Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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03 Mar

We got this touching, inspiring note from Kelly, whose husband, died at a very young age -  33 - from a very difficult kind of cancer.   

Many new widows would have needed to just stay put and grieve for two to three years – sometimes that’s exactly what is needed and the essence of sound self-care and deep wisdom, to just stay put and heal.  

But Kelly had a “call to action” that was the right thing for her, and a great help to others. Check out how she created “Bobby’s Toolbox”, to honor the memory of her carpenter husband and provide help to others.  Here is her note:   

02 Mar

Researchers from Cyprus University of Technology explored the effect of Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) and Guided Imagery (GI) in reducing anxiety levels among parents of children diagnosed with any type of malignancy receiving active treatment at a pediatric oncology Unit.

In this randomized, non-blinded, controlled trial, 54 eligible parents were randomly assigned to either the intervention group (PMR and GI) (n = 29) or a control group (n = 25), where changes in anxiety levels (HAM-A) and mood (POMSb) were assessed.

28 Feb

We handed off this question about a 10-yr-old boy’s extreme separation anxiety to none other than nationally known child psychologist, Charlotte Reznick, PhD, a widely respected authority on such matters. Dr. Charlotte wrote the bestselling book, The Power of Your Child's Imagination, teaches and lectures, writes for Psychology Today and Huffington Post, and creates  guided imagery audios for children, some of which we proudly carry in our catalog.

Dr. Charlotte offers some really smart suggestions to this concerned father. Read on!

27 Feb

I’ve been happily noticing the uptick in Integrative Health Departments and holistic wellness centers, popping up in hospitals all over the U.S. It seems like a critical mass has been reached, and now they’re really proliferating. This is very good news for patients and for health care.

I hand the bulk of the credit to Andy Weil, MD and Victoria Maizes, MD, who’ve been transforming medicine, doc by doc, N.P. by N.P., P.A. by P.A., with their two-year, 1,000-hour Integrative Medicine Fellowship Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson.  Many of their graduates are now running those IM hospital departments you and I are visiting.

Speaking of which, I recently visited the very impressive Connor Integrative Health Network at University Hospitals of Cleveland. 

24 Feb

We got an email from a 37-year-old man who began using guided imagery after reading a review on Amazon about mind-body approaches. He started using David Illig’s Weight Loss audio, alternating it with Martha Howard’s Freeing Yourself of Excess Weight, and BR’s Weight Loss imagery.

He combined that with a serious uptick in weekly exercise, and after five months, lost 45 pounds. 

Here is the ancient review from Amazon that motivated him:

I began a weight loss program on May 20, 2002. I purchased the Naperstek (sic) tape and began listening to it two weeks prior to starting my diet and exercise program. I don't know how it happened, but truly this tape helped me re-direct my subconscious mind from negative/guilt thinking to a positive/self-esteem mindset.

23 Feb

Researchers from King’s College, London and Curtin University, Perth, compared two approaches to reducing worry in people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). In one group, volunteers with GAD practiced replacing the usual form of worry with images of possible positive outcomes; in the other group, the same positive outcomes were represented verbally. A control group generated positive images not related to worries.

Participants received training in their designated method and then practiced it for one week, after which they were reassessed. Four weeks later, they completed follow-up questionnaires.

21 Feb

Dear HJ:

I’m a geriatric nursing supervisor who works in a nursing home where we are constantly dealing with confused elderly, who are awake all night and sleep most of the day away. I would like to try some new tools. My daughter suggested guided imagery for sleep or agitation. Do you have any suggestions on what audio program would work best for those in various types and stages of dementia? Does a technique like guided imagery have any influence over a compromised brain?


20 Feb

Hello there, everyone.

Not so long ago, people in treatment for cancer were encouraged to put up a good, optimistic front, stay “positive” (whatever that means), and be “fighters” in their “battle” to “defeat” their disease. Now, this fits naturally for some personalities, but certainly not for everyone. And it raises more questions than it answers.

Luckily, we’ve gotten smarter since those days. Putting on a “happy face” doesn’t make cancer go away any more than feeling scared, sad, angry or discouraged makes it worse. 

This simplistic idea was popularized in the 80s, when we were under the spell of the “new” idea that there was a mind-body connection (doh!). And yes, there is indeed.. But imposing a childlike cause and effect relationship between “good” feelings and healing cancer, and “bad” feelings and getting sicker, is just plain misguided and incorrect.  And it’s scary, too, because it means that every time you feel worried or upset, you think you could be making yourself sicker.

17 Feb

This note was posted on our website last week. We get a lot of these, and we are grateful for each and every one, including the critical feedback that tells us what wasn’t so helpful. But there was something about this post that was especially heartening and encouraging – and important for other survivors to see. Please have a look. We’re showing it verbatim, exactly as it was written on our page for our Guided Imagery for the Three Stages of Healing Trauma: Nine Meditations for Posttraumatic Stress.

We also want to thank G.S. for this eloquent testimonial to the power of guided imagery. Her words mean a lot to us.

16 Feb

Six critical care nurses from the Beaumont Hospital System in Royal Oak, Michigan examined the impact of guided imagery and clinical massage on the pain,  anxiety and sleep quality of 288 in-patients in 2 floors dedicated to Progressive Care (otherwise known as the Step-Down Unit, a mid-way place between intensive care and regular care on a med-surg floor).   

On one floor, each patient was offered daily a 15-minute complimentary clinical massage On the other floor, patients were offered a 30-minute guided imagery recording.  

14 Feb

Corinne wonders about her inability to fall back to sleep once she’s been awakened at 2 am to visit the bathroom, and wonders what it means and what she can do about it.  She worries this means she has an underlying health problem...

13 Feb

Listen up and save the date, good people of Cleveland, Akron, and Northeast Ohio! The Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development is having its free, one-day conference for parents, early learning educators, social workers and mental health professionals, on what makes young children tick and how to support their healthy development.

It’s on Saturday, April 29th, from 8 am to 3:30 pm in Shaker Heights at the Center.

And this year, they’re adding a new track for parents.