We got this funny, appreciative and very enthusiastic email last week from a nurse who was able to benefit from guided imagery for surgery, pain and sleep, and then weight loss, to the tune of dropping 40 pounds.
Guided imagery may not be for everyone, but clearly this particular woman has found her go-to intervention!
I was introduced to your guided imagery by my therapist. She is the only one with whom I have ever made significant changes, and she taught me so many valuable things to navigate life.
I used your surgery and pain management recordings while undergoing life altering medical stuff. It was a great help in calming the freak-out factor.
Then the sleep work was fabulous, because the insomnia was taking me over!
But the reason I am writing today is that yesterday I hit my weight loss goal of 40 pounds. This is tremendous for me. Not only is the weight off, I am calm and "better for this".
By the way you address that place in my mind (I could point to it!) I am just losing weight and not having to take on the task as a part-time job. The re-programming is working! And with the added bonus of sleep.
So a big thank you for your commitment to mental health and expansion. I am a nurse and talk to those who are interested like a converted whore!
So know that if I were a puppy I would have my whole body wagging.
Nancy M., aka Madge
A woman who survived early childhood trauma writes about being able to sleep again. Here is what she emailed us:
“Belleruth - You are an important part of my life. I go to sleep to your voice each night! Really, I do. Your guided imagery has helped me move through troubled waters often as I have worked intensely with a therapist to heal from years of trauma beginning in early childhood. I began listening to Healthful Sleep several years ago as I struggled with persistent insomnia. It was wonderful! I was able to sleep. I was able to go to sleep and I was able to sleep without intrusive memories and flashbacks most nights.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial to assess the initial efficacy of a patient-controlled cognitive-behavioral (CB) intervention for the pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbance symptom cluster that often accompanies advanced cancer treatment.
Eighty-six patients with advanced lung, prostate, colorectal, or gynecologic cancers, receiving treatment at a comprehensive cancer center, were stratified by recruitment clinics (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) and randomized to the intervention or control groups.
Forty-three patients were assigned to receive training in and use of up to 12 relaxation, guided imagery or distraction exercises, delivered via an MP3 player for two weeks during cancer treatment.
Forty-three patients were assigned to a waitlist control condition for the same two week period. Outcomes included symptom cluster severity and overall symptom interference with daily life, measured at baseline (Time 1) and two weeks later (Time 2).
To support our contention that guided imagery makes a huge dent on insomnia and general sleep insufficiency, we went looking on Amazon for feedback. There were 40 comments posted under Healthful Sleep, and almost all were extraordinarily positive.
Here are a few, and then we’ll rest our case!
I keep my iPod and headphones by my bed. It almost always works the first time -- sometimes I listen to it twice. The music is beautiful. After a full-body calming it is a bit groovy with the gentle guardians but occasionally it's the guardians part that does the trick. Thank you for a wonderful product.
Investigators from the University of Michigan School of Nursing in Ann Arbor examined the effects of using our Healthful Sleep guided imagery on post-cardiac surgery sleep disturbances (problems with sleep quality, time taken to fall asleep and total sleep time) and systemic inflammatory response, as measured by stress hormones and inflammatory markers, including cortisol and C-reactive proteins. These post-surgical difficulties are exacerbated when a patient is put on a bypass machine, and are predictors of post-op morbidity and mortality.
Of the 52 patients who provided informed consent, 27 were randomly assigned to the guided imagery group and 25 to usual care only during the ICU and step-down phases of post-op recovery. Of these, 5 in each group were lost to follow-up.
I have a son, now 26, who suffered a head injury, while skiing, when he was 18. Physically he is fine but emotionally and psychologically he is still struggling. While he has come a long way, it has been, and continues to be, a painful road (suicide attempt, drug addiction) and unfortunately he is not open to going for help. I was thinking of having him listen to your PTSD CD. I thought I would sit with him the first time that he listened to it, for support. He says he is willing to try it. I wonder if you have any other suggestions.
We recently found this posting about one of our favorite kids’ guided imagery recordings, Betty Mehling’s Magic Island. It says it all about the really priceless ways a simple recording can positively impact your child, so we’re just going to let it speak for itself:
She has listened to it nightly for almost 2 years now. She is so comforted by the soothing and nurturing imagery of this magical journey in a hot air balloon to the magic island.
Thank you so much for making this wonderful CD available. It has changed her sleep to a more restful and restorative experience in a safe and peaceful manner.
Researchers from the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University Medical Center performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT) as a treatment for nightmares, general sleep disturbance, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress.
Bibliographic databases and cited references were searched to identify clinical trials of imagery rehearsal in individuals with post-trauma nightmares.
Thirteen studies met inclusion criteria and reported sleep and post-traumatic stress outcomes in sufficient detail to calculate effect sizes.
We got this very moving email from a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, who suffered from longstanding blocks to getting a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t always work out so perfectly - that guided imagery can remediate this so quickly. But it happens often enough – quite a lot, in fact - and it’s always wonderful to hear about it.
It’s very encouraging to know that sometimes a good night’s sleep can make everything else seem possible; and that guided imagery has a very good chance at making that happen – without drugs and with very little effort: just what it takes to press “PLAY”.
How can you say thank you to someone you have never met? How can you show gratitude for being given back something so intangible that its value is priceless?
Let me explain. This past Tuesday Jan 29 I saw my psychologist for the first time. I am working through abuse of all kinds, the worst being sexual abuse and rape that I suffered though growing up.
I have always had problems with falling asleep, but lately my stress at work was making it worse. Between taking forever to fall asleep and waking up too early, I was severely sleep deprived.
I placed my cd player next to my bed and alternated playing the Sleep Imagery and Steve Kohn’s music. I usually fall asleep before the tape ends. I sleep soundly. I wake up rested. I find this a surprising and happy discovery.
I’ve grown to very much enjoy listening to these types of tapes. It is a pleasing way to fall asleep and wake up feeling well.