Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

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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?

Kris

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. 

10 Feb

Margaret Dubay Mikus, a poet, photographer and all-round brainiac with a PhD in molecular genetics, discovered she carried a mutation in one of the “breast cancer genes” (BRCA2) when she had a new bout of breast cancer. After much deliberation, she decided to go for the option of bilateral mastectomy, plus removal of her ovaries and Fallopian tubes. Pretty extreme, you might think, but this is a recommended treatment with her medical history and this gene.

09 Feb

Investigators from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant University, Fresno campus conducted a meta-analysis to determine the efficacy of hypnotherapy techniques in reducing symptoms of posttraumatic stress.

Altogether, 81 studies were reviewed for inclusion criteria. Only the outcomes of six studies representing 391 participants met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed for this report. 

Evaluation of effect sizes related to the PTS cluster symptoms of avoidance and intrusion, in addition to overall PTSD scores after hypnotherapy treatment, revealed that all studies showed hypnotherapy to have a positive impact on PTSD symptoms.

07 Feb

We got this question from a man in a high-pressure job, who asked if we have any guided meditations to help him with his anger and “impulsive blurting out” of unkind words. His goal is to stop and think before speaking and train himself to become a respectful listener and nicer person. Pretty impressive. Here it is...

Question:

Anything on anger? May blurt out an unkind word or something so stupid.  Want to learn to be extremely nice and very respectful, To stop and think before I say anything.

Philip