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A woman with hypertension, aortic valve and lung problems, plus a great fear of surgery due to unple

11 May
A woman with hypertension, aortic valve and lung problems, plus a great fear of surgery due to unpleasant previous experiences, finds guided imagery a great help in getting through a complex procedure..
In 1971, I had open-heart surgery to repair a hole in my heart (ASD). I have been under a cardiologist’s care for the last 9 years because of pulmonary hypertension secondary to my heart disease.

In September, 2003, my cardiologist wanted me to undergo a cardiac catheterization because of changes in my cardiogram and stress tests. In addition, my breathing was becoming more difficult. A false aneurysm was found on my aorta which was caused by my previous heart surgery at the point were I was hooked up to the heart/lung machine.

I was very apprehensive about having surgery because I had had many complications during the 1971 surgery. I was re-operated on for internal hemorrhaging, developed pneumonia, could not breathe without the respirator and a tracheotomy was performed.

In addition, I did not believe I would survive the surgery because of my lung problems. In the surgeon’s office, I read an article regarding guided imagery. I asked the receptionist about this program and she said that the hospital discontinued the program because of lack of funds. I researched further and found that there was a nurse within the hospital who managed their Integrated Medicine Dept. She lent me Belleruth Naparstek''s "Successful Surgery".

I listened to this tape several times a day for two months prior to surgery. I also had the tape in the operating room. My doctor was very receptive to this. After surgery I had Reiki performed on me too. It gave me a sense of calm and when I was in intensive care, the nurse commented that my blood pressure, which was high, dropped under this procedure.

I truly believe that Belleruth''s tape helped me through this very difficult time prior to and during surgery. I wanted to get a tape to listen to after surgery and wasn''t aware of the Health Journeys resources. I listened to music, but would have preferred a post-operative relaxation tape.

I came through the surgery better than I anticipated. It''s 7 months since my surgery and I feel great. I''m back to my normal, busy, enjoyable life. I am extremely grateful to my medical staff as well as Ms. Naparstek. I have since purchased several tapes for family members and I hope they receive the same great benefits that I have.

Happy Ex-Patient
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

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