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An Idiotically Simple Way to Beef Up White Blood Cell Counts with Guided Imagery

04 Aug

Dear Belleruth,

I am looking for GI [Guided Imagery] for a friend who has completed initial chemo for leukemia, but now needs help restoring a healthy WBC [white blood count] - her count is too low to do another chemo round, or to leave the hospital.

From the samples I listened to, the "Fighting Cancer" GI doesn't seem quite right for her now, nor the "Healthy Immune System" GI  (which seemed to focus more on eliminating viruses & mobilizing fighter WBC).

She needs to grow new & more WBC -- that are healthy, and in correct proportion. I think maybe the "General Wellness" GI would be best -- because I know healing is optimized in deep relaxation states.

Do you have any specific recommends for her situation?

After she has recovered enough, she will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant & I see you have a GI specifically for that -- (which is great, but I think it's too soon for that.

ALSO, another question: I want to send her an mp3 but not sure how to do that -- can I purchase it but have it sent to her email? It would be easier for her to use an mp3 (rather than a CD) in the hospital. Thank you for your help.

Dear Veronica,

Thanks for the great question.
 
Your assessment of our available imagery offerings for your friend's situation is spot on. General Wellness would be a good, all-round program for her to listen to, but not really as specific as she could get to promote a higher count.  The Immune System imagery is also a good choice – should beef up those white counts some.

But you’re right - your friend can be far more targeted with her imagery, and in a very effective, if almost laughably simple way.  (I say this with some confidence because I've seen it work many times - this issue of needing higher white counts for the next treatment comes up all the time with chemo patients).
 
Once or twice or even a half dozen times a day, your friend can put the flat palm of her hand over her thymus gland - that's the funny little double-lobed gland, kind of like a shrunken plum, that sits right smack under the middle of her breastbone.

There's a picture of what it looks like and where it's located, courtesy of Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thymus)
 
She can imagine that the warm energy from her hand is slowly and steadily entering her body, infusing her breastbone and then moving through it and into her thymus gland with a powerful, warm, nourishing energy (she will feel it - the more she imagines this happening, the warmer her hand will feel).
 
She can amplify this sensory image with a metaphor, if she wants, by imagining that her thymus is like a peach, ripening on a tree branch, with help from the warm energy of the sun, which is infusing it 'til it's all plumped up and juicy, a beautiful gold-pink color, fuzzy and fragrant, bursting with sweetness... or something like that.

But either way, this amped up thymus is now vital and alive with energy, loaded with powerful mojo and producing huge supplies of white blood cells, and these little soldier cells are eagerly bursting into the bloodstream, cruising around, doing what they were born to do - protect the body from outside invaders.
   
Then she can have a specific number in mind (this is the crazy but fun part).  She can get from her nurse or doc the number she needs to have in order to proceed with treatment. Generally speaking a normal white blood count ranges between 4,300 to 10,800 cells per cubic millimeter, but she should ask what she should aim for in this situation.
 
And then, at random times during the day, for just a moment or two, she can close her eyes, take a deep breath, put her palm down over her thymus and picture the number, even saying it to herself or even imagining that she's writing it, over and over again, throughout the day.  For whatever reasons, mystical, magical or practical, this works. Wacky but true. It will speed up her inner white cell refurbishment.
 
Please have her give it a try and let me know how it goes.  It's kind of fun to take charge of your immune system in such a specific way, and the outcome provides a wonderful sense of efficacy and empowerment. You can’t help but be tickled with yourself!

And yes, the Bone Marrow Transplant imagery will be perfect for her, but not now.
 
And MP3’s need to be ordered online, but if you need help with this, our awesome office staff is happy to help you.  We can even provide a gift e-card to go with it, with your personal message on it.  

All best,
Belleruth

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award