This note was posted on our website last week. We get a lot of these, and we are grateful for each and every one, including the critical feedback that tells us what wasn’t so helpful. But there was something about this post that was especially heartening and encouraging – and important for other survivors to see. Please have a look. We’re showing it verbatim, exactly as it was written on our page for our Guided Imagery for the Three Stages of Healing Trauma: Nine Meditations for Posttraumatic Stress.
We also want to thank G.S. for this eloquent testimonial to the power of guided imagery. Her words mean a lot to us.
Margaret Dubay Mikus, a poet, photographer and all-round brainiac with a PhD in molecular genetics, discovered she carried a mutation in one of the “breast cancer genes” (BRCA2) when she had a new bout of breast cancer. After much deliberation, she decided to go for the option of bilateral mastectomy, plus removal of her ovaries and Fallopian tubes. Pretty extreme, you might think, but this is a recommended treatment with her medical history and this gene.
We got this My Health Journey from Mary who shares her use of guided imagery as she and her husband worked to conceive a child. Here's what she recently wrote us:
"I had struggled with infertility for nearly four years. After the first disheartening try (and “failure”, as it is called) with In Vitro Fertilization, I knew I would need extra support, because the process was distressing and disturbing, and I needed to stick it out.
I was depressed, disheartened and, in a way, disabled. I searched the web for resources to help me cope and keep me on track. That’s how I found your audio program, Help for Fertility before the second round of IVF.
I listened to it every night before sleep. It gave me a surprising sense of calmness, patience and peace, plus a feeling that whatever will be, will be as it should be.
We applaud this woman’s recovery from panic attacks, using guided imagery as a critical part of her healing. We discovered this post not long ago, on a review posted on Amazon. It’s an encouraging and inspiring guide for others.
Surprisingly, panic attacks and intense anxiety are very amenable to most mind-body relaxation techniques, but guided imagery adds an additional dimension of reframing and perspective. Check out this report:
We got this email from a person who has used our guided imagery with great success. It's a great story that we believe you'll enjoy reading.
On the advice of a medical social worker friend, I tried your pre-surgery program for an upcoming reconstructive operation. My friend said her hospital recommended it for all its pre-surgery patients, and that research has proven it to be effective.
Belleruth just got this gracious New Year’s note from an old-time guided imagery user.
I'm a longtime fan; in fact, I first heard you on the radio speaking to the City Club of Portland (OR) -- that'll tell you how long ago it was (last century!).
This is a wonderful example of one woman’s healing from posttraumatic stress and the dissociation that usually comes with early childhood abuse, with the help of some very trauma specific guided imagery, used in conjunction with a deeply relaxing and healing biofield technique called Healing Touch. (This combination was also found to be effective in healing PTS symptoms in combat-traumatized Marines at Camp Pendleton).
I first got your guided imagery for Chemotherapy and for Treatment Related Fatigue from my nurses at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. These became like a staple for me. I listened to them the evening before I’d go in for chemo, and again the morning after, before I’d leave for home.
I suffered from a lot of severe anxiety. This was not because of the cancer, but because I have a deep fear of vomiting, and the treatments made me very sick. I was in a constant state of terror about throwing up until the nurse gave me your recordings. They kept me calm and balanced. It was like a miracle. I began to believe I would get well and started to see past my immediate misery and toward a future where all of it was behind me. I got back my sense of hope, which saw me through the worst times.
Given our current difficulties with addiction to prescription medication, we thought this story was very timely.
We got this note from a crackerjack internist at Johns Hopkins who often champions guided imagery as an intervention of choice for her patients Annie Umbricht MD had a patient with his heart set on a Xanax refill for his panic attacks. Her response was pretty ingenious. She writes:
"Not all my patients follow my suggestions and listen to the guided imagery I recommend, although those who do derive plenty of benefit.
Dear Health Journeys and BR,
I have been living with the effects of trauma over many, many years. Some of the forms it has taken is in negative thinking and poor self-image. I also have great anxiety about my safety. As a result, my life has gotten more and more rigid, narrow and constricted, despite my efforts to continually reassure myself that I am no longer at great risk.
Twenty-plus years of therapy helped me identify these issues and understand them better. Then EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) did a good job of helping me erase a suicidal tape that was running through my head. Then I found your guided imagery!