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!
Tom submitted this enthusiastic comment about the impact of our guided imagery for healing trauma on our blog this past week. We love how he talks about how guided imagery led him to his own inner resources, creating a palpable ‘inner team’ to call upon whenever needed…
Glad to have found your blog. Just wanted to give a HUGE thank you to ya!
I was actually searching for Peter Levine's Healing Trauma [Ed. Note: These are excellent meditations for healing childhood sexual abuse by the founder of Somatic Experiencing, Peter Levine] on audible and then came across your guided meditation [Also entitled Healing Trauma].
This is a thank you to Belleruth & Health Journeys!
I have the good fortune to have experienced chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) for the last 20 plus years.
I say ”good fortune,” because I am now able to help others manage their illness and move forward in their lives. I help them through yoga therapy, a budding field.
One of the things I often do is recommend your guided imagery for CFS and fibromyalgia.
I had the most amazing experience. I had no complications, minimal bleeding (to the best of my knowledge), and NO PAIN!!! (I rode my horse two weeks later.)
We got this wonderful note from the Mom of Marcus, a developmentally disabled boy. She was eager to tell us what his Special Ed tutor did for him.
She told of her sweet-natured, ten-year-old having trouble reading, figuring problems out and playing with the other kids. Sometimes he would be “hyper” and sometimes very down in the dumps.
She placed him in a very good school program and also had him working with an excellent Special Ed tutor twice a week.
The tutor introduced guided imagery to him, creating several recordings in his own voice for him to listen to, in between their tutoring sessions.
About five years ago, we got a note from an amazing 75-year-old woman – a spirited and multi-talented author, corporate trainer, educator, motivational speaker and ballroom dancer – who was enthusing over her mastectomy. I just came across it again, and it dazzled me anew.
You have to check this out, in her own words, because you just can’t make this stuff up. It’s a shame the world has lost her, but surely she’s still dancing somewhere…
Here’s the story, with minimal editing for length: