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A manager of a dialysis center reports on the power of guided imagery to assist his patients during

03 Jan
A manager of a dialysis center reports on the power of guided imagery to assist his patients during their treatment, fostering relaxation, healthy sleep, positive motivation and helping with fear of needles...
Dear Health Journeys,
I am manager of technical operations at a stand-alone dialysis center, and we recently introduced guided imagery CDs 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 go on dialysis. This was another encouraging outcome.

Another patient says he wants to listen to it every time he comes in for his treatment, because it motivates him to stay on track and not get discouraged. We have had such good results that our nephrologist at our facility thought we should start a whole audio library for our patients to listen to while on dialysis.

I thought you would like to know. It is hard for people to keep up their spirits during this process. Guided imagery is a great new tool in this setting.

Steven P.
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award