a form of therapeutic guided meditation, was effective in reducing perceived stress, worry and depression in college students.
Sixty-six students age 18-56 completed an 8-week iRest yoga-nidra intervention that was offered for 8 semesters. Assessment occurred 1 week prior to intervention onset and during the class period following the intervention. Qualitative data were collected at Weeks 4 and 8.

Statistically significant pre- to posttest improvements in perceived stress, worry, and depression were found. Pre-existing depression accounted for most of the change in worry and perceived stress scores. Pre- to post test improvements in mindfulness-based skills were also detected.

The investigators conclude that iRest yoga-nidra practice may reduce symptoms of perceived stress, worry, and depression and increase mindfulness-based skills.

Citation:  Eastman-Mueller H1, Wilson T, Jung AK, Kimura A, Tarrant J. iRest yoga-nidra on the college campus: changes in stress, depression, worry, and mindfulness. International Journal of Yoga Therapy. 2013; (23): pp.15-24.


20 Aug

We are happy to learn that researchers have been studying ways to address the mental and emotional health of those who parent children with special needs. According to proponents of those studies, until recently, most programs and resources have been dedicated to sharpening parenting skills, rather than recognizing that special needs parents have unattended mental and emotional health issues related to caring for their children.

We hear from parents of children with special needs when they call to ask about audio programs for their children, and they frequently select titles for themselves.

Sleep is a major issue among many of the special needs parents with whom we communicate. Some parents say that when they do get time to sleep, they are too keyed-up, worried or just plain burned-out to get restorative sleep. I recently spoke to a woman who called to order Magic Island, by Betty Mehling, to be sent to one of the mothers in her support group. She had ordered it for her son, who has cerebral palsy. He liked it so much that she decided to share it.

19 Aug

Dear BR,

I suffer from M.S. and get therapeutic massage once or twice a month to help with muscle spasm and general mental health. I also enjoy listening to your imagery at the end of the day.
What do you think of my bringing my tape to the massage sessions? Do you think that would bring double-benefits?  Or should I leave them separate?  As it is, I am getting a lot out of each experience.

Fred B. from Milwaukee

18 Aug

I feel a rant coming on.  

I’ve been catching some of the commentary on traditional news outlets and social media over the tragic death of big-hearted, super-talented actor-comedian Robin Williams. It seems pretty obvious he was a great guy and a dazzling talent.  I feel for his family and friends.  It’s horrible to be left by suicide, especially when you haven’t been consulted. (I know that might sound flippant, but I mean it.)
There’s a lot of confused and simplistic messaging flying around about depression, suicide, celebrity and being a professional comic – now throw in Parkinson’s – and, much as I’m reluctant to add to this overfull conversation, I think I’ve gotta pipe up.
Robin Williams had bipolar illness. (We used to call it manic-depressive disorder). And that’s one very tough condition to manage.

Sure, he had the standard demons.  All the stuff people are writing is no doubt true.  He had the usual troubles from celebrity and fame.  He was never secure with “steady” work.  He needed to please people and make them happy, probably to his detriment.  He struggled with various addictions, probably connected to self-medicating his mood swings. He was worried about having Parkinson’s.
But the guy was bipolar.  And that defines the problem and trumps all of the above, which are no doubt contributing factors, but not the main event.

11 Aug

I’m really looking forward to speaking at University Hospitals’ 3rd annual Heal the Healer Symposium on October 10, at Signature of Solon, Ohio.  Regina Brett will kick off this fabulous day with her keynote, “The Miracle Starts with You”…
You can expect a healthy and delicious breakfast and lunch, some therapeutic yoga, music therapy, acupuncture, chair massage, Reiki, tips on maintaining healthy muscle tone life long from Robert Truax DO, some important info about substance abuse among health care professionals from Ray Isackila, LPCC, and Peter Geller LAc, LOMP, will be talking about integrating Chinese Herbal Medicine into a traditional practice.
My talk will be about how to use “Guided Imagery for Maintaining Passion, Commitment, Energy & Health”, and, of course, there will be a demo guided journey for everyone – at least one.

To register for this unique day of self-care (and learning to better care for those in your charge by using yourself as the guinea pig), you can call 216-488-4757 or go to the website at

11 Aug

I am wondering whether the "Alcohol and Other Drugs" imagery might be appropriate for me to use for help with an eating disorder, since it can also be an addictive behavior.  I'd be grateful if someone could send their opinion on this - thanks!


11 Aug

Researchers from the University at Buffalo, SUNY, performed a systematic review of studies that explored the efficacy of yoga, a popular adjunct therapy, for preventing and treating eating disorders (ED’s).

Databases were searched for peer-reviewed articles about yoga practice and ED symptoms and correlates.

Of the 14 articles reviewed, 40% used cross-sectional designs to examine risk and protective factors for EDs among yoga practitioners, and 60% used longitudinal designs to assess the effectiveness of yoga interventions for preventing and treating EDs.

11 Aug

Okay, so unless I and hordes of others are being pranked by this video, there seems to be some serious kissy-face behavior going on here between a kitten and a dolphin. 

Could this be?
And if it is, surely it begs the question:  if a kitten and a dolphin can get along this well and play so nicely together, is there hope for us humans doing a better job of it?

View the Cat - Dolphin video.

08 Aug

This was just posted on Amazon, and it’s a great reminder of how important it is to give guided imagery time to work its way into your psyche and have the desired impact, especially if you’re a hyper-adrenergized combat vet or general trauma survivor, who cannot get into it at first, because of being so vigilant and hyper-alert (and for good reason – you’re in a survival-based, biochemically induced alarm state, for heaven’s sake, and it doesn’t feel safe to relax at first….)  So please read this and remember to give it a little time.  You’ll be glad you did.  

Here’s the post:
This review is from: Meditations to Relieve Stress (Audio CD)

I really like all the CD's she has produced in this series.

I have shared these with others who weren't so enthused.  I think the difference was I was first introduced to these in a group therapy program.  It took until I had sat through one of the CD's before I could relax enough to let the program work.

This was done at a VA Medical Center and it was my fellow vets that helped me drop my guard enough for the program to work.

07 Aug

Researchers from the San Diego Veterans Administration Healthcare System explored the effectiveness of a Mantram Repetition Program (MRP), used with 65 outpatient veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress, to see if it helped them better manage their symptoms….
The MRP consisted of six weekly group sessions (90 min per week) on how to (1) choose and use a mantram, (2) slow down thoughts and behaviors, and (3) develop one-pointed attention for emotional self-regulation.
Critical incident research technique interviews were conducted at 3 months post-intervention as part of a larger randomized clinical trial.
The setting was an academic-affiliated Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in southern California. Categorization and comparison of the types and frequency of incidents (i.e., triggering events) were collected.

07 Aug
by in News

Hi, everyone!

We are often asked what is exactly the legal and proper use of our downloads by our professional members.  At times, we are also asked this by our general consumers.  I’m here to share the nitty gritty details, as well as offer a few ideas.

First, it should be noted that the license associated with these audios is for an individual.  What this means is, when you download one of our audios, you are free to use this on your pc, laptop, tablet, mp3 player, phone or even to burn a blank CD for yourself.  Many people make use of all of these media methods and hardware (I know I do!). 

These downloads are great for use in the clinical setting when playing them for your client during a therapy session, or to offer a sample listen while a patient is with you.  They are even great for playing in a group session!  Those of you who have seen Belleruth live know what I’m talking about, and how simply powerful that use can be.

Now, that being said, it’s important to note that the following actions are completely illegal and against the copyright:

  • Burning a blank CD of the downloaded audio tracks and giving it to someone else for their use.
  • Forwarding a digital copy of the audio to someone else for their use – this can be via email, cloud storage, USB drives, etc.
  • Loading the audio on ANY peer-to-peer network, and sharing same with others.
  • Loading the audio on to your personal YouTube, Vimeo, etc. channels – or any web-based host where others have access.
  • Using the audio in any form on any closed-circuit audio or visual host in a physician’s or therapist’s office, hospital rooms, and the like.

Ultimately, if you have a question about the use of our audios – please give us a call to ask. The financial and time investment made to produce these audios is enormous.  Please help us to keep these great works at a reasonable price to you.

Oh, I almost forgot!  If you join our professional program via the online portal, you can ALWAYS gift a download to your patient or client for 10 percent off the regular rate.  The online application, where you choose your own login and password can be found here:

Feel free to contact me anytime about this issue. Thank you for referencing our authors’ names when playing their work publicly – and thank you for continuing to be the backbone of the Health Journeys family.  Talk to you soon!


(P.S. these rules hold true even if you purchase our audios from iTunes or Google Play – thanks!)