Maggie DeMellier - Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys http://blog.healthjourneys.com Mon, 22 May 2017 17:30:59 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Are You a Pack Rat, Compulsive Hoarder, or Do You Fall Somewhere in Between? http://blog.healthjourneys.com/update-from-belleruth/are-you-a-pack-rat-compulsive-hoarder-or-do-you-fall-somewhere-in-between.html http://blog.healthjourneys.com/update-from-belleruth/are-you-a-pack-rat-compulsive-hoarder-or-do-you-fall-somewhere-in-between.html Are You a Pack Rat, Compulsive Hoarder, or Do You Fall Somewhere in Between?

Compulsive hoarding, holding on to possessions to the extent that it negatively affects every aspect of your life, is called Hoarding Disorder, and if this applies to you or someone you love, it’s time to get professional help.

In her blog post, A 61-Year-Old Woman Suffers from Compulsive Hoarding, Cluttering her House, Belleruth explained it this way: “If left untended, it can get quite extreme, with more and more of your life constricted and disabled by it. There is a biochemical and neurological aspect to this condition.

“Some people have so much accumulation, they will only have a narrow path from room to room, because canyons have been created by floor-to-ceiling stacks of newspapers and magazines. Stovetops, sofas and tables are buried. Fire and health hazards are created. And of course, your social life is constricted too - you’re too ashamed to have people over to the house. So are your kids.”

If you don’t fall into that category and you’re simply a pack rat, someone who needs to de-clutter, join the club. The term pack rat was coined to describe a wood rat that collects items to decorate its nest. This rat is particularly fond of shiny things and it will drop necessary items, even food, if it is distracted by something shiny.

The pack rat’s nest is festooned with shiny, superfluous objects that play no part in the animal’s survival. Sound familiar? If so, you are among friends. This topic is universal, and when we post blog articles that relate to everything from serious hoarding to simple de-cluttering, we get numerous requests to re-post them.

For many of us, clutter collects from mere time constraints. We throw things into closets, basements or spare rooms when company’s coming and it collects into piles that would take days to go through.

The trouble is, if you’re like me and you convert a spare room into an office, the clutter can affect the way you work, and according to feng shui, your prosperity. In fact, clutter in any room can have a negative psychological effect on the people who live with it, so you’re not off the hook if you’re a super-organized animal living in the nest of a pack rat.

The results of clearing clutter can be positively liberating, which is the reason for the popularity of Belleruth's post The Joy of Tossing Clutter. Check it out, and for some great tips, nine of them to be exact, on just how to do this, stay tuned for tomorrow’s Ask Belleruth blog post. (we can link to this after it’s posted).

Let us know your favorite tips for clearing clutter. We’d love to hear them. If you’re a pack rat or love someone who is, take comfort. It’s so common that there is a National Pack Rat Day, on May 17th. Celebrate by tossing an unnecessary item, and try not to replace it with something shiny.

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mdemellier@healthjourneys.com (Maggie DeMellier) Update from Belleruth Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400
Walking with Sorrow: What to Say and Do to Help a Grieving Friend http://blog.healthjourneys.com/update-from-belleruth/walking-with-sorrow-what-to-say-and-do-to-help-a-grieving-friend.html http://blog.healthjourneys.com/update-from-belleruth/walking-with-sorrow-what-to-say-and-do-to-help-a-grieving-friend.html Walking with Sorrow: What to Say and Do to Help a Grieving Friend

We, at Health Journeys, are always moved by the sincerity of the people who call us to ask whether we have anything that could help their loved ones, who are grieving. We are equally moved when we get calls from people seeking help for their own grief.

When this happens, I often reflect on Belleruth’s recent post, titled Do’s and Don’ts for the Bereaved and Their Well-meaning Friends. This subject is rarely covered. Her suggestions could help people make peace with their own sorrow, and minimize confusion for those of us seeking to console our grieving friends.

We never know when we’ll be called upon to walk with someone who is experiencing the sorrow of losing a loved one. For me, this happened recently when a dear friend, whom I’ve known for years, died suddenly. To say she had been a light in the lives of everyone who knew her would be an understatement.

She had been happy and healthy until a few minutes before she died, leaving her husband of more than 40 years, four grown children and many grandchildren in a state of shock. As I prepared to greet the mourners, I reflected on what I had read about what to say and do and I just connected with the compassion I felt for her family.

What amazed me was the tone of the comments I heard from some well-wishers. I’m certain most of them meant well, but as we have all done, they just said the wrong thing because they didn’t know what else to say.

Her death was a tragic loss that was actually palpable in the room where her family had gathered. It left a hole in the lives of those who saw her on a daily basis, yet people made comments such as, “You’re lucky she didn’t get old and suffer,” and “It’s good this happened now, while you’re still young enough to find someone else.”

Because we never know when we’ll need deal with grief, or reach for the wisdom to console a friend, I am happy to refer again to Belleruth’s Do’s and Don’ts for the Bereaved and Their Well-meaning Friends.

I am also happy to recommend Health Journeys’ Ease Grief, by Belleruth Naparstek, and Traci Stein’s Self-Compassion Meditations to those who are experiencing the loss of a loved one.

We have received feedback from many people, who tell us that Belleruth’s Heartbreak, Abandonment & Betrayal is also helpful for those seeking to mend the heartbreak of losing a loved one.

Walking with sorrow is never easy, but in the words of Robert Browning’s Along the Road, it has much to teach us.        

I walked a mile with Pleasure.                  

She chattered all the way.
But left me none the wiser

For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow.

And ne’er a word said she,

But oh the things I learned from her

When Sorrow walked with me.

As always, we welcome your comments, stories and feedback. We love hearing from you 

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mdemellier@healthjourneys.com (Maggie DeMellier) Update from Belleruth Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:00:00 -0400
A Reminder for iPhone, iPad and iPod Users: Free App Means Easy Downloading http://blog.healthjourneys.com/update-from-belleruth/a-reminder-for-iphone-ipad-and-ipod-users-free-app-means-easy-downloading.html http://blog.healthjourneys.com/update-from-belleruth/a-reminder-for-iphone-ipad-and-ipod-users-free-app-means-easy-downloading.html A Reminder for iPhone, iPad and iPod Users: Free App Means Easy Downloading

The Health Journeys staff members celebrated the implementation of the new HJ Player app last July, after fielding questions daily from iDevice users who were having problems navigating the old, multi-step process to sync the downloads they had purchased to their devices.  

Sometimes customers would get so frustrated they would simply give up and purchase our programs from iTunes, but not everything we carry is available there. 

We have a simple, easy solution for this!

Now, when you order one of our downloads, we’ll send you the link to our app – a free, top-of-the-line, Apple-style player, that lets you easily and quickly download our guided imagery.

If you want simple, step-by-step directions, we’ve got that for you, too. Copying and pasting is an important part of the process - if you aren't aware how, here's a quick guide.

The app plays beautifully, with exceptional sound quality. It allows you to keep, organize and play your HJ guided imagery collection. You can scroll through your picks and immediately access the segments you want. It’s as smooth, fast and clean as any Apple or MP3 player you’ve ever known and loved.

Other cool features of the HJ Player:

  • It consumes no bandwidth once your tracks are downloaded.
  • If your order consists of more than one title, touch/highlight each title on the grey Title bar, and download everything at once – quick and easy
  • It comes with a timer that can turn the player off whenever you like; it can also wake you or alert you at the time you choose.
  • A flexible repeat button allows you to manually re-play the audio mid-track, post-track or at the end of the program.
  • Once you’ve downloaded your programs, you no longer need to login—your programs can be accessed by scrolling the grey Title bar.

If you missed our big announcement last summer, or if you’ve forgotten how easy it has become to download our Health Journeys audios on any device, give the new app a try. We’re sure you will be as pleased as we are with it. And for all of you who were with us in the beta phase, please try our newest version – we appreciated all your input!

If you've previously purchased MP3 downloads from our website and would like to add them to the app, you’ll need to have a new password sent to you. Just email your confirmation number and a request for a password refresh to info@healthjourneys.com. Our staff will generate new password emails as quickly as possible.

As always, we welcome your feedback – all of which will go into future versions of the app.

A reminder for everyone, our New Year Sale ends at the end of the day on Wednesday, February 1st at midnight Eastern Standard Time. To get in on the savings, enter the code 17YOURYEAR at checkout.

The code will get you 20% off all single items.

It can’t be used on packs (which are already discounted), Playaways or gift cards. It also can’t be combined with other offers or used on past purchases.

What do you plan to do to make 2017 special? Let us know and tell us how you feel when the groundhog makes his prediction on Thursday, Feb. 2. We love hearing from you.

Happy savings and our very best wishes for 2017,

Maggie

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mdemellier@healthjourneys.com (Maggie DeMellier) Update from Belleruth Mon, 30 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500
Seven Simple Ways to Experience Self-Compassion http://blog.healthjourneys.com/update-from-belleruth/seven-simple-ways-to-experience-self-compassion.html http://blog.healthjourneys.com/update-from-belleruth/seven-simple-ways-to-experience-self-compassion.html Seven Simple Ways to Experience Self-Compassion

The benefits of being kind and accepting of oneself have been studied and widely publicized. It seems we are encouraged on a daily basis to be compassionate to ourselves, but sometimes it's tough to figure out just what that means and how to do it.

What is the difference between self-compassion and self-esteem, we wonder, between self-compassion and self-indulgence? Fortunately, there are as many answers as there are questions, and many people, including Health Journeys' own Dr. Traci Stein, are providing resources to help us through the maze.

"You should know that self-compassion is not the same thing as self-indulgence or self-pity. It will not prevent you from learning or taking responsibility, but it can help you see yourself with new eyes-those of a loving parent, kind friend or a wise and patient shepherd, even if you have not yet experienced that kind of acceptance."-- Dr. Traci Stein, from her new audio program, Self-Compassion Meditations, recorded this month with Bruce Gigax at Audio Recording Studios, in Cleveland.

traci-stein-bruce-gigax

Because self-compassion is simply a matter of being kind, there are many ways we can experience it right now.

  1. Plug in: Assess the way you treat yourself, and whether this is the way you treat your loved ones, children, pets or any other tender, vulnerable being. Connect with the being in you that deserves the same kindness.

  2. Unplug: Take a mini-break from the phone, TV, internet, e-mail and social media, if even for a short time. Shutting down the outside connections makes it easier to go inside and connect with the being at your center, the one to whom you send love and acceptance.

  3. 4400bBe present: "Mindfulness is most simply described as present-moment, nonjudgmental awareness. It is a practice that, although derived from Buddhist tradition, in essence is simply the active attention to and acceptance of the present moment, whatever that happens to be."—Dr. Traci Stein, from her book The Everything Guide to Integrative Pain Management.

  4. Practice Lovingkindness: There are many ways to access lovingkindness meditations. One of the best I've heard is a track from our Healthy Weight and Body Image audio program, by Dr. Traci Stein. An instant way to access this benefit is described by The Dalai Lama as simply stopping to take a breath. "As you breathe in, cherish yourself. As you breathe out, cherish all beings."

  5. Laugh and Play: One of the things we do with children and pets is play, another is laugh. Allow yourself to do these things and thoroughly enjoy them. Dance, even if there is no music, sing whether anyone can hear you, and let yourself have a belly laugh, even if it's the 100th time you have seen the Seinfeld episode.

  6. Monitor Self-talk: Notice the things you mentally say to yourself and how often you say them. Remember that you are speaking to someone you love.

  7. Give yourself a hug: The simple practice of wrapping your arms around yourself, taking a deep breath and stretching feels wonderful. Rather than focusing on this as an energy medicine exercise, even though it's a great one, think about who you are hugging. Send some compassion, the same way you would if you were hugging a loved one, because you are.

People often resist the idea of self-compassion, because they fear it will cause them to become selfish or treat others with less compassion, but the opposite has been found to be true. According to Jack Kornfield, "A quality of mature spirituality is kindness. It is based on a fundamental notion of self-acceptance. If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete."

For more information, check out Traci Stein's impressive array of resources on issues involving self-esteem, self-acceptance, body image and positive changes. Remember to be kind to yourself, as well as others, and let us know the many ways you experience self-compassion. We love hearing from you.

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mdemellier@healthjourneys.com (Maggie DeMellier) Update from Belleruth Mon, 15 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0500
Peace on Earth: Savor the Treasures of the Season http://blog.healthjourneys.com/news/peace-on-earth-savor-the-treasures-of-the-season.html http://blog.healthjourneys.com/news/peace-on-earth-savor-the-treasures-of-the-season.html

Somewhere amid the gifting, receiving and celebrating, it's nice to take a moment to savor the gifts the holiday season gives to us.


Rest:

huskies

If there is anything animals can teach us it's how to rest. When they are at rest, they are completely at rest. In the same way an icy cold snow bank appeals to a Husky and a warm, sunny windowsill appeals to a cat, we can find a space that appeals to us and allow the tension to drain away by savoring that space. The winter holidays offer us the opportunity to enjoy some well-needed down time.

"Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are"
~ Chinese proverb


Play:

leah

The winter holidays offer us an opportunity to play, whether it's with a child, pet, friend or your inner child. Anything from a walk in the park while noticing the whimsy of nature, a round of golf, playing in the snow or an afternoon with an adult coloring book and some crayons, play has long been recognized as an important element of balanced living and children can help us remember how to do it.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
--Plato


Peace:

peace-monument
Peace on earth; good will to all. One of the most cherished gifts the winter holidays have to offer us is peace. There is a feeling of stillness and love that seems to blanket the earth this time of year. People are more likely to open their hearts to help those less fortunate or make peace with people in their own lives.

"Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways." ~ Dalai Lama XIV

Wishing you all the best the season has to offer. Tell us your holiday tales and traditions. We love hearing from you.

Happy Holidays from your friends at Health Journeys

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mdemellier@healthjourneys.com (Maggie DeMellier) News Wed, 23 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0500
Health Journeys’ Shopping Mouse Simplifies Gifting http://blog.healthjourneys.com/news/health-journeys-shopping-mouse-simplifies-gifting.html http://blog.healthjourneys.com/news/health-journeys-shopping-mouse-simplifies-gifting.html Health Journeys’ Shopping Mouse Simplifies Gifting

Tis' the season to be jolly, but that's tough to do when you are stressed out about over-crowded to-do lists, last-minute shopping and what to buy for those special people who have been so good to you this year.

If you choose to let your mouse do the work, and shop online, check out our handy Online Gift Guide for inspiration.

If you have questions, need help deciding what to order or prefer to place a phone order, call 1-800-800-8661 to speak to one of our resourceful staff members, who double as holiday elves this time of year. We are in the office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST on week days (our office is closed Dec. 24 and 25).

Dates to remember, in order for your gift to arrive by Dec. 24:

  • Last day to order items that will be shipped via standard shipping (whether ordering online or by phone) is Thursday, Dec. 17.

  • Last day to order gift cards is Wednesday Dec. 23 (orders must be in by 1 p.m. EST). Our staff sends gift cards electronically.

  • Totally awesome, truly last-minute gifts are MP3 downloads. They can be ordered any time, including nights, weekends and holidays. They are sent to the recipient's e-mail inbox within minutes of order completion.

Guided imagery audios are great gifts that keep giving all year long. Don't forget to gift the giver with some well-deserved R & R.

By popular demand, here they are, two more of Belleruth's excellent tips to de-stress the holidays.

2015 GiftGuideDon't Be Proud – Get Support When the Chips are Down
Sometimes talking things out with someone you trust will allow you to safely acknowledge your feelings, let off some steam, get you away from circular thinking and rearrange your mislaid perspective. Sometimes, friends even have helpful advice to give. Sometimes, they actually stop us from doing something really dumb.

Practice Staying in the Moment
By mindfully going about your day, putting your awareness into what you are doing at the moment, you will be using even mundane, everyday activities as the focus of meditation, and simple as it sounds, you will regain peace and balance. Yes, peeling potatoes can be a route to spiritual attainment and inner peace!

To read the complete list of 13 sanity-saving tips, go to pages 1 and 2 of the Online Gift Guide.

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mdemellier@healthjourneys.com (Maggie DeMellier) News Wed, 16 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0500
Help from an Expert on Finding and Keeping Love Relationships http://blog.healthjourneys.com/news/help-from-an-expert-on-finding-and-keeping-love-relationships.html http://blog.healthjourneys.com/news/help-from-an-expert-on-finding-and-keeping-love-relationships.html Help from an Expert on Finding and Keeping Love Relationships

"Shirley is a psychotherapist who specializes in self-esteem and anxiety related issues, and is an award-winning (2003 Milton H. Erickson Award for Scientific Excellence) expert at helping people examine their patterns and change their behavior, thanks to the removed, safe perspective of a light, hypnotic trance state."—Belleruth Naparstek

Creating Satisfying Relationships
By Dr. Shirley McNeal

I am a psychologist who has been in private practice for more than forty years. During this period of time I have spoken with many individuals, both men and women, who want to understand their relationship issues in order to increase the possibility of finding partners who will be the right match for them.

Much has been written about love at first sight and finding your heart's desire, and we know about the laws of attraction and what brings people together in the beginning. However, after the initial infatuation wanes, what enables the relationship to continue in a satisfying and healthy manner? What keeps love alive and allows relationships to last?

7805bI have learned that there are relevant considerations to be aware of, and attend to, regarding the search for a lasting relationship. One needs to be ready for a relationship which involves dealing with the baggage from past relationships as well as exploring the nature of other significant relationships including the family of origin. Sometimes we can fool ourselves into thinking we want to be in a relationship, when subconsciously we really want to remain alone, or do not feel resolved about past relationships.

Once a person feels truly ready to find a partner again, how does one go about that? There are a myriad of ways to meet others, and it's important to try multiple avenues and find what works best for you. When you have met someone whom you feel strongly attracted to, how do you know that the potential is there for developing a satisfying relationship? There are important aspects to consider.

From my experience and knowledge of the relevant research, I have developed a series of recordings addressing those fundamental issues to consider when seeking a lasting relationship. Three audio programs separately focus on preparing for a relationship, finding a relationship and maintaining a relationship.

7810bThese recordings are not lectures but rather hypnotic suggestions. The listener is guided to enter a light, relaxing trance state, a state familiar to those who practice meditation, guided visualization, or yoga. In this trance state, your mind can resonate with those suggestions that are most relevant to you.

Listening to these recordings is similar to day dreaming or a reverie where there is a guide to suggest possibilities to you. Your mind can always reject ideas that seem inappropriate, but in a relaxed state, your usual critical facilities can be suspended to the extent that you are more open to suggestions than you might be in a fully conscious waking state.

Each recording is approximately 20 minutes long. You should not listen to them in your car, but rather in a quiet relaxing environment. Research has shown that listening to a particular recording each day for two to three weeks produces the most successful results.

I would recommend starting with the recording Preparing for a Satisfying Love Relationship then moving to Finding a Satisfying Love Relationship, and ending with Maintaining a Satisfying Love Relationship.

7815bFinding a satisfying relationship needs to be a project that you can fully commit yourself to pursuing. Utilizing these hypnotic methods will be enjoyable as well as facilitating your journey to seeking and finding true love.


Samples of Dr. McNeal's audio programs are available at the above links. To learn more, check out Belleruth's blog post New Hypnosis Downloads for Creating a Satisfying Love Relationship.

Tell us your love stories. As always, we love hearing from you.

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mdemellier@healthjourneys.com (Maggie DeMellier) News Wed, 09 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0500
Head Off Holiday Burnout: Gifts for the Giver http://blog.healthjourneys.com/news/head-off-holiday-burnout-gifts-for-the-giver.html http://blog.healthjourneys.com/news/head-off-holiday-burnout-gifts-for-the-giver.html Head Off Holiday Burnout: Gifts for the Giver

The great thing about giving yourself a gift is that you don't have to wait for a holiday to enjoy it. The really great thing about giving yourself a gift before the hectic holiday season is that an act of self-kindness can help access the creative, giving spirit in you and make it more fun to give gifts to others.

From a simple walk in the park to a mini-shopping trip just for you, there are many ways to reward yourself, and provide a well-deserved treat for body and soul. When you are feeling appreciated and rewarded, it's amazing how easily you can think of the perfect gift for someone, food to serve, outfit to wear and even find more time to savor the real meaning of the season.

Because you have been so good to us this year, Health Journeys is rewarding you by granting your requests for more aromatherapy products. Check out the aromatherapy goodies in our online store, just in time for holiday gift giving and self-giving.

Combine aromatherapy with guided imagery for a special treat for the senses. Try a little of your favorite scented oil while listening to guided imagery, then dab on a drop during the day and see if it evokes some of the same relaxing mind-states you experienced while listening.

"A pleasant aroma can be paired with hypnosis or guided imagery to further enhance the experience, and then the scent can be used independently to evoke the same inner state—whether of calm, self-confidence, commitment to change or restorative sleep."—Dr. Traci Stein.

We have received some great feedback from guided imagery fans who often pair our audio programs with our scented candles and other aromatherapy products. We are so convinced the two can work in tandem that we often combine our audio programs with aromatherapy items in money-saving packs, such as our Power Self Esteem Pack with Aromatherapy.

One of the best gifts you can give your generous, hard-working self is stress relief. Just in time for the busy holiday season, which often challenges the equanimity of the most serene among us, we have for you, Belleruth's Tips to De-Stress the Holidays. You will see the complete list of these wonderful, sanity-saving tips in the next few blog posts, but for now, here are a few:

  1. Take Care of Your Body
    Try to do all those things you know are good for your physical wellbeing: get regular exercise; take it easy on the caffeine, sugar and alcohol; get enough sleep; eat healthy food – you know this stuff. This is the baseline of stress reduction.

  2. Learn to Relax at Will
    Develop a regular practice to ground and relax you. If possible, start and end the day with guided imagery, yoga, meditation, relaxation, deep breathing, petting the cat in a rocking chair or listening to soothing music. Even five minutes, twice a day, will give you some protective ballast against the day's stresses. And if you can't manage this daily, do it whenever you can.

  3. Take a Mini-break When You're Getting Crazed
    When you find yourself starting to lose it, or butting up against your own rigidity or circular thinking, take a quick break. Step away. Go outside for a walk, do some guided imagery, snuggle your favorite toddler, play some music, call a loving friend or do a couple of yoga stretches. Five minutes of conscious AWOL can clear your mind and give you back your perspective, flexibility and common sense.

  4. Dose Your Day with Humor
    Humor, by its nature, provides instant distance, balance and perspective, if even for a moment. As long as it's not aimed at mocking others, it allows us to step back and take everything, including ourselves, less seriously. So practice the art of finding the ludicrous, paradoxical and nonsensical in daily events. And laughing itself is priceless. A belly laugh changes biochemistry and clears out emotional gunk like little else.

  5. Notice Little Moments of Beauty and Sweetness
    This sounds hokey but it works. Notice beauty around you and take a moment to breathe it in... same with a smile, a gracious act, a loving gesture. Practicing gratitude for these lovely bits and pieces of daily life is a potent way to de-stress, and it's contagious, too.

From your friends at Health Journeys, we hope you find many ways to enjoy the holiday shopping season. Tell us your tips. We love hearing from you. Happy gifting.

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mdemellier@healthjourneys.com (Maggie DeMellier) News Wed, 02 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0500
Respite: Care for Caregivers http://blog.healthjourneys.com/news/respite-care-for-caregivers.html http://blog.healthjourneys.com/news/respite-care-for-caregivers.html Respite: Care for Caregivers

The theme for National Family Caregivers Month is Respite: Care for Caregivers. It's a universal theme. Each of us has been a caregiver, needed a caregiver or loved someone who was a caregiver at some time in our lives.

When I think of family caregivers, what pops to mind is what I call the oxygen mask speech. Before taking off for a flight on a commercial airplane, passengers are given instructions by a flight attendant who tells them that if the air pressure in the cabin changes for any reason, an oxygen mask will be released to each person.

Passengers who are flying with small children or people who would need assistance in putting on the masks are told that it's important for them to put on their own masks before assisting the other person.

This makes perfect sense, but have you ever been on a plane when the oxygen masks burst forth? If you have, it's easy to understand how the caretakers often panic and immediately attempt to help the persons in their care, despite the advice they just received. In the same way, sometimes caregivers become so involved with the comfort and safety of the ones for whom they care, they neglect to care for themselves.

In the airplane scenario, the flight attendant or the guy sitting next to the caretaker is often the one who assists her in putting on her mask.

This reminds us that family caretakers often need our help and illustrates why it's a great idea to designate special times, such as the month of November, to remind caregivers to find ways to care for themselves, and remind their friends, neighbors and family members to support them in their selfless task.

9558bIn a Presidential Proclamation for National Family Caregivers Month 2015, President Barack Obama said, "Every day, caregivers across our country answer the call and lift up the lives of loved ones who need additional support. During National Family Caregivers Month, let us honor their contributions and pledge to continue working toward a future where all caregivers know the same support and understanding they show for those they look after."

To learn how guided imagery can help caregivers and the ones who love them, read Belleruth's blog post, A New Super-Strength Stress-Saving Pack for National Caregiver Month!

For helpful tips and links read the Caregiver Action Network's Ten Tips for Family Caregivers.

Tell us your experiences with caregiving. As always, we love hearing from you. If you are a family caregiver, we at Health Journeys commend you, not just during November, but always.

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mdemellier@healthjourneys.com (Maggie DeMellier) News Wed, 18 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500
A Reminder to Be Kind to Your Pancreas http://blog.healthjourneys.com/news/a-reminder-to-be-kind-to-your-pancreas.html http://blog.healthjourneys.com/news/a-reminder-to-be-kind-to-your-pancreas.html A Reminder to Be Kind to Your Pancreas

Because the pancreas is the organ responsible for insulin production, the best way to be kind to your pancreas is to follow the recommendations for treating or preventing diabetes.

During American Diabetes Awareness Month, we are urged to eat right, move more, sit less and above all—be aware of how our daily choices directly and indirectly affect our over-all health, whether we have diabetes, care for someone who has diabetes or simply wish to prevent it.

To stay abreast of the most recent information about diabetes, read the American Diabetes Association's 2015 Fact Sheet.

The subject of diabetes awareness reminds me of the pharmacy technician students I taught in anatomy classes. We had a small, transparent model of the human body that could be opened and the organs inside the abdominal and chest cavities could be removed. For an exam, I would lay each organ on a table and have the students name them and put them back into the proper place inside the body.

When each student finished, I noticed the organ that was often left out when they closed the body was the pancreas. The little, hard-working pink thing just hung out on the table because some students didn't know what it was or where it lived, much less what it did.

According to my son, who is a critical care nurse, I should have flunked anyone who left it out, because they would have killed the human model. "Do they know the pancreas is actually one of the most important organs?" he asked me. "It is an endocrine and an exocrine gland. It makes insulin and it supplies digestive enzymes. Without serious medical management, you cannot live without one."

Critical care nurses are acutely aware of the importance of the pancreas, because they often see the results when things go wrong. The experience told me my students needed more education about its function (which was not extensively-covered in the course material) and it underscored the need for diabetes education among the general population and the importance of awareness campaigns, such as the one held each November.

2111bListening to the rich imagery in Belleruth's Control Diabetes audio program, endorsed and distributed by the American Association of Diabetes Educators, is an excellent way to get a sense of the awesome role the pancreas plays in maintaining health.

To learn more about the role you can play in diabetes education, read the National Diabetes Education Program's Everyone Has a Role. What's Yours?

To hear the good news about the use of mind-body modalities in the management of diabetes, read Belleruth's Good News: Guided Imagery Really Does Make a Dent on Diabetes.

Let us know your thoughts and experiences. As always, we love hearing from you.

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mdemellier@healthjourneys.com (Maggie DeMellier) News Wed, 11 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500