Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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21 Nov

I worked as an art therapist on a dialysis unit in Cleveland, Ohio for five years. A music therapist (who made individualized tapes for each patient) joined me, and together we were successful in uplifting the mood and environment of the unit, both for the patients and the staff.

We were certain we prevented blood pressures from dropping when people worked with us, and attempted a study to prove this. Unfortunately, statistics got in the way and we were never able to finish the study.

Nevertheless, we remain steadfast in our belief that art and music therapies benefit and improve the dialysis experience.

Sara Dickman, M.S., ATR with Marianne Kallen.

20 Nov

Researchers from the University of Siena in Italy and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital/Harvard Medical School studied the neuro-anatomical and psychological impact of an 8-week mindfulness based stress reduction program (MBSR) on 23 subjects who were new to meditation.

The investigators analyzed several morphometric indexes at both cortical and subcortical brain levels, as well as multiple psychological dimensions, before and after the 8-week training, comparing the meditators to age-gender matched subjects.

18 Nov

Dear BR,

Your e-newsletter was recommended highly by a dear friend of mine, who is a hypnotherapist and part of the Verve newsletter and group. Recently my partner came down with CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome).

The rapid onset of this has put me in a tailspin of questions and wondering what to do. We have been lucky enough to get acquainted with a good doctor who specifically deals with this, but have found the majority of the medical profession turning the other way, because it is not curable with antibiotics and because they cannot tell what it is or where it comes from at this point.

18 Nov

Many people are curious about the birth of Health Journeys’ guided imagery, and they often ask us how the whole thing started. November recognizes National Lung Cancer Awareness and National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness, so it’s a good time to discuss Belleruth’s journey, beginning with her first guided imagery cassette tape created to help a woman undergoing chemotherapy.

Follow Belleruth’s journey from that first individualized tape to today’s array of audio programs, including the current version of A Meditation to Help You With Chemotherapy, which offers the central image of a lovely fountain of healing liquid, cleansing and clearing, and helping the body’s own natural defense system do its work.

17 Nov

Listen up, good people!

peter-levineOn Wednesday, November 19th, one of my all time favorite trauma experts – none other than the brilliant treatment innovator Peter Levine, creator of Somatic Experiencing - will be offering this week's free webinar for NICABM, as part of their new series, Rethinking Trauma: The Third Wave of Trauma Treatment.

Whenever I'm asked by a therapist which of the many new trauma therapies they should train in if they only have time for one, I answer that if they've got the time and money, Somatic Experiencing is the one. It's just such an elegantly effective protocol that makes the most sense, because it's body-based, just like trauma is, and because it's the least likely to create distress, activate symptoms or get clients stuck in ugly experiences of the past. (And by the way, it's superb for treating many conditions, not just PTS).

Again, it's free at the time of broadcast and you can sign up here.

14 Nov

We got this email from a beginning guided imagery practitioner working at a retirement home:

I am a student at a school for hypnotherapy and have contacted a retirement home to do guided imagery for residents. I am very excited to be starting my new career and have enjoyed getting my materials together for this exciting new opportunity. Books like Staying Well with Guided Imagery have been a great help to me in providing me with program material. [Ed. Note: Other books that offer fine guided imagery scripts for practitioners are Julie Lusk's two volumes, Andrew Schwartz's book and Marty Rossman's.

I want to say how very grateful I am for the available resources that are helping me launch my new career – especially at a retirement home with seniors as my clients. It is far more comfortable for them when I use the term, GUIDED IMAGERY, as opposed to calling what I do - hypnosis. Thank you for the opportunity to express my story.


13 Nov

Researchers from the Allina Health System in Minneapolis, MN and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health conducted a large, retrospective study to determine the use and effectiveness of integrative medicine therapies on pain and anxiety in cancer patients.

Data obtained from electronic medical records identified patients with an oncology diagnosis who were admitted to Allina, a large Midwestern hospital, between July 1, 2009 and December 31, 2012.

Outcomes examined were change in patient-reported pain and anxiety, rated before and after individual IM treatment sessions, using a numeric scale (0–10).

12 Nov
by in News

I was driving home from work tonight, and saw the old Cleveland landmark, Terminal Tower lit up purple.  It's pink in October for breast cancer, orange for home Browns games, and changes throughout the year based on whatever awareness, events or causes are being highlighted.  So this evening, I was certain the color was for Alzheimer's awareness.  It rang a chord with me, since just a few short months ago, my mother was formally diagnosed with the disease.

11 Nov


I have no current conscious memory of PTSD but I have the symptoms of it. (I wake up in the middle of the night screaming and I have panic attacks during the day.) I read Invisible Heroes, your book about PTSD, but every survivor had some sort of memory or recollection of their trauma. How should I go about healing if I cannot remember anything?


Dear Kara,

Not every trauma survivor in the book had a clear memory of what caused his or her posttraumatic stress symptoms, and it is not at all uncommon for memory to be clouded or missing, due to the burst of pain-killing biochemicals that flood the bloodstream during a terrifying event.

10 Nov

The past two decades have seen an explosion of research linking simple stress reduction practices with improved outcomes for people with diabetes.

Guided imagery, hypnosis, mindfulness meditation, breath work, acupuncture, yoga, reiki, qigong, biofeedback, mindful walking – there's quite a list. All seem to improve blood chemistry and promote greater well being. And guided imagery is particularly user friendly, practical and effective for people managing the everyday challenges of diabetes.

The reasons are pretty obvious. Stress increases the flow of cortisol and other stress hormones in the bloodstream, and they in turn increase insulin resistance, the production of bad cholesterol, hypertension and a host of other unattractive health outcomes.

07 Nov

We got this email a while back. A woman with PTSD, in therapy, very generously shared her journal entries with us, writing about her responses to the first two times of listening to the Healing Trauma imagery.

Here it is:

Dear Belleruth,
I have just listened to your Healing Trauma (PTS) CD for the 2nd time, as recommended by my counselor. What a gift! Please see below the notes I made after my 1st and 2nd time listening to this CD.

Oct. 15th, 10:00 PM:

I feel like I awoke from another world. My body was heavy & in a state of relaxation at first I didn't recognize – such a deep sleep had taken place. No tension in my jaw, no pain in my neck & shoulders, no worries, floating. I had fallen asleep while the CD was playing/repeating the positive affirmations a 2nd or 3rd time.

When I woke up it took me a minute to work out where I was, like waking up in a place that is not your own. I was so heavy and relaxed that I couldn't even think to pick up the pen. I feel free, relaxed & forgiven.

06 Nov

Researchers from the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Learning at the Swedish Institute for Disability Research at Linköping University in Sweden, performed a follow-up study to evaluate the outcome of an 8-week, internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) program for major depression, completed 3.5 years previous. Prior to this study, the longest length of post-treatment time for follow-up was 1.5 years.

A total of 88 people with major depression were randomized to either guided self-help or e-mail therapy in the original trial. One-third was initially on a waiting-list.
Treatment was provided for eight weeks and in this report long-term follow-up data were collected. Also included were data from post-treatment and six-month follow-up.