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Mom asks what if her child will not be able to hear the imagery during the procedure?

01 Nov
A worried mom asks how her four-year-old son can use imagery during surgery when the operation is on his ear, using noisy instruments, and his ability to hear the imagery is sure to be impaired..
Dear BR,

My 4-year-old son has had 5 ear surgeries. In order to avoid further surgery (or being strapped down to a table) he must lay down on a table and stay still for 3 - 7 minutes while the ENT doctor works on his ear. I just purchased Betty Mehling''s Magic Island tape, but I am concerned that he may not be able to hear it while the doctor is working on his ear. The instrument the doctor uses is very loud. Do you have any suggestions?

Worried Mom



Dear W.M.,

The poor little guy!

I would have him listen to the imagery several times before the surgery, at relaxed, enjoyable times that have nothing to do with medical procedures, hospitals or doctors’ offices. This way he’ll be very familiar with it and will have pleasant associations with it. Then I would have him listen in the waiting room and just before the procedure. You could continue to play it during the procedure, too. He should be able to derive major benefit from it, even if he can''t hear most of it at the time. Just encourage him to keep his imagination on the journey in the imagery, which he will know well.

Best wishes to you both!



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