Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

You are here: Home Posttraumatic Stress Maggie DeMellier
Maggie DeMellier

Maggie DeMellier

Maggie DeMellier has been Health Journeys go-to customer service representative and marketing associate since March 2012. She worked as a surgical technician and pharmacy technician before she earned a BA in Mass Media Communication at The University of Akron. She operates a freelance writing business, specializing in medical ads, news articles, police blotters, features and business writing.  She was a teacher at a career college for six years, and earned a MA in Forensic Psychology in 2010. Maggie is the co-author of Parenting by Law or Grace, published by Synchronisity Press, in 2004.

Each year, around Thanksgiving, we resolve to celebrate the real meaning of the holidays. We vow we will be kind to others and to ourselves, not over-eat, or drink too much and above all, we plan to avoid the excessive stress we usually experience during this festive season.

Despite our good intentions, we usually end up running ourselves ragged. Impossibly high expectations and additional chores that complicate already overloaded schedules often create an overwhelming sense of disappointment, rather than the joyous holiday spirit the season promises.

Sometimes, even our plans to avoid stress are so complicated they actually create it. Just for you, and just in time for the holidays, here are some simple, do-able tips to help you avoid holiday burn-out:

Many people are curious about the birth of Health Journeys’ guided imagery, and they often ask us how the whole thing started. November recognizes National Lung Cancer Awareness and National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness, so it’s a good time to discuss Belleruth’s journey, beginning with her first guided imagery cassette tape created to help a woman undergoing chemotherapy.

Follow Belleruth’s journey from that first individualized tape to today’s array of audio programs, including the current version of A Meditation to Help You With Chemotherapy, which offers the central image of a lovely fountain of healing liquid, cleansing and clearing, and helping the body’s own natural defense system do its work.

Our grandparents and their elders called it 'sugar' or 'sugar diabetes' and warned us not to eat too many sweets or we would come down with it. As early as Hippocrates' time, diabetes was diagnosed, because the first physicians were courageous pioneers who changed the practice of medicine by taking it from the realm of magic to the diagnosis of physical symptoms.

They used rudimentary techniques, such as observing the color, consistency, odor and taste (yes, taste) of bodily fluids. These physicians noticed that people with diabetes produced too much urine and that it tasted sweet and attracted ants.

Hippocrates didn't include diabetes in his compendium of treatments, because he considered it incurable. However, his recommendation to give every individual exactly the right amount of nourishment and exercise, in order to achieve optimum health, would translate well to today's preventive measures for Type 2 Diabetes.

If you're looking for lively, controversial conversation, introduce the topic of Daylight Saving Time. The concept of stealing an hour of daylight by rearranging our days, changing the time on our clocks and attempting to manipulate our natural circadian rythyms seems perfectly acceptable to some people.

"An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later."—Winston Churchill, obviously a fan.

On the flip side, consider this anonymous comment, "Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket," and Harry S. Truman's comment, "Daylight Saving Time—a monstrosity in timekeeping."

In my 20 years of police reporting, I have seen a lion's share of domestic violence reports, and in every one, I feel the pain, fear and despair that could not be written in the allotted space. Police reports are often the culmination of stories that span decades of abuse.

Police officers and emergency medical and health care workers respond to these crises every day and go over and above the call of duty. Police, who are usually first on the scene, do what they can to assist the victims, sort out the facts, make temporary provisions for children and pets and arrest the perpetrators, but it doesn't end there, or in the courts or the prisons.

Question: What do chic fashion accessories in pink swirls have in common with Health Journeys and cancer research? The answer is Vera Bradley, a Fort Wayne, Indiana company, founded by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia Miller in 1982. Health Journeys donates a portion of proceeds from its Pink Ribbon Survive & Thrive Pack to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research to support breast cancer research initiatives.

The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research is the single largest donor to the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center's breast cancer research program, with gifts and pledges totaling more than $20 million, enabling researchers to make worldwide impact in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

"In this space, where all things are possible, you are the loving observer of the splendor and magic of your body, the gift of your life."—Traci Stein, from her new audio program on healthy weight and body image.

One of the many perks of working at Health Journeys is the opportunity for a sneak peek at new programs. As soon as I read a draft of the script for Dr. Traci Stein's new audio on healthy weight and body image, and a description of her Body Powerful exercise, I took it for a test drive.

I have used this exercise frequently since I read about it, and the first thing that happened was that I lost a lot of my morning crankiness. I love to do the exercise outside in bare feet (in a safe, clean, grassy or mossy space) to feel the energy from the earth. Wow, that's powerful.

You will have to wait for the new audio program to get Traci's expert instructions, but I can tell you that altering the stance you take when you get out of bed can have a powerful, far-reaching effect on many aspects of your being.

"Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all."—Bill Clinton

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week in recognition of efforts by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to raise awareness and end the stigma and secrecy surrounding mental illness.

Since 1990, Mental Illness Awareness Week has become a NAMI tradition. It presents an opportunity for state organizations and affiliates across the country to work together in communities to achieve the NAMI mission through outreach, education and advocacy.

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, created to make us aware that for every child who is diagnosed with the disease, there is a story that will break your heart and at the same time give you hope.

One such story of heartbreak and hope involves a stretch of interstate highway, here in Northeast Ohio, where as if on cue, a sea of sunflowers burst forth to welcome September and honor Maria McNamara, who died of a rare brain cancer at the age of seven.
 
Maria’s parents and friends planted the sunflower seeds in an empty field, near a billboard with her picture and a message that said, “Planting Hope.” They were hoping a few would bloom in time for September. As August came to a close, thousands of sunflowers sprang up in a farmer’s field, spanning a mile-long stretch of I-90, greeting an estimated 90,000 travelers each day, in memory of a little girl who, in the midst of her illness and challenges, prayed for other children. Read Maria’s story here.

sunflowers

In 1894, Congress designated the first Monday in September as a national holiday, dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. Read the interesting facts about this holiday on the U.S. Department of Labor website.

For some of us, Labor Day marked the end of summer, and in its aftermath, we are putting away the shorts, bathing suits and white clothing and getting out the winter garb. Really? It’s 86 degrees outside. Nowhere in the language of its designation of Labor Day did Congress prohibit swimming or wearing white clothing after the holiday.
 
Do you wear white after Labor Day? I do. I guess I figure if it was good enough for Coco Chanel, who flew in the face of the popular taboo by wearing white everything year-round, it’s good enough for me.