Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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30 Sep

Dear BR and Health Journeys,

For eight months, I was a full time caregiver to our severely brain-injured teenage son, after six months of hospitals and a dozen surgeries. He is now confined to a state mental hospital by court order, because of the dangerous behavior caused by the TBI.

When he was home, caring for him was constant, and felt so lonely. I worried no one else could do it as well – and also that he would feel abandoned if it wasn't me there looking after him.

I never got any real rest, because I had to get up every couple hours to check the breathing equipment. I tried to eat well, but I’d end up either overeating junk or forgetting to eat altogether.

I constantly felt inadequate, because I was tired all the time, and craved some kind of joy again in my daily life. I also felt terrified he would die. And of course I worried for my other children, and had trouble letting them out of my sight, for fear they’d get hurt too. 

29 Sep

Researchers from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Mashhad, Iran, investigated the effect of guided imagery on maternal-fetal attachment in 67 nulliparous women (women with no children) experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. The average woman’s age was 24 years, and most had a high school education.

The women were randomly divided into two intervention groups (n=35) and a control group (n=32). Assessment measures included a demographic form and London, DASS 21, and the Cranley Maternal-Fetal Attachment Questionnaire.

27 Sep

We got this unusual, very interesting question from one of our readers, and thought we’d share it.  She knows she turns people off in social situations, but doesn’t know why or how to stop it and start doing something else.  Check it out.

Question:

Dear BR,

I feel like I’m the opposite of the introverted, socially avoidant person who sidesteps rejection by shying away from people. I’m so outgoing, I turn people off by over-talking and thrusting myself into the middle of everything.

How can I moderate my need to be with people with more subtle, acceptable behavior? I’m in my forties. Is it too late?

Louisa

26 Sep

I’m really looking forward to being at the one and only Healing Beyond Borders conference, held in Colorado Springs between October 6-9th.

If you want to feel the embrace of a wonderful community of gifted healers, while learning some terrific new stuff and getting inspired and tanked up on purpose and meaning, this is the place for you to be.

I’ll be talking about and demonstrating guided imagery for cultivating intuition at my morning keynote on Saturday the 8th, and on guided imagery for healing posttraumatic stress in my workshop that afternoon. 

23 Sep

Dear Health Journeys,

I’m one of those trauma survivors Belleruth writes about in Invisible Heroes, who went from being a barely functioning mess (and sometimes not functioning at all) – even hospitalized for catatonia and other diagnoses of severe mental illness (what I would call a “normal” response to the sadistic abuse I experienced in my abnormal family context) - to a dedicated, joyful, energized and highly functional incest and domestic violence therapist. I love my work wholeheartedly and take pleasure in knowing I make a big difference in the lives of a lot of people.

22 Sep

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin examined the effects of a guided imagery intervention on the perceived stress of pregnant adolescents.

Thirty-five pregnant adolescents, recruited from a local alternative education program, participated in a guided imagery intervention, listening to a pregnancy-specific guided imagery recording on four separate occasions during their pregnancies.

20 Sep

A health educator who leads group guided meditations at a non-profit wellness center, reports that he has not received any formal training in mind-body approaches, and mainly just “wings it”. He wants to know where he can learn more about guided imagery. He writes:

I heard your keynote at a conference and was impressed with the whole idea of guided imagery exercises. I work as a health educator in a non-profit wellness center and have been leading group guided meditations.I have found some resources and done some reading, but mainly I just wing-it. 

19 Sep

Hello again. 

September is National Recovery Month (from substance use disorders), and October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As you probably already know, these two issues are often connected.  One can cause the other, or at least feed it, and vice versa. 

They’re also both associated with shame and silence – the cloak of secrecy that allows self-hatred and harsh self-judgment to thrive and grow. Shine a little light on these issues, talk about them with the right people at the right time (not the ones who will judge and shame you, thank you very much) and the power of shame evaporates.

16 Sep

Dear Belleruth,

My name is Bonnie M. I'm a married, 52-year-old mother of three sons, and I teach elementary school. The past year and a half has been extremely hard on our family. Our oldest son, Maxim, age 26, died of a drug overdose at our home. He was a bright, gifted young man who struggled with bipolar disorder.

Then three months later, my wonderful father passed away of an inoperable cancer in his gut.

Six months later, a very close friend died in a car crash, practically in front of our house. This friend had been an advocate and friend to Maxim and our family during his chaotic and tumultuous teen years, and helped us greatly in our grief when he died.

15 Sep

Researchers from New York Medical College, Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medical College evaluated the impact of the Breath-Body-Mind Workshop (BBMW) (breathing, movement, and meditation) on psychological and physical symptoms, as well as inflammatory biomarkers in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Twenty-nine IBD patients from the Jill Roberts IBD Center were randomized to BBMW or an educational seminar.  Measures were taken at baseline and weeks 6 and 26, using the Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Brief Symptom Inventory 18, IBD Questionnaire, Perceived Disability Scale, Perceived Stress Questionnaire, Digestive Disease Acceptance Questionnaire, Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire. In addition, C-reactive protein, fecal calprotectin and other physiological measures were obtained as well.

13 Sep

Sometimes a complicated question deserves a complicated answer. And sometimes what a person appears to be asking is just the tip of the iceberg and not what she’s really concerned about.

And finally, sometimes, it actually helps to be an experienced therapist to know the difference. This wonderful question comes from a therapist herself, who is bravely moving forward with her life, in spite of a lot of trauma, pain and injury.  Read on!

12 Sep

Hello again.

Here’s a serious question for you: how are you managing the impact of this unusually ugly, mean-spirited election cycle? How do you deal with all the poison?

Yes, I know – we thought the rhetoric two years ago set the bar for “gratuitously nasty”, and we said the same thing two years before that. 

Little did we know that this year, we’d set a new standard for down and dirty, and it’s hard to say how much farther down we can slide before hitting rock bottom. Rock bottom seems to be a moving target, but we just may have arrived. 

Have you noticed how few bumper stickers and lawn signs are up, promoting a candidate? Surely that’s because people are afraid to get rear-ended on the road, or find rocks sailing through their windows at home. Fury has been unleashed and primitive impulses set loose.

Let’s face it. We aren’t so pretty anymore.