Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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15 Nov

We got this question from a woman whose therapist recommended she listen to our guided imagery to boost her progress in her treatment for Dissociative Disorder. DD is a condition, usually the result of traumatic events, where people experience involuntary disconnects from themselves, feeling detached from their body, their emotions and their current surroundings. People often describe it as if they were watching themselves from a distance.

We’re glad to get this question, because guided imagery can help a person who dissociates and “trances out” without even knowing it, and instead teach her to purposefully, positively dissociate, with a hypnotic technique targeting goals to help her heal.

14 Nov

We’ve been hearing from a lot of distraught, anxious, disheartened people this past week, asking what they can listen to, to help them stabilize their mood and reconnect with their own inner strength.

I’m still wrapping my mind around all of this, so I have nothing illuminating to say. But I can suggest some audio resources with some conviction.

I’ve listed some guided imagery and meditation suggestions, to give yourself or someone in your life in need of some extra support.  If you already use some of these, you might want to try something fresh and new. Feel free to browse our catalog for new finds, too.

11 Nov

About five years ago, we got a note from an amazing 75-year-old woman – a spirited and multi-talented author, corporate trainer, educator, motivational speaker and ballroom dancer – who was enthusing over her mastectomy. I just came across it again, and it dazzled me anew.

You have to check this out, in her own words, because you just can’t make this stuff up. It’s a shame the world has lost her, but surely she’s still dancing somewhere…

Here’s the story, with minimal editing for length:  

10 Nov

Researchers from Ben Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, Israel examined randomized, controlled trials measuring the efficacy of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a method that combines elements of exposure and cognitive therapy with acupressure tapping, for the treatment of anxiety.

As of December 2015, researchers found 14 studies involving 658 subjects (n = 658) that met the inclusion criteria. Results were analyzed, finding the pre-post effect size for the EFT treatment group to be 1.23 (95% confidence interval, 0.82-1.64; p < 0.001), as compared to the effect size for the combined controls, which was 0.41 (95% confidence interval, 0.17-0.67; p = 0.001).

The meta-analysis concludes that emotional freedom technique demonstrated a significant decrease in anxiety scores, even when accounting for the effect size of the control treatment.

08 Nov


Hi, Belleruth! I hope this finds you well.

Yesterday, I went to the ER with what turned out to be my first kidney stone... but (according to the CT scan) probably not my last.

I'm curious about using guided imagery for the pain (beyond endurance) and inflammation—but also to ease and enable the passing of kidney stones through the urinary system.

07 Nov

Hello, there. 

We often get asked for the best way to listen to our sleep imagery at bedtime, without waking up a spouse or partner.  This usually means ear phones, but most people complain that headphones and ear buds are too uncomfortable, and get in the way of sleep.  

I never felt I had a really good option for an answer, but I recently learned of a whole new industry that has suddenly sprung up like mushrooms after a spring rain – comfy, adjustable head bands with thin, flat headphones sewn into them. Of course!

They all get strong reviews and the pricing ranges from $10-$25.

04 Nov

When I first met Kevin several years ago, he was in a cervical collar and his ability to get around was severely compromised. When I saw him last week at a workshop, he was in dramatically better shape.  Here’s his story, in his own words:

In 2013, a friend introduced me to the Guided Imagery offered through Health Journeys and I've been using it since. She said "listening to the voices in your head will only get you so far. Make the effort and take the time to listen and learn from someone else."

I’d served 27 and a half years in the Army - 15 of those in Special Forces - The Green Berets. In 2010, 8 years after I retired - after using my body more than five people would in a life time in ways it's not meant to be used - my body caught up to me and I started experiencing severe degenerative cervical spine challenges. 

03 Nov

Researchers from the University of Michigan School of Nursing tested whether guided imagery plus usual care improved sleep and reduced inflammation over usual care alone, in a study with 52 patients immediately after cardiac surgery, in the ICU and the step-down unit. 

Outcomes measured at post-op days 1-4 were time to sleep onset, total sleep time, stress (as measured by salivary cortisol), and inflammatory response (as measured by C-RP levels),

Patients in the experimental group (n=27) got a pre-loaded MP3 player with the Health Journeys Healthful Sleep audio and a fleece headband with thin earphones in them.  They also wore wrist actigraphs to document their sleep. The controls (n=25) received treatment as usual (TAU).

01 Nov

Dear Belleruth,

I recently completed several hundred hours of training and now have my hypnotherapist certification. However, I am suddenly lacking any confidence in using what I've learned.

I have my website up, etc., and cannot seem to put together a session even for my brother, who is recovering from chemotherapy.

I want to cry - I learned so much and yet I am struggling to believe it. I think I am a natural at this and, during my studies, I worked with many people who thought my work was good.

This is just a huge lapse - as though I've fallen off a cliff.

Please help - and thanks, and blessings. Your work is amazing and helpful.


31 Oct

Hello again. 

I just discovered as I was reading a study from the University of Michigan School of Nursing, published in 2013, that the intervention it tested was our Healthful Sleep audio. Go figure! 

We’ll post the results on this week’s Hot Research page, showing that it helped post-cardiac surgery patients sleep better in the challenging ICU environment, and helped reduce post-op inflammation, as compared with usual treatment. 

I was delighted to see this, but it occurred to me that this was the third study that I’d discovered in recent months that used our imagery – each time a complete surprise to me.

That’s perfectly within any investigator’s rights – our audios are commercially available, and people can do what they want with them.

28 Oct

We got this email from a med-surg nurse working swing shifts, who suffered from sleep deprivation for years.  And although she knew about guided imagery from her patients, she had only associated it with having surgery. Here she is: 

27 Oct

In this small pilot, researchers from Oklahoma University Medical Center evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, and user satisfaction from patient-controlled relaxation and/or imagery interventions for the symptom cluster that so often accompanies cancer treatment: pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbance.

It also examined the data for trends in the efficacy of guided imagery and relaxation to reduce pain, fatigue, and sleep problems, even though the numbers were small.