Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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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.

08 Oct

"In this space, where all things are possible, you are the loving observer of the splendor and magic of your body, the gift of your life."—Traci Stein, from her new audio program on healthy weight and body image.

One of the many perks of working at Health Journeys is the opportunity for a sneak peek at new programs. As soon as I read a draft of the script for Dr. Traci Stein's new audio on healthy weight and body image, and a description of her Body Powerful exercise, I took it for a test drive.

I have used this exercise frequently since I read about it, and the first thing that happened was that I lost a lot of my morning crankiness. I love to do the exercise outside in bare feet (in a safe, clean, grassy or mossy space) to feel the energy from the earth. Wow, that's powerful.

You will have to wait for the new audio program to get Traci's expert instructions, but I can tell you that altering the stance you take when you get out of bed can have a powerful, far-reaching effect on many aspects of your being.

07 Oct

We got this question a while ago, and it's a great opportunity to talk about how fast guided imagery can work in a pinch... every study with our pre-surgical audio program supports the answer we provide here.

Dear Belleruth and Health Journeys:

I am interested in conducting research at my facility using your surgery audio program. How long prior to the patients scheduled surgery should the patient start listening to the imagery? Is there any evidence of its effectiveness if the patient only starts using it a day or two prior to surgery? Thanks.

John P.

06 Oct

Well, so I feel like I turned my attention away for a minute, diapered a grandkid, made myself a cup of coffee.. and while I was gone, trauma treatment turned on its head and transformed – again!

I kid you not, this is the fastest growing psych field I know.

If you're a busy clinician or a concerned family member, there's no way you can keep up with these new discoveries. I mean, NO WAY.

This is very exciting and wonderful, but a tad daunting, I gotta say.

03 Oct

This exuberant, creative, high spirited, affectionate video of what has been called The World’s Most Epic Marriage Proposal is bound to lift your spirits.  

What we want to know is, did this fabulous bunch of family and friends rehearse for months or are they just a ridiculously talented gathering of naturals? How long does it take to plan and produce such a video?  Is the lead dancer in the red dress a bona fide relative or a ringer?

Man, the ensuing marriage better be good!  The pressure is on, after such a production!

Do yourself a favor and join the 4,645,468 viewers (as of this writing) who watched this video.  It’s just a real kick.