We got this amazing note from a Navy nurse, who has maybe used guided imagery to benefit people in more ways than we've seen in a long time. Too bad we can't just clone her and put her on the road to sing the praises of this simple, user-friendly, portable, inexpensive technique. She's quite the point person. Here she is:
I have been using guided imagery since 1994, when I worked on an oncology unit. Since then I have used guided imagery extensively in my personal life, predominately for chronic pain from interstitial cystitis (since 1996) and hip pain from arthritis.
For many years I read the pain imagery from Ms. Naparstek's first book, Staying Well with Guided Imagery, to all my childbirth preparation classes (this was before you made the imagery for Pregnancy & Childbirth, and was an avid guided imagery advocate to all who were receptive to the idea.
This email came to us from a physician who suffered a painful, ruptured cervical disk. He had serious reservations about opting for back surgery if he could use other, less invasive methods, and guided imagery helped him with the pain enough to allow him to hold out and use yoga and chiropractic to get the job done. Check it out:
Dear Health Journeys,
I have experienced first hand how effective guided imagery can be. I am a long- time distributor and have always believed in the efficacy of imagery, but experiencing its benefits personally takes my enthusiasm to a whole, new level.
I used the Ease Pain imagery during a very rough time with a ruptured cervical disk, which is now fully under control, thanks in large part to Chiropractic and Yoga.
We were given this wonderful, inspiring story years ago, and it just recently re-surfaced – it's definitely time to share it again. Enjoy!
In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to special ed children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school career, while others can be mainstreamed into conventional schools.
At a Chush fundraising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.
After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, "Where is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God's perfection?"
This was posted on a Christian CD thread from a survivor of childhood abuse. We're putting it here because of the way the writer speaks to a very unique and potent characteristic of guided imagery (hypnosis, too) – the way it functions like a depth charge, dropped below the surface of conscious thinking (and under the pesky radar of resistance and ambivalence) where it can reverberate again and again, catalyzing a deep and system-wide kind of healing that may go unnoticed for some time.
This exuberant, creative, high spirited, affectionate video of what has been called The World’s Most Epic Marriage Proposal is bound to lift your spirits.
What we want to know is, did this fabulous bunch of family and friends rehearse for months or are they just a ridiculously talented gathering of naturals? How long does it take to plan and produce such a video? Is the lead dancer in the red dress a bona fide relative or a ringer?
Man, the ensuing marriage better be good! The pressure is on, after such a production!
Do yourself a favor and join the 4,645,468 viewers (as of this writing) who watched this video. It’s just a real kick.
Dear Health Journeys,
I am manager of technical operations at a dialysis center, and we recently introduced guided imagery to support our patients. They typically sit for hours in reclining chairs several times a week while undergoing treatment. Most turn on the TV and drift off to sleep during their treatment. Some of them close their eyes and appear to sleep. Most become “out of it” during this process.
This was not the case with the patients who listened to the guided imagery. They really fell asleep, soundly! They knew it was O.K. to fall asleep and still benefit from the CD as instructed. After their treatment, they were still relaxed, yet seemed refreshed from a "deep" sleep. We were excited to see this, as this is not the usual.
One patient who has a fear of needles listened to the imagery prior to her treatment. I asked how she felt, after starting her treatment, and she stated the CD relaxed her enough make it easier to hook up to treatment. This was another encouraging outcome.
I’ve been taking great delight in rediscovering the beautiful writings of Frederic Brussat over at the Spirituality and Practice website, an abundant resource of wisdom and guidance which he built with his sweetheart of a wife, Mary Ann.
Check out this wonderful piece he wrote in 2007, about the gratitude he felt for his own body after getting through major surgery. It’s quite a wonderful piece of writing. (And I would feel that way even if he hadn’t become a guided imagery fan.)
Into the Far Country of Surgery
(Good Flesh - Part 2)
By Frederic Brussat
In Good Flesh, I wrote about how I came to a new understanding of my body as a fine companion, a capable mediator of my experience of the world, a vehicle for transformation, and a temple of God. It all started when an Antiguan maid noticed that a cut on my scalp had healed remarkably quickly; she said I had "Good Flesh."
I've just had another one of those experiences that make me want to practice gratitude, wonder, and nurturing for my body. This 60+ flesh is still very, very good.
A mom writes:
My very active, sociable little 7-month-old is adorable in every way, but he is not a great sleeper. I get the feeling he doesn’t want to miss anything by napping. It’s been a challenge getting things done, because the little guy NEVER naps.
Rocking him and settling him down has never quite worked. Just as he starts to relax, he realizes he’s about to fall asleep, and he jerks awake and wants to play some more.
I decided to try playing BR’s sleep CD for him, which has always worked for me, while rocking him, and, lo and behold, the little live wire fell asleep!!! I now play the Healthful Sleep CD whenever I need him to nap. So far, so good, it works like a charm. I don’t know if it’s because it affects me and I’m holding him, or if it just affects him directly, and I don’t really care. I can get some laundry and dishes done. What a thrill! (sarcasm).
Grateful Chicago Mom
Here’s a charming report that came through a friend/colleague. Her old friend from college had been undergoing treatment for breast cancer and having trouble sleeping. She compared listening to guided imagery with being read a favorite bedtime story. Love that! I’m just pasting the whole note:
Hey BR. Hope you get this email where you are... i think so! :)
So, one of my old college friends just FB'd me with this message about using your guided imagery tapes when she was going thru chemo for breast cancer, and now for sleep! Here is what she said:
One of my (many) therapists recommended her CDs, and I have repeatedly used one for sleep - like being read a favorite bedtime story by a loving auntie/friend - works every time.
Thought you'd chuckle!
I just wanted to let you know how successful guided imagery was for me, and continues to be to me. I was given new life by way of a quadruple by-pass. I listened to guided imagery for Pain, Surgery, Cardiac ICU and Cardiac Rehab.
Through Guided Imagery, the operating theater became a familiar place, with competent, compassionate professionals, all moving in sync to overcome the burden of four blockages (1 at 100%, 3 at 89%). The Cardiac ICU was not a hostile place, as the friendly faces found there did their level best to provide comfort and healing.
Today, just six days after the surgery, I am home with my family, still listening to these meditations, still opening my mind to the possibilities that now lay before me.