Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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03 Jul

We got this marvelous email from a phobic driver, who got herself back behind the steering wheel by playing affirmations... she probably has no idea how much good company she's in with this challenge. Here it is:

I wanted to share my experience with affirmations and driving. Maybe if there is someone else like me, it might help.

I am 48 years old and am terrified of driving. I got my driver's license at age 16 as did all my peers, but never drove until I was 22 and starting my first teaching job after getting my degree.

02 Jul

In the great tradition of Aussie online mental health services, researchers from the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital performed a comparative evaluation of two online programs, hosted on a single website (, to help treat bipolar illness.

A basic version, called MoodSwings (MS), containing psycho-education material and asynchronous discussion boards was compared to a more interactive program, MoodSwings Plus (MS-Plus), combining the basic psycho-education material and discussion boards with elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. These programs were evaluated in a head-to-head study design.

Participants with Bipolar I or II disorder (n=156) were randomized to receive either MoodSwings or MoodSwings-Plus. Outcomes included mood symptoms, the occurrence of relapse, functionality, locus of control, social support, quality of life and medication adherence.

01 Jul

Fireworks: You can find a safe, public fireworks display in a nearby community, no matter where you live. If you're not a fan of crowds or loud noise, find a parking lot where you get a good view from your car, or go to a hillside where you can spread a blanket, sit or lie down and take in the splendor of the night sky, with or without fireworks.
Please don't use fireworks at home. I worked as a surgical technician in three states and I have stories from all three. Please don't allow your festivities to end in tragedy.

Friends & Family: Thich Nhat Hanh said it best, "The greatest gift you can give someone is your presence." Summer holidays offer excellent opportunities to connect with loved ones. Take the kids for a walk in the woods, have a picnic, back-yard barbecue or go someplace fun for dinner. Spend some alone time with a loved one or reach out to someone who would love to hear from you. Outdoor concerts and celebrations offer great ways to enjoy or re-connect with old friends and make new ones.


Free Time: For most of us, summer holidays offer more time to savor the season, kick back and just be. Whether you choose to begin or deepen a meditation practice or just spend an hour looking at nature or snoozing in a hammock. Enjoy.

To those hearty souls who work on the holiday, or over the holiday weekend, our hats are off to you. Without you, we could not celebrate, and we appreciate your efforts. Be sure to take some time to reward yourselves for a job well done.

Furry and Feathered Friends: Don't forget to make allowances for pets, who often need human companions nearby when their overly-sensitive ears pick up on the sound of fireworks, no matter how far away. Depending on your pet's level of discomfort, it might be prudent to have a pet-sitter (someone with whom the animal is comfortable) rather than leaving a treasured pet home alone. For tips on helping firework-phobic pets, go to

Freedom: No matter how you celebrate it or what kind of freedom stirs your heart, the Fourth of July--Independence Day—is all about gratitude for living in the land of the free. Let freedom ring!

As always, we love hearing from you. How do you spend your July 4th holiday? No matter how you choose to celebrate, have a safe, happy and fun-filled Fourth of July from your friends at Health Journeys.

30 Jun


My therapist told me that I should only listen to the guided imagery with headphones, but I don't see that recommended anywhere here.

Is there a more powerful effect with headphones?

Also, if so, is the same true for the affirmations?

Thanks so much!


29 Jun

Hello again.

Just a quickie reminder that Cindy's insanely successful Friends and Family Sale ends on July 5th. (Yikes, how did July happen so fast?)

If I remember correctly, it offers a whopping 20% off of anything that isn't already discounted. You can find a description of this terrific special promotion here.

I also want to remind you that our 'God-free' version of the posttraumatic stress affirmations is now ready in download format, free to any trauma survivors who were triggered or distressed or offended by the affirmation that makes reference to feeling safe in the hands of God. You can get all the back story and directions on how to get the download sent to you here.

26 Jun

This note arrived in the mailbox, and this is definitely not the first time we've heard these sentiments. There's something to be said for having your heart cracked wide open by all the love, care and appreciation that can surround a person who knows he/she is dying. Read on:

"I am a 69 year old man, in the hospital at the moment getting 5 days of chemotherapy treatment for another recurrence of a cancer that I've been fighting for 5 years. Realistically speaking, I probably have less than 6 months to live.

"I have an inspiring story of my own although it is obviously not about finding a miracle cure. I want to tell about the importance of friends and family, how they make all the difference, even though they can't cure this disease. I have been transformed by their love, concern and generous giving of time and work to me and my wife. It overwhelms me at times in a good way.

"I have always been a strong, silent type but lately my heart is touched many times a day. Tears fill my eyes from the affection and kindness people show. I understand I matter to them and that I contributed to their lives in a positive way. It is as if I can see myself and my life from outside myself, and it looks good. I am a happy man.

"My dear wife of 48 years shakes her head at the new me. My two daughters and son-in-law as well. I have meaningful conversations like never before. I thought this would be a worthwhile perspective for your readers. Blessings.


Robert M.

25 Jun

Researchers from Mind Matters Research in Anchorage, Alaska, conducted a multi-site randomized trial to evaluate the impact on quality of life (QOL) benefits of an imagery-based group intervention titled 'Envision the Rhythms of Life'(ERL).

Breast cancer survivors more than 6 weeks post-treatment were randomized to attend either five weekly, 4-hour group sessions at a community center with therapist present (live delivery (LD), n = 48), or with the therapist streamed via telemedicine (telemedicine delivery (TD), n = 23), or to a waitlist control (WL) group (n = 47).

Weekly individual phone calls to encourage at-home practice began at session one and continued until the 3-month follow-up.

Seven self-report measures of QOL were examined at baseline, 1-month and 3-month post-treatment times, including health-related and breast cancer-specific QOL, fatigue, cognitive function, spirituality, distress, and sleep.

24 Jun

"Post-traumatic stress produces legions of heroes, whose every day is a test of their mettle," writes Belleruth Naparstek, in Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal. "PTSD is far more common than most of us think. All of us know several trauma survivors who've suffered from it, and very likely someone very close to us has been in its nasty grip."

This year, in order to bring greater awareness to the issue of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how many people are affected by it, the United States Senate designated June 27th as National PTSD Awareness Day. In addition, June has been designated as PTSD Awareness Month by the National Center for PTSD (NCPTSD).

The National Center for PTSD has adopted the theme, Learn, Connect, Share to raise awareness that PTSD touches us all. If we don't have PTSD, we are almost certain to know someone who does. We might not know they suffer symptoms of this debilitating condition, because they are often reluctant to share their stories out of guilt, shame or fear of re-visiting the trauma.

23 Jun

I'm very new to guided imagery. After listening to Healing Trauma for a couple of weeks, I find that my mind now "goes off" somewhere (sort of like right before falling asleep, but not sleeping).

I am aware that thoughts are flitting in and out but I can't remember what I was "thinking" about or otherwise doing. And I have no memory of anything said on the CD. This usually lasts for most of the entire CD.

I feel relaxed when I "awake" but am wondering if, because I don't remember hearing anything on the CD past the first few minutes, if I am missing the whole point or IS that the whole point? This doesn't happen when I just listen to the affirmations. Thank you for your answer.


22 Jun

Okay, so a big thanks to our plucky, web-savvy Elizabeth Hauser (whom many of you have spoken with on the phone, especially if you're a health professional), for explaining to the rest of us what a Google Hangout on Air is. We'll now be hosting our very first live webinar on Thursday August 27th from 1-2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

This will be an open Q and A, back and forth, shoot-the-breeze, share-the-info with yours truly about any of your guided imagery questions, concerns, experiences, additions or corrections.

It's really easy to participate. The Hangout on Air platform allows for any number of attendees, who can type in questions and make comments as we roll along.

19 Jun

Dear Health Journeys and BR,

I am 64 years old. I was married for nearly 4 decades. Two years ago I lost my husband to a long, debilitating illness. Even though his death was expected, I was devastated. I became distraught, I didn't know what to do with myself. Every day was a burden. I became deeply depressed. I just wanted to sleep so I wouldn't feel the pain of the loss of my dear husband and best friend. My daughter became very concerned and made me see a counselor.

I feel that this wonderful, gentle, wise counselor and the guided imagery for grief that she gave me to listen to each day saved my life. I am not exaggerating. The imagery was a great comfort to me. I actually looked forward to it each evening. It became an oasis of peace, a time I could touch my husband again, through the love I still felt for him and always will feel for him. It was a time when the hurting and loneliness stopped. At first this was only while I was listening, but slowly it spread into other parts of the day. It was and continues to be a blessing and I wanted to say thank you.

Henry's Wife

18 Jun

Researchers from the Department of Nursing and Physical Therapy at the University of Almeria and Poniente Hospital in Almeria, Spain evaluated the effects of guided imagery as a nursing intervention for pain management and depression in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Guided imagery has been used for different purposes and it is thought to be an effective intervention for people suffering from nonmalignant pain.

They conducted an 8-week long, 2-group, quasi-experimental study with 60 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, who were randomly assigned to either a guided imagery group (n = 30) or a control group (n = 30).

The outcomes measures were pain scores from the McGill Pain Questionnaire long form (MPQ-LF) and a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS); and depression scores from the Beck Depression Inventory and a VAS for depression. Effects were examined at baseline, post-intervention (4th week), and at 8 weeks post-intervention.