Sarah Andrews is a much loved faculty member at Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, who has used guided imagery to train her graduate students and for her own health and well being. Here is the story she told us:
It’s been a long time since a research team studied the impact of guided imagery on the symptoms and side effects suffered by chemotherapy patients – there were quite a few clinical trials in the 70s and 80s, but it’s been hard to find recent studies until now.
Researchers from Cyprus, Finland and Greece tested the effectiveness of Guided Imagery (GI) and Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) on a cluster of symptoms experienced by 208 chemotherapy patients - pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and retching, anxiety and depression.
An adult survivor of childhood abuse wonders if guided imagery can help her, with her diagnosis of complex PTSD, layered over many years; and if so, which should she listen to, given the limitations of her budget.
Read on as she tells her story and asks her question...
We hope you've sampled Julie Lusk’s new guided meditation audio, Yoga Nidra: Guided Meditations for Relaxation & Renewal. The downloadable tracks have been available for a couple of weeks, but the CDs are arriving this week and will ship as soon as we get them.
We’d been getting steady requests for a yoga nidra offering, and knew there’d be a strong response, but the enthusiasm and demand has surprised and delighted us.
Listen to what Julie herself has to say about yoga nidra – it’s pretty compelling.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.