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Belleruth Naparstek

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.

Okay, so there I was, getting my all-time, favorite, annual indulgence, which never ceases to amaze and delight – The Winter Pedicure!!! – and I notice a sign on the wall of the salon, announcing a special promotion. It said,

Get your FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS COUPON! Buy a spa treatment for a friend and get one free for yourself!!

So, I says to myself, I says, Wow! What a great idea. We want to expand our subscriber base, get the word out about guided imagery to people who don't yet know what it is, let alone that it's the cheapest, easiest, most user-friendly 'treatment' of them all – we should do something like this with our downloads!!!

Researchers from Mackay Memorial Hospital and Medical College in Taipei City, Taiwan, evaluated the impact of guided imagery and relaxation on patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy in this randomized, 2-group, pretest-posttest, quasi-experimental study.

Sixty-five breast cancer patients were enrolled in the study and randomly assigned to the experimental group (n = 32) or to the control group (n = 33). Both groups received chemotherapy self-care education, but the experimental group also received relaxation with guided imagery training.

Here's a TED talk by psychiatrist Robert Waldringer, the fourth director of a 75 year old Harvard longitudinal Study of Adult Development, begun in the 30's, on what keeps us happy and healthy. (Actually, this is a study of what keeps men happy and healthy, just to pick a bone on who gets studied in most research ... but that's a battle for another day.)

The study looked at the lives of 724 men, from their teens into their 90's. Half were Harvard sophomores and half were from Boston's poorest neighborhoods. Sixty of the original men are still alive, most of them in their nineties.


Hi, Belleruth,
I had the pleasure of hearing you lecture at the University of Arizona Integrative Fellowship Program. I practice developmental and behavioral pediatrics, and frequently recommend your CDs to my patients with great results.

I am wondering if you know of any guided imagery CDs that specifically addresses tics/Tourette Syndrome? I know guided imagery can be helpful and I found a self-hypnosis script for tics in the "Harry the Hypnopotamus" series, but it would be great if I could find something on a CD, as the "Harry" books run about $90!

I see so many kids that are bothered by their tics and it seems to me this would be a great topic for guided imagery/self-hypnosis. Thanks in advance!

Dr. D.

Well, here in Northeast Ohio, winter is full-on upon us. After weeks and weeks of being spoiled by abnormally mild weather, we're suddenly negotiating ice and snow, frozen shut car doors, icy windshields, a lot of shivering, and a profound reluctance to go out and do things.

And by the Great Lakes, there's also this business of lake effect and consistently gray skies – not exactly the best thing for ebullience.

I just had surgery a few weeks ago and now I have a cold and was looking at getting your "Healthy Immune System" imagery. My question is this - I have MS that is well controlled at this time. Taking into consideration I just had surgery (any trauma, even controlled trauma, can kick up an exacerbation) and that MS is an autoimmune disease, is it okay to listen to this? Or could the imagery over-stimulate the immune system to a point of causing my MS symptoms to flair?

Thank you,


We got this message from a "Happy Tape User" after his surgery to remove a pituitary adenoma.

Best we can tell from sales, the use of guided imagery before surgery has really skyrocketed. Even on Amazon, Successful Surgery is a bestseller, way up there with with Healthful Sleep and Relieve Stress.

Here is the note:

Hi Belleruth,

First, I wanted to thank you for your guided imagery. I've used many of your titles over the years and have always been pleased with the results. However, I was extremely happy with the results on the last one I used: "Successful Surgery."

I had pituitary surgery to remove a pituitary adenoma. I listened to the imagery 3 times at bedtime for 3 nights prior to the surgery. The surgery was extremely successful, and my surgeons were happy with the results.

The imagery also gave me something I could do for myself to feel empowered going into the surgery. Four weeks out I'm doing great. Thank you.


p.s. If you liked this post, you might enjoy getting our weekly e-news with other articles just like it. If so, sign up here!

Researchers from several health institutions in Japan, in conjunction with Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield Iowa, examined changes in self-reported stress symptoms in 171 residents of two cities (Sendai and Ishinomaki) directly affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

The experimental group was given instruction in the Transcendental Meditation(®) technique and compared with 326 non-disaster Tokyo participants who were previously tested before and after they learned the technique, as well as a no-treatment control group (n = 68).

The participants completed a rating checklist of mental and physical symptoms.

Hey, good people!

traci-steinI want to call your attention to a smart, insightful, practical and downright useful article by Traci Stein on how to avoid those ubiquitous Resolution Failures in Psychology Today entitled 10 Tips for Creating Your Healthiest Self This Year.

Her advice is right on the money about how to avoid classic self-sabotage moves and instead rig your odds in favor success. And it's a quick, enjoyable read. Really, check it out. This girl can write!

Traci is the author of a super book, The Everything Guide to Integrative Pain Management, as well as the creator of four popular and much loved Health Journeys guided meditation/self-hypnosis audios.

Monday, 11 January 2016 00:00

What Can I Do with My Download?

Check out Elizabeth's crispy-clear reply to a question we get from you a lot (and we're grateful that you ask it): what are the permissible do's and don'ts for using HJ audios in our practice. It's all here:

We are often asked what is exactly the legal and proper use of our downloads by our professional members. At times, we are also asked this by our general consumers. I'm here to share the nitty gritty details, as well as offer a few ideas.

First, it should be noted that the license associated with these audios is for an individual. What this means is, when you download one of our audios, you are free to use this on your pc, laptop, tablet, mp3 player, phone or even to burn a blank CD for yourself. Many people make use of all of these media methods and hardware (I know I do!).

These downloads are great for use in the clinical setting when playing them for your client during a therapy session, or to offer a sample listen while a patient is with you. They are even great for playing in a group session! Those of you who have seen Belleruth live know what I'm talking about, and how simply powerful that use can be.

Now, that being said, it's important to note that the following actions are completely illegal and against the copyright:

  • Burning a blank CD of the downloaded audio tracks and giving it to someone else for their use.
  • Forwarding a digital copy of the audio to someone else for their use – this can be via email, cloud storage, USB drives, etc.
  • Loading the audio on ANY peer-to-peer network, and sharing same with others.
  • Loading the audio on to your personal YouTube, Vimeo, etc. channels – or any web-based host where others have access.
  • Using the audio in any form on any closed-circuit audio or visual host in a physician's or therapist's office, hospital rooms, and the like.

Ultimately, if you have a question about the use of our audios – please give us a call to ask. The financial and time investment made to produce these audios is enormous. Please help us to keep these great works at a reasonable price to you.

Oh, I almost forgot! If you join our professional program via the online portal, you can ALWAYS gift a download to your patient or client for 10 percent off the regular rate. The online application, where you choose your own login and password can be found here:

Feel free to contact me anytime about this issue. Thank you for referencing our authors' names when playing their work publicly – and thank you for continuing to be the backbone of the Health Journeys family. Talk to you soon!


(P.S. these rules hold true even if you purchase our audios from iTunes or Google Play – thanks!)